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Keepin' the Summer Alive is the twenty-fourth studio album by American rock band The Beach Boys, released on March 24, 1980 on BrotherCaribou and CBS Records. Produced by band member Bruce Johnston, following aborted attempts to have Brian Wilson return to his former role, the album is the last to feature Dennis Wilson, who would subsequently drown in December 1983.

Background and recording[]

After the band's previous album, L.A. (Light Album) (1979), failed to live up to commercial and critical expectations, the executives at CBS expected Brian Wilson's full involvement, and thus, there was an attempt to lure him back into his former role of producer.

Wilson and vocalist Mike Love quickly composed new material, and in July 1979, The Beach Boys convened at Western Recorders in Los Angeles - the studio where most of the band's 1960s material had been produced by Brian - to begin work on a new studio album. Dennis Wilson, at odds with the rest of the group, abandoned the initial recording sessions, taking no further part in the album. These recording sessions were also stalled by Brian Wilson's desire to record only cover songs of rock n' roll tracks; one of these, Chuck Berry's "School Days", appears on the album's final track listing.

The band subsequently halted the sessions, and regrouped with Bruce Johnston taking complete control of the album's production, and placing the songs within a contemporary-sounding context. The album was recorded at regular backing band member Daryl Dragon's Rumbo Recorders in San Fernando, andAl Jardine's recording studio in his Big Sur barn. To fill the void Dennis Wilson had left, Scott Mathews served as the session drummer. Due to his consistent behind the scenes work, it was brought to Mathews' attention by Carl that his joining the band could be a good fit. Mathews passed on 'his dream gig' citing his lack of ambition to tour, his blossoming platinum level writing and production career but it was also to continue as close friends with both Carl andBrian Wilson.[5] The resulting album included a mixture of brand new songs alongside older song that hadn't been released up until that point. Of the new songs, "Keepin' the Summer Alive" and "Livin' With a Heartache" were written by Carl Wilson and Randy Bachman (of The Guess Who and Bachman–Turner Overdrive). The rest of the new songs, "Oh Darlin'", "Some of Your Love", "Goin' On" and "Sunshine" were written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson. The older songs date back to 1969 ("When Girls Get Together"), 1972 ("Endless Harmony", the only track on the album where Dennis can be heard) and 1978 ("Santa Ana Winds").

Track listing[]

Side one
No. TitleWriter(s)Lead Vocals Length
1. "Keepin' the Summer Alive"  C. Wilson/BachmanCarl Wilson 3:43
2. "Oh Darlin'"  B. Wilson/LoveC. Wilson/M. Love 3:52
3. "Some of Your Love"  B. Wilson/LoveLove/C. Wilson 2:36
4. "Livin' with a Heartache"  C. Wilson/BachmanC. Wilson 4:06
5. "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)"  Chuck BerryAl Jardine 2:52

Side two
No. TitleWriter(s)Lead Vocals Length
1. "Goin' On"  B. Wilson/LoveLove/B. Wilson/C. Wilson 3:00
2. "Sunshine"  B. Wilson/LoveLove/B. Wilson/C. Wilson 2:52
3. "When Girls Get Together"  B. Wilson/LoveLove/B. Wilson 3:31
4. "Santa Ana Winds"  B. Wilson/Al JardineJardine/Love/C. Wilson 3:14
5. "Endless Harmony"  Bruce JohnstonJohnston/C. Wilson 3:10


The Beach Boys
  • Brian Wilson - lead, harmony and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Carl Wilson - lead, harmony and backing vocals, guitar
  • Al Jardine - lead, harmony and backing vocals, guitar, spoken word introduction on "Santa Ana Winds"
  • Mike Love - lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Bruce Johnston - lead, harmony, and backing vocals, keyboard, production
  • Dennis Wilson - harmony and backing vocals, drums and percussion on "Endless Harmony"
Additional musicians
  • Ricky Fataar - drums, percussion
  • Steve Ross
  • Ricci Martin
  • John Hobbs
  • Joe Walsh - guitar (solo on track 1)
  • Daryl Dragon - keyboards
  • Caleb Quaye
  • Gary Mallaber
  • Joel Peskin - saxophone
  • Steve Douglas - saxophone
  • Dick Hyde – trombone
  • Billy Walker
  • Brian Garofalo
  • Chuck Findley
  • Mike Meros - keyboards
  • Steve Forman
  • Igor Horoshevsky
  • Bill House
  • Vince Charles
  • Ray Armando
  • Scott Mathews - drums, vocals
  • Efrain Toro
  • Bob Alcivar - horn arrangements
  • Harry Betts - string arrangements
Recording personnel
  • Bruce Johnston - producer
  • Steve Desper - chief engineer, mixing
  • Chuck Leary - engineer
  • Chuck Britz - engineer
  • Rodney Pearson - engineer
  • Brian Behrns - second engineer
  • John Alvin - illustration
  • Tony Lane - art direction
  • Gary Nichamin - photography


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