Sunflower is the 16th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released in August 1970, and their first on Reprise Records. record charts during a four-week stay, and becoming the lowest-charting Beach Boys album to that point. In the UK, the album performed better, peaking at number 29.
Written-By – Brian Wilson. Sunflower (LP, Album). Reprise Records, Brother Records (3). RS 6382.
After Reprise rejected what was to be their debut album for the label, the Beach Boys re-entered the studio to begin work on what would become a largely different set of songs. The results signaled a creative rebirth for the band, a return to the beautiful harmonies and orchestral productions of their classic mid-'60s material. Though the songwriting didn't quite reach the high quality of "California Girls" or "God Only Knows," Sunflower showed the Beach Boys truly working as a band, and doing so better than they ever had in the past (or would in the future).
Well, I’m proud of Cool, Cool water, Brian assures, because that was a divinely inspired song. I had just moved into a new house on Bellagio Road in Bel Air, in March of 1967, and the first day I moved in, there was a piano there, and I went to the piano and wrote Cool, Cool Water. I sat down and wrote the gist of it, the basic song. It was finished much later of course. Sings) Gimme some cool, cool water. Gone from the final Sunflower lineup were Al and Brian’s Good Time – That was a very good cut; it brings back pleasant memories. This open ambivalence toward so respected a Beach Boys album indicates the tension and turmoil surrounding the often-perplexing popular impasse the group faced during this period. Trying to fit in culturally while remaining in tune with its own collective Muse proved so difficult that the album is an unwonted ledger of The Beach Boys’ early ‘70s growing pains.
Behind the scenes, the Beach Boys were in chaos, having discarded three albums in one year. So it’s something of a surprise that Wild Honey is as relaxed-sounding an album as the band ever made. The tendrils of Smile wend below the surface, a specter that continued to haunt their works, like the dreamy harmony explorations like Cool, Cool Water (eventually on 1970’s Sunflower ), the stacked backing vocals on their cover of Stevie Wonder’s I Was Made to Love Her, and-most significantly-in another lost masterpiece Wild Honey outtake, Can’t Wait Too.
Produced by Don Law. Album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. All day I've faced a barren waste Without the taste of water, cool water. Old Dan and I with throats burned dry And souls that cry for water Cool, clear water. The nights are cool and I'm a fool Each star's a pool of water Cool water. And with the dawn I'll wake and yawn And carry on to water Cool, clear water. Keep a-movin, Dan, dontcha listen to him, Dan He's a devil, not a man And he spreads the burning sand with water.