Beach Boys fans are still counting their blessings for the massive amount of material the band released at the end of December with three digital-only collections featuring a treasure trove of unreleased music. The studio and live sets were issued to exert ownership over unreleased tracks, which due to copyright laws, would fall into public domain if not officially released by their 50-year mark. The two new studio sets — 1968 – Wake The World: The 'Friends' Sessions and 1968 – I Can Hear Music: The '20/20' Sessions, collectively feature a whopping 72 tracks spread over two-and-a-half hours.
In addition to that, the band also dropped the colossal 114-track live collection, The Beach Boys On Tour: 1968 (Live). The set features mono soundboards from the band's summer '68 shows in Chicago, Illinois; Fargo, North Dakota; Waterloo, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; Phoenix, Arizona; and three professionally recorded multi-track concerts from that December in London.
Grammy Award-winning producers Mark Linett (pronounced: LINN-ett) and Alan Boyd once again compiled the sets and burrowed deep into the vaults to curate an alternate history spotlighting Brian Wilson's last moments as the Beach Boys' primary driving force and the ascension of Dennis Wilson as a groundbreaking and world class songwriter and producer.
Once the project was green-lit, Alan Boyd explained that due to the care and diligence shown to the band's archives over the years, they knew exactly where to look for the key material needed for the collection: “These projects were done under a fairly tight deadline and we had a lot of live material to pile through. It took us quite a while just to sort out all of the London, UK Live In London tapes. We'd researched this (studio) material long ago. We had done preservation transfers and rough reference mixes of everything. The choices were fairly easy on this one.”