The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (Capitol CDP-93694 2), Little Deuce Coup and All Summer Long (Capitol CDP- 93693 2), Surfer Girl and Shut Down Vol. 2 (Capitol CDP- 93692-2), Surfin' Safari (Capitol CDP-7-93691-2). Try to look at the bright side -- if global warming is as irreversible as all the ecological Cassandras claim, "Endless Summer" may come to pass all over the world and the Beach Boys will turn out to be international prophets. Already, their adolescent world of innocence, high surf and car engines displacing 409 cubic inches is one of the authentic American visions of earthly paradise. Capitol is bringing it all out on CD -- all the innocent pre-psychedelic stuff -- complete with lost tracks, backgrounds, single and LP versions of hits. Greatest-hits packages have their uses, but there's nothing like refurbished originals. -- Jeff Simon
Soul II Soul, Vol. II 1990, A New Decade (Virgin Records 91367-2). With rap artists grabbing attention because of controversial lyrics, listeners may well lose sight of the fact that the hip-hop movement of the mid-1970s that came from the urban ghettos of New York City also spawned a new approach to popular music. The hip-hop sound is identified by beat, overlays of melodies that remind us of jazz and funk, and rap rhymes or an urban type of street crooning best exemplified by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Jazzie B and Nelle Hooper, who hail from London's underground dance club culture, manage to put together all those elements in their follow-up to last year's hugely successful debut album. While the first single, "Get a Life," continues the dance-orientated theme of the first album, featured vocalists add a bluesy variety of songs to Latin and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. -- Carl Allen.