“The Beach Boys”, the Disney + doc which traces the ups and downs of the Californian group

“The Beach Boys”, the Disney + doc which traces the ups and downs of the Californian group
“The Beach Boys”, the Disney + doc which traces the ups and downs of the Californian group

In the 1960s, the British Beatles were answered by the Californian Beach Boys. Founded in 1961 in Hawthorne (California), The Beach Boys remains the iconic West Coast group, inevitably associated with surf music.

But, as this two-hour documentary designed by Frank Marshall (producer of Indiana Jones, of Back to the future and Jason Bourne) and Thom Zimny ​​(director of Sly: Stallone by Stallone), this perception is reductive.

The group founded in 1961 in Hawthorne by three brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and their childhood friend Al Jardine has a more complex history, told here by the group’s survivors (Carl and Dennis are deceased). in exclusive interviews enhanced with sound archives and accompanied by numerous archive images.

No revelation

We will not look for a shattering revelation there. But the story is clear and has the merit of placing the different periods and phases of the group in their context. Fans will have the pleasure of hearing the details of the story from those who lived it. Laymen will discover the multiple facets of the group and its mutations. Certain evocations by Al Jardine or Mike Love are moving, particularly when the latter returns to his quarrel with Brian Wilson. Likewise, David Marks, a short-lived member of the group, expresses his regrets.

Reluctant to tour, Brian Wilson quickly locked himself in the studio, composing and preparing the following albums while his companions continued the concerts, with successive replacements. Self-taught, he perfected a style and sound that would progress throughout the 1960s until he became extremely famous. Pet Sounds (1966).

The album is so avant-garde that it destabilizes the record company which prefers to release a best-of of the group in the United States, freezing the Beach Boys in their first success while the music scene and the concerns of youth evolve .

The healthy rivalry with the Beatles pushed each of the groups to surpass themselves by wanting to bounce off the progress of the other. So Rubber Soul (1965) by the Beatles pushes Wilson towards Pet Sounds which in turn led Lennon and McCartney to design Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). As one speaker summarizes, it is probable that without the other neither group would have been the same and that without them the progression of pop and rock music of the 1960s would have had a different tone.

Alongside the documentary, the original soundtrack will also be released. It will be available for streaming and download from May 24, but also via a reissue of their album Shut Down Vol.2 (1964) in limited edition. It is the sonic memory of an innocent era that seems very distant.

The Beach Boys Documentary Of Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny. Disney+, from May 24. 2h

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