Both the Beach Boys and the band's fans are embracing the recently released album, The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The new set was produced by Nick Patrick and Don Reedman — the same team involved in the recent orchestrated works of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Roy Orbison. The new collection pairs the group's original vocal performances with new symphonic arrangements, newly recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London's Abbey Road Studios.
Mike Love spoke to Telegram.com about what a thrill it is to hear the revamped classics hitting the airwaves in a completely new way: “They’re playing 'Fun, Fun, Fun' on the radio these days, which is great. Brian (Wilson) and I wrote that years and years ago. I said, 'Brian, we ought to do a song about a girl who borrows her dad’s car and goes cruising to it rather than to the library' . . .They’ve done a great job of honoring the original vocal performances and complementing them with the orchestrations.”
One of the cuts getting the most attention is Bruce Johnson's 1971 classic “Disney Girls,” which was one of the highlights of the band's 1971 Surf's Up album, and over the years has been covered by Art Garfunkel, Cass Elliot, and Captain & Tennille. Johnston said of the new version, “They brought a dream to life. I never thought 'Disney Girls' would ever get this treatment. I couldn’t even imagine it this way. It’s a surprise.”
Bruce Johnston explained the backstory to “Disney Girls”: “Being in high school, junior high and high school in the '50s, y'know, the Eisenhower times, just a little more innocence. We were playing Carnegie Hall — I think it was for the second time — so, all of a sudden the Beach Boys went from being so totally uncool, to so totally underground hip, y'know? So, all these kids are jammin' in there to be cool in there from high school. And they couldn't wait to show us they inhaled (laughter). So — that's something I don't do, and I just thought, 'Well, I'm gonna write a song about what it was like at my age at 14, 15, 16, and what the times were like and that's what the song was about.”