The Beach Boys – Friends (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 25:47 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Capitol Records

Friends is The Beach Boys’ 14th studio album originally released in 1968. Many of the album’s songs were inspired by Transcendental Meditation and the group’s recent interactions with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was initially met with a mild critical reception and peaked at number 126 on the US Billboard charts for what was then group’s worst chart performance to date. In the UK, the album peaked at number 13.

Released when Cream and Jimi Hendrix were at their apex, the low-key pleasantries of Friends seemed downright irrelevant in mid-1968. Today it sounds better, but it’s certainly one of the group’s more minor efforts, as the members started to divide the songwriting more or less evenly among themselves, rather than letting Brian Wilson provide most of the material. The title track was a charming, if innocuous, minor hit. The bossa nova “Busy Doin’ Nothin’” was a subtly subversive piece of rock Muzak, though hindsight reveals a rather worrisome indolence in the lyrics, as penned by Wilson, who was starting to withdraw into his own world. The production and harmonies remained pleasantly idiosyncratic, but there was little substance at the heart of most of the songs. The irony was that Smile had collapsed, in part, because some of the Beach Boys felt that Wilson’s increasingly avant-garde leanings would lose their pop audience; yet by the time of Friends, the Beach Boys had done a pretty good job of losing most of their audience by retreating to a less experimental, more group-based approach.

01 – Meant For You
02 – Friends
03 – Wake The World
04 – Be Here In The Mornin’
05 – When A Man Needs A Woman
06 – Passing By
07 – Anna Lee, The Healer
08 – Little Bird
09 – Be Still
10 – Busy Doin’ Nothin’
11 – Diamond Head
12 – Transcendental Meditation

Al Jardine – vocals, backing vocals
Bruce Johnston – vocals, backing  vocals
Mike Love – vocals, backing vocals
Brian Wilson – organ, vocals, backing vocals
Carl Wilson – vocals, backing vocals
Dennis Wilson – vocals, backing vocals