In 1978 The Beach Boys released their 22nd studio album entitled M.I.U. ALBUM (Brother/Reprise Records). It was named after the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, where most of the album was recorded. Group member Mike Love was a big proponent of Transcendental Meditation. The album was produced by Alan Jardine and Ron Altbach. Jeff Tamarkin writes: “That it sounds like a Beach Boys album at all is perhaps remarkable, given that two of the five core members, Brian’s brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson, made only cameo appearances. That left most of the work to Brian, Mike Love and Alan Jardine, the other mainstays, and the team they assembled to make the album”.
‘She’s Got Rhythm’ is upbeat musically with a Motown feel to it. Many men who frequent bars and clubs will relate to this tale: “She came to my table/We both ordered something to drink/Before you know it/What do you think?/The music started playin’/Oo, the music got us so excited/And we had to get up on our feet/She’s got rhythm, she’s got something I need (2X)/The place was near closing/I offered to take her home/But she was with someone and left me alone/But I still remember”. ‘Come Go With Me’ is a doo-wop song written by C.E. Quick, an original member of The Del-Vikings. In 1982 the Beach Boys’ version with Alan Jardine on lead hit #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It is a song of romantic longing: “I love, love you darlin’/Come and go with me/And come home with me/Way beyond the sea/I need you darlin’/Come and go with me/Come, come, come, come/Come into my heart/Tell me darlin’/We will never part/I need you darlin’/So come go with me”.
‘Hey Little Tomboy’ was originally meant to be on a Brian Wilson solo album. It includes these interesting lyrics: “Hey little tomboy/Sit here on my lap/I got things that I gotta tell you.../Hey little tomboy/I’ve had my eyes on you/Thinkin’ what a girl you could be/Mmm, I smell perfume/Let’s try some cut-off jeans/Look at all the changes I see/I’m gonna teach you to kiss/You’re gonna feel just like this”. ‘Kona Coast’ is a breezy pop tribute to Hawaii penned by Alan and Mike: “Suntanned beauties are everywhere/Lovely island ladies with long dark hair/You’re sure to find a honey waitin’ for you there in Hawaii/Kani and Wahinai and Wahowalis too/Get a friendly ‘Aloha’ from this mecca to you/They’re the friendliest people anywhere in Hawaii”.
‘Peggy Sue’ which was originally called ‘Cindy Lou’, was popularized by Buddy Holly in the late 50’s. Here, Alan Jardine sings lead on this rock and roll declaration of love: “Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue/Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue/Oh Peggy-My Peggy Sue/Well, I love you girl, and I need you Peggy Sue/I love you Peggy Sue/With a love so rare and true/Oh Peggy-My Peggy Sue/Well, I love you girl, and I want you Peggy Sue/Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue”. Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote and sing lead vocals on ‘Wontcha Come Out Tonight’. It includes these playful lyrics: “Late at night, when I’m sleepin’/I get to dreamin’ of you/That’s when I find myself schemin’/Of ways that I can spend all my nights with you”.
Carl Wilson sings lead on the easy listening tune ‘Sweet Sunday’. It describes meaningful time spent with one’s partner: “We’ll read the funnies together and watch some T.V. too/You can do something for me/And I’ll do the same for you/We’ll fill the hours with things/That we both most like to do/Spending a sweet Sunday lovin’ you/Why don’t we unplug the phone?/Let’s pretend nobody’s home/Quietly, just you and me/Oh, how nice that will be”. ‘Belles of Paris’ is another easy listening tune. It paints a picture of one of Europe’s most famous destinations: “C’est tres jolie en Paree in the Spring/Watching all the lovers walk along the Seine/Pitch a penny in her like a wishing well/Feed the pigeons in the park near Tour Eifelle.../Sunday morning hear the bells of Notre Dame/Watching belles jeune filles and the handsome gendarmes/Near the Arch de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees/Coffee and croissants in a sidewalk cafe”.
‘Pitter Patter’ reflects on nature: “A rain swept plain/Soon after Springtime rains blow over/Will sprout new grain/And miles of fresh green fields of clover/Winter and its cold soon will lose its hold/With the changes Spring will bring/Sun comes pourin’ down, warmin’ up the ground/Bringin’ new life with the Spring”. ‘My Diane’ is a ballad inspired by Brian Wilson’s recent separation at the time, from wife, Marilyn. Brother Dennis delivers these heartfelt admissions from Brian: “Now that I have lost my Diane/There’s no plan as to where to go/It was hard to lose my Diane/Now I just miss her so.../Everything is wrong and nothing is right/I want you back with all of my might/Shadows hanging over my head/I love you Diane/I miss you Diane”.
‘Match Point of Our Love’ is an adult contemporary song that uses tennis language to make its point: “Early in the game when you broke me just like a serve/We shoulda walked off the court/But we both didn’t have the nerve/So we volleyed a while with small talk/And a smile and as push comes to shove/I’d say this must be the match point of our love”. ‘Winds of Change’ written by Ron Altbach and Ed Tuleja ends the album off on an optimistic note: “Winds of change are here at last/The clouds are lifted, the storm has passed/Nights we’ve known are on the run/And there’s a bright and shining sun for everyone to see”.
M.I.U. ALBUM is a must have for serious Beach Boys collectors. It leans mostly towards softer pop sounds, but does have a few fun, more peppy songs on it as well. The old time rock and roll sounds of the group’s earlier hits aren’t very present here though. I recommend this album more to adults than youth. I’m rating M.I.U. ALBUM 87%. For more info visit: www.thebeachboys.com.