'Feel Flows' Is The Best Beach Boys Music You've Never Heard

Post by: Rick Ellis 27 August, 2021

For most people familiar with the music of the Beach Boys, their music falls into three general categories: the early, hit-driven surf-oriented songs, the Pet Sounds album and the later, post Brian Wilson stuff that includes Kokomo, which the band didn't write.

But there is another group of songs you should know about, and they are highlighted in the expansive new 5-CD set from the band entitled Feel Flows. The set highlights the criminally overlooked Sunflower and Surf's Up albums, along with a staggering number of previously unreleased live tracks and studio outtakes. The set will be a revelation to casual fans who see the post Pet Sounds period as a creative wasteland. I'd argue some of these tracks are as good as anything ever produced by the band, although few people are familiar with the music.

When the album Sunflower was released in 1970, the Beach Boys were at a financial and creative low point. It had been four years since the release of Pet Sounds and Brian Wilson was primarily curled up in a fetal position on most days. The band had released several poorly received low-fi albums (Friends, Wild Honey) and the only music fans were buying were the string of Greatest Hits packages being released the band's former label. The band was split into new camps: the Mike Love "let's give the fans the surf music they want" contingent and the Carl & Dennis Wilson-led members who believed they could create new music as a band that fans who learn to appreciate.

Even worse, the band was essentially broke. A 1968 tour had been a financial disaster and Capital Records essentially deleted all of the non-Greatest Hits albums from their catalog, further impacting the band's revenue. And in late 1969, Murray brothers manager and father Murray sold the entire Sea Of Tunes publishing catalog for what is the modern-day equivalent of less than $5 million. 

The "new music" group briefly carried the day and the result was the group's best post-Pet Sounds album. Sunflower (and the follow-up album Surf's Up) were the closest to a group effort the Beach Boys ever managed to release. Sunflower contained a new song from Brian (This Whole World), several tunes from Brian Johnston as well as the best song Dennis Wilson ever contributed to the band (Forever). The band and its new label Reprise had high hopes for the album, but the lead single (Add Some Music To Your Day) topped out at #62 on the singles charts and the album became the band's worst-selling album to date. Which was ironic, given that the album received consistently rave reviews at the time and in the year's since, Rolling Stone listed it on the magazine's "Best 500 Albums Of All Time" list.

The 1971 album Surf's Up sold better, topping out at #29 on the album charts. While it didn't have a hit single, the album's strong environmental focus as well as the addition of the Brain Wilson title track was also very well received by critics. There were also two strong tracks co-written by Carl Wilson (Long Promised Road and Feel Flows), the Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks track 'Til I Die and the Brian Johnston original Disney Girls (1957), which has been covered by a number of musicians in the years since. On the downside, Surf's Up also included one of the band's worst tracks of the period, the Mike Love-led Student Demonstration Time, which was a lame reworking of the track Riot In Cell Block #9.

Unfortunately for the band, these two albums were their mid-career highwater mark. Love and Johnston brought in Jack Rieley was the band's controversial new manager and Brian Wilson retreated back into seclusion. And the music from these two albums has been overlooked by everyone except the die-hard fans in the interim. which is a shame. 

Hopefully that neglect will change with the release of Feel Flows, a massive 5-CD release that features fully remastered versions of the original Sunflower (1970) and Surf’s Up (1971) albums – plus numerous outtakes, live recordings, alternate takes and mixes. Produced by Mark Linett and Alan Boyd, Feel Flows has a 48-page booklet featuring photos, memorabilia images, and a new essay by Howie Edelson incorporating new and archival interviews with the band members. There are also 2-LP, 2-CD, and 4-LP versions of the set.

The first CD includes the entire remastered Sunflower album, plus six live performances of song's from the album (ranging from 1971-1988), a radio spot and eight bonus tracks, including the 1969 Beach Boys single Breakaway, which was the band's final single on Capital.

Disc two includes the entire remastered Surf's Up album, plus five live performances from 1971-1973, a radio spot and eight bonus cuts, including performances of Seasons In The Sun and both sides of Dennis Wilson and Rumbo’s rare 1970 single Sound of Free b/w Lady (Fallin’ in Love).

Disc three is called The Sunflower Sessions and includes 29 cuts of outtakes, extended mixes and a capella tracks. Disc four includes 18 tracks from The Surf's Up Sessions, plus six other bonus tracks. Many of these tracks have never been heard before, including the previously unreleased tracks Awake and Baby, Baby.

Disc five includes 29 tracks, including the previously unreleased songs Before, Behold the Night, Hawaiian Dream, Old Movie (Cuddle Up), and Brian and David Sandler's It’s Natural.

Feel Flows is delight for devotees of The Beach Boys, but it's also going to be a revelation for casual listeners of the group's work, who may be more interested in the two CD version instead of the deep tracks also included in the full five CD set.

Here is the track rundown for each version of the release:

5 CD Version
CD 1:

Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2019 master) (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (2019 master) (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (2019 master) (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2019 master) (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (2019 master) (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2019 master) (2:57)
  7. Tears In The Morning (2019 master) (4:07)
  8. All I Wanna Do (2019 master) (2:36)
  9. Forever (2019 master) (2:42)
  10. Our Sweet Love (2019 master) (2:41)
  11. At My Window (2019 master) (2:32)
  12. Cool, Cool Water (2019 master) (5:03)
  13. Sunflower Promo 1 (previously unreleased) (0:59)

Sunflower Live

  1. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:10) [Sunflower Live]
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (Live 1993) (3:23) [Sunflower Live]
  3. Susie Cincinnati (Live 1976) (2 :46) [Sunflower Live]
  4. Back Home (Live 1976) (3:15) [Sunflower Live]
  5. It’s About Time (Live 1971) (3:45) [Sunflower Live]
  6. Riot In Cell Block 9 (Live 1970) (3:34) [Sunflower Live]

Bonus Tracks

  1. Break Away (original 1969 single mix) (2:55)
  2. Celebrate The News (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:37)
  3. Loop De Loop (previously unreleased 1969 mix) (2:59)
  4. San Miguel (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:33)
  5. Susie Cincinnati (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (3:02)
  6. Good Time (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:56)
  7. Two Can Play (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:06)
  8. Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (2021 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (3:21)

CD 2:

Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2019 master) (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (2019 master) (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2019 master) (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (2019 master) (4:08)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (2019 master) (3:59)
  6. Feel Flows (2019 master) (4:44)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (2019 master) (1:57)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (2019 master) (3:09)
  9. Til I Die (2019 master) (2:32)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 master) (4:14)
  11. Surf’s Up Promo (previously unreleased) (1:02)

Surf’s Up Live

  1. Take A Load Off Your Feet (Live 1993) (2:35)
  2. Long Promised Road (Live 1972) (4:14)
  3. Disney Girls (Live 1982) (4:23)
  4. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:58)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (Live 1971) (4:42)

Bonus Tracks

  1. Big Sur (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  2. HELP Is On The Way (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:31)
  3. Sweet And Bitter (previously unreleased) (2:33)
  4. My Solution (previously unreleased) (3:44)
  5. 4th of July (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (3:11)
  6. Sound of Free (1970 single mix, 2019 master) (2:22)
  7. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (2:21)
  8. Seasons In The Sun (previously unreleased) (3:27)

CD 3:

The Sunflower Sessions

  1. Sunflower Promo 2 (previously unreleased) (0:59)
  2. Slip On Through (track and backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:47)
  3. This Whole World (long version track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:10)
  4. Add Some Music To Your Day (track and backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:35)
  5. Deirdre (track – previously unreleased) (3:34)
  6. It’s About Time (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:53)
  7. Tears In The Morning (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:08)
  8. All I Wanna Do (session intro, track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:46)
  9. Forever (session highlights – previously unreleased) (3:36)
  10. Forever (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:01)
  11. Our Sweet Love (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:39)
  12. At My Window (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:50)
  13. Cool Cool Water (alternate 2019 mix – previously unreleased) (6:24)
  14. San Miguel (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:57)
  15. Loop De Loop (track – previously unreleased) (2:49)
  16. Good Time (session intro, track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:27)
  17. When Girls Get Together (track – previously unreleased) (1:47)
  18. Slip On Through (alternate 1969 mix with session intro – previously unreleased) (3:25)
  19. Our Sweet Love (string section – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  20. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  21. Break Away (Tag) (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:18)
  22. Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (a Cappella – previously unreleased) (2:44)
  23. Good Time (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:19)
  24. This Whole World (backing vocals section – previously unreleased) (1:05)
  25. Add Some Music To Your Day (a cappella – previously unreleased) (3:30)
  26. Got To Know The Woman (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:52)
  27. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:50)
  28. All I Wanna Do (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:58)
  29. Forever (previously unreleased 2019 a cappella mix) (2:52)

CD 4:

The Surf’s Up Sessions

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:45)
  2. Long Promised Road (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:38)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (alternate vocal – previously unreleased) (2:28)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (4:17)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:46)
  6. Feel Flows (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (5:02)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (session intro and alternate mix – previously unreleased) (2:43)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (2:55)
  9. Til I Die (long version with alternate lyrics – previously unreleased) (4:47)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (4:08)
  11. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (extended 2019 – previously unreleased) (6:50)
  12. Don’t Go Near The Water (previously unreleased 2020 a cappella mix) (2:36)
  13. Long Promised Road (a cappella – previously unreleased) (4:00)
  14. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:33)
  15. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:36)
  16. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:32)
  17. Til I Die (a cappella – previously unreleased) (2:36)
  18. Surf’s Up (a cappella – previously unreleased) (4:04)

Bonus Tracks

  1. I Just Got My Pay (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:43)
  2. Walkin’ (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:44)
  3. When Girls Get Together (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (3:45)
  4. Baby Baby (previously unreleased) (3:13)
  5. Awake (previously unreleased) (3:44)
  6. It’s A New Day (previously unreleased) (2:20)

CD 5:

Bonus Disc

  1. This Whole World (alternate ending – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (previously unreleased alternate version) (3:27)
  3. Don’t Go Near The Water (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:42)
  4. Surf’s Up Part 1 (1971 remake track with 1966 Brian vocal – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  5. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:14)
  6. I’m Goin’ Your Way (previously unreleased alternate mix) (2:24)
  7. Where Is She (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:22)
  8. Carnival (Over The Waves/Sobra Las Olas) (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (1:34)
  9. It’s Natural (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  10. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (previously unreleased) (5:05)
  11. Before (previously unreleased) (2:25)
  12. Behold The Night (previously unreleased) (2:26)
  13. Old Movie (Cuddle Up) (previously unreleased) (3:37)
  14. Hawaiian Dream (previously unreleased) (4:33)
  15. Settle Down / Sound Of Free (basic session outtake – previously unreleased) (2:17)
  16. I’ve Got A Friend (previously unreleased) (2:26)
  17. Til I Die (piano demo – previously unreleased) (1:55)
  18. Back Home (previously unreleased demo) (2:20)
  19. Back Home (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:34)
  20. Won’t You Tell Me (demo – previously unreleased) (2:01)
  21. Won’t You Tell Me (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:54)
  22. Barbara (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:59)
  23. Slip On Through (early version track) (2:48)
  24. Susie Cincinnati (basic session highlights – previously unreleased) (3:05)
  25. My Solution (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:04)
  26. You Never Give Me Your Money (previously unreleased) (0:40)
  27. Medley: Happy Birthday, Brian / God Only Knows (previously unreleased) (2:47)
  28. You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:32)
  29. Marcella (a cappella – previously unreleased) (3:27)

2 CD Version

CD 1: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2019 master) (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (2019 master) (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (2019 master) (3:35)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2019 master) (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (2019 master) (3:29)
  6. It’s About Time (2019 master) (2:56)
  7. Tears In The Morning (2019 master) (4:11)
  8. All I Wanna Do (2019 master) (2:36)
  9. Forever (2019 master) (2:42)
  10. Our Sweet Love (2019 master) (2:41)
  11. At My Window (2019 master) (2:32)
  12. Cool Cool Water (2019 master) (5:04)

Bonus Tracks

  1. Loop De Loop (previously unreleased 1969 mix) (2:58)
  2. San Miguel (previously unreleased 2020 mix) (2:19)
  3. Susie Cincinnati (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:01)
  4. Good Time (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:55)
  5. I Just Got My Pay (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:43)
  6. Two Can Play (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:06)
  7. I’m Goin’ Your Way (previously unreleased alternate mix) (2:10)
  8. Where Is She (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (2:21)
  9. Break Away (Tag) (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:17)
  10. Our Sweet Love (string section – previously unreleased) (1:00)
  11. This Whole World (alternate ending – previously unreleased) (1:41)
  12. Add Some Music To Your Day (previously unreleased alternate version) (3:27)
  13. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:00)
  14. All I Wanna Do (a Cappella – previously unreleased) (2:41)
  15. Back Home (alternate version – previously unreleased) (2:34)
  16. When Girls Get Together (previously unreleased 2019 mix) (3:45)
  17. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:01)

CD 2: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2019 master) (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (2019 master) (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2019 master) (2:31)
  4. Disney Girls (1957) (2019 master) (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (2019 master) (3:59)
  6. Feel Flows (2019 master) (4:48)
  7. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (2019 master) (1:58)
  8. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (2019 master) (3:09)
  9. Til I Die (2019 master) (2:32)
  10. Surf’s Up (2019 master) (4:14)

Bonus Tracks

  1. It’s A New Day (previously unreleased) (2:20)
  2. Big Sur (previously unreleased) (2:35)
  3. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (extended 2019 – previously unreleased) (4:36)
  4. 4th of July (2019 mix – previously unreleased) (3:09)
  5. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix – previously unreleased) (2:21)
  6. Behold The Night (previously unreleased) (2:23)
  7. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (previously unreleased) (4:16)
  8. Sweet And Bitter (previously unreleased) (2:20)
  9. My Solution (previously unreleased) (3:43)
  10. Awake (previously unreleased) (3:17)
  11. Disney Girls (Live 1982) (4:19)
  12. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:55)
  13. You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone (track & backing vocals – previously unreleased) (3:15)
  14. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:32)
  15. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt – previously unreleased) (0:19)

2 LP Version

LP 1, Side A: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2:57)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Cotton Fields (2020 stereo mix) (3:16)
  2. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt) (0:35)
  3. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt) (0:50)

Side B (Sunflower continued)

  1. Tears In The Morning (4:11)
  2. All I Wanna Do (2:36)
  3. Forever (2:42)
  4. Our Sweet Love (2:41)
  5. At My Window (2:32)
  6. Cool, Cool Water (5:05)

Bonus Track (previously unreleased)

  1. This Whole World (live 1988) (2:01)

LP 2, Side C: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (3:59) (based on “Riot In Cell Block 9”)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Disney Girls (live 1982) (4:19)
  2. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt) (0:33)

Side D (Surf’s Up continued)

  1. Feel Flows (4:48)
  2. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (1:59)
  3. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (3:09)
  4. ‘Til I Die (2:33)
  5. Surf’s Up (4:14)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals) (2:54)
  2. Til I Die (a cappella) (2:11)

4 LP Version – Black Vinyl 

4 LP Version – Translucent Blue & Translucent Gold (exclusive to The Beach Boys online store)

LP 1, Side A: Sunflower

  1. Slip On Through (2:19)
  2. This Whole World (1:58)
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day (3:36)
  4. Got To Know The Woman (2:43)
  5. Deirdre (3:30)
  6. It’s About Time (2:57)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Cotton Fields (2020 stereo mix) (3:16)
  2. San Miguel (backing vocals excerpt) (0:35)
  3. It’s About Time (backing vocals excerpt) (0:50)

Side B

  1. Tears In The Morning (4:11)
  2. All I Wanna Do (2:36)
  3. Forever (2:42)
  4. Our Sweet Love (2:41)
  5. At My Window (2:32)
  6. Cool, Cool Water (5:04)

Bonus Track (previously unreleased)

  1. This Whole World (Live 1988) (2:01)

LP 2, Side CBonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Loop De Loop (original 1969 mix) (2:59)
  2. San Miguel (2020 mix) (2:20)
  3. Susie Cincinnati (2020 mix) (3:02)
  4. Good Time (2019 mix) (2:56)
  5. I Just Got My Pay (2019 mix) (2:43)
  6. Two Can Play (2019 mix) (2:06)
  7. I’m Goin’ Your Way (alternate mix) (2:10)
  8. Where Is She (2019 mix) (2:22)
  9. Break Away Tag (backing vocals excerpt) (0:18)
  10. Our Sweet Love (string section) (1:00)

Side D (Bonus Tracks continued)

  1. This Whole World (alternate ending) (1:41)
  2. Add Some Music To Your Day (alternate version) (3:27)
  3. Soulful Old Man Sunshine (2019 mix) (3:00)
  4. All I Wanna Do (a cappella) (2:41)
  5. Back Home (alternate version) (2:34)
  6. When Girls Get Together (2019 mix) (3:45)
  7. It’s About Time (live 1971) (3:55)
  8. This Whole World (backing vocals section) (0:34)

LP 3, Side E: Surf’s Up

  1. Don’t Go Near The Water (2:41)
  2. Long Promised Road (3:32)
  3. Take A Load Off Your Feet (2:32)
  4. Disney Girls (4:11)
  5. Student Demonstration Time (3:59)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. Disney Girls (live 1982) (4:19)
  2. Feel Flows (backing vocals excerpt) (0:33)

Side F (Surf’s Up, continued)

  1. Feel Flows (4:48)
  2. Lookin’ At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) (1:59)
  3. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (3:09)
  4. ‘Til I Die (2:33)
  5. Surf’s Up (4:14)

Bonus Tracks (previously unreleased)

  1. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (track & backing vocals) (2:54)
  2. ‘Til I Die (a cappella) (2:11)

LP 4 (Bonus Tracks)

Side G (previously unreleased)

  1. It’s A New Day (2:20)
  2. Big Sur (2:35)
  3. (Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again (2019 mix) (4:35)
  4. E.L.P. Is On The Way (2019 mix) (2:31)
  5. 4th Of July (2019 mix) (3:09)
  6. Lady (Fallin’ In Love) (1970 stereo mix) (2:21)
  7. Behold The Night (2:24)
  8. ‘Til I Die (piano demo) (1:55)

Side H

  1. Medley: All Of My Love / Ecology (4:15)
  2. Sweet And Bitter (2:21)
  3. My Solution (3:43)
  4. Awake (3:17)
  5. Take A Load Off Your Feet (Live 1993) (2:26)
  6. Surf’s Up (Live 1973) (4:56)
  7. A Day In The Life Of A Tree (backing vocals excerpt) (0:32)
  8. Disney Girls (backing vocals excerpt) (0:20)








Last modified on Friday, 27 August 2021 22:21