Mike Love

Mike Love at the Grammy Mueseum and Amoeba in Los Angeles, CA

Mike Love, founding member and frontman of the Beach Boys for 56 years, has released his first ever solo album Unleash The Love. With The Beach Boys being a family band between the Wilson Brothers (Brian, Carl, and Dennis) and their cousin Mike Love, it was fitting that Love featured his family on this album. To celebrate the new album, on Dec. 4, Love did a Q&A at the Grammy Museum with Executive Director Scott Goldman followed by a performance with fellow Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, their current Beach Boy band, along with two of Love’s daughters Ambha and Hayleigh, and his two sons Brian and Christian. After the performance, Love signed copies of his new album.

Just two days later on Dec. 6, Love did a similar performance and signing at Amoeba Hollywood. At both performances, Love brought his children out to perform different songs. For example, he featured his daughter Ambha on “Kiss Me Baby.” The set included “Pisces Brothers,” a song Love wrote as a tribute to George Harrison, classics such as “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” Good Vibrations” and for the holiday season “Little Saint Nick.” For the finale, Love brought out his children and the Waters (Julia, Maxine, and Oren) who have laid down vocals on countless hits.

Unleash The Love is a two-disc album which includes both new songs and classic Beach Boys songs with special guests. Disc 1 is all solo songs with the exception of the Beach Boys “Getcha Back and "Daybreak Over the Ocean.” “Pisces Brothers” was an unreleased song written by Love in 2004 which was three years after George Harrison passed. John Stamos who has been a longtime collaborator of the Beach Boys plays drums on “Getcha Back” and “10,000 Years Ago.” Disc 1 spreads the message of peace and love with songs like “All The Love In Paris,” which features Dave Koz and “Make Love Not War." This disc really captures Love’s spirituality, harmony and message of world peace.

Disc 2 was recorded with the current Beach Boys band with a few special guests singing either lead or shared vocals with Love. “Do It Again” featured Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath trading verses with Love and Stamos on drums. For “Help Me Rhonda,” which was originally sung by Al Jardine, Love sings lead. Both “Warmth of the Sun,” and “Kiss Me Baby” featured Ambha Love. Indie pop band AJR which is made up of 3 brothers. was the guest on “Darlin’” which was originally sung by Carl Wilson. Beach Boys drummer John Cowsill sang lead on “Wild Woney,” which was also sung by Carl Wilson on the original recording. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” originally sung by Brian Wilson was recorded with the Beach Boys Jeffrey Foskett. Lastly, Good Vibrations was co-lead vocals between Love and Foskett. This is a great album for any Beach Boys fan whether you want to hear Love’s solo song or Beach Boys classics re-recorded with modern technology. All these tracks sound very close to the originals but in a new fashion.

Photos by Alex Kluft