Arranger: Brian Wilson .
Along with the Who, it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the Beach Boys compilations that have littered the marketplace since the 1960s. But undoubtedly one of the better (and more extensive) single-disc collections is the 30-track, 2001 Euro import, The Very Best of the Beach Boys. There have been few pop groups as exceptional, consistent, and influential as the Beach Boys were in their heyday, and all the hits that you'd expect are here -- and in digitally remastered sound, to boot. Since this is not a strict greatest-hits set, you get such expected all-time classics as "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Surfer Girl," and "Good Vibrations," but also included are such oft-overlooked tracks as "Darlin'," "Caroline No," and "Heroes and Villains," among others. And while it's a fair argument that the mysteriously absent "In My Room" could have/should have easily replaced "Kokomo" (would anyone have noticed if it was absent?), overall, Very Best Of is a solid Beach Boys overview. ~ Greg Prato