- A Top Copy: Triple Plus (A+++) on the second side, Double Plus (A++) on the first
- This pressing is surprisingly rich and smooth, with excellent bass and nice immediacy to the vocals
- One of the better sounding Beach Boys recordings that really comes to life on the best copies
- A 4 1/2 star album in the All Music Guide: “Brian Wilson once again back near the top of his game.”
This album — like Surf’s Up, which was released just after it — can really sound wonderful on a good pressing. If you love Pet Sounds, you’ll find plenty of the Beach Boys’ signature harmonies here, all recorded with real richness and warmth.
Don’t Go Near the Water
Long Promised Road
Take a Load off Your Feet
Disney Girls (1957)
Student Demonstration Time
Lookin’ at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)
A Day in the Life of a Tree
‘Til I Die
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). And the arrangements, tight and inventive, showed Brian Wilson once again back near the top of his game (though the production is credited to the entire band). Sunflower is also a remarkably cohesive album, something not seen from the Beach Boys since Pet Sounds. As with that album, Sunflower earned critical raves in Britain but was virtually ignored in America.