Recordings

In contrast to the above, there is a haunting version of Brian Wilson's early-'70s mortality epic "'Til I Die." It begins with a lonely sounding bass and adds vibraphones and other individual instruments one by one until the song suddenly stops, only to begin anew with vocals. It's a slow, sad and ultimately fatalistic song that reveals--maybe too clearly--the dark underside of this band's fun-fun-fun image.

The rest of the set is a grab bag of live cuts, unreleased songs, and some stereo remixes. At times it almost seems as if tracks were randomly picked from the documentary and scrambled to avoid any overt sign of conceptual coherence. It's all enjoyable stuff and endlessly fascinating for the band's earnest cult, but overall it's not quite up to the level of this decade's earlier instant classics.

--David Gofstein

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