Friday, February 22, 2008

Mike Love - First Love/Country Love

1978 was a very, very weird time for the Beach Boys. After the success of their Endless Summer album in 1975, the immensely popular Brian's Back campaign and the minor success of their albums 15 Big Ones and Love You it seemed like the Beach Boys were about to fall apart, again.

Dennis Wilson had just released his first solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, in 1977 to great reviews and moderately good sales, and I'm sure this caused an unspoken amount of uncertainty about the future of the group. And with the ever increasingly erratic performances and no shows of Brian Wilson at their live concerts, not to mention Dennis and Carl's tendency to be drunk on stage, it seemed like this could be the final blow for the Beach Boys. Things got so bad that The Beach Boys were forced to apologize for a terrible performance in Perth, Australia in 1978.

All of this must have made Mike Love think "Now is a great time to unleash my cosmic genius on an unsuspecting public!" After all he had been part of a successful side band called Celebration throughout the 70s, so why not just take the center stage?

Well, this was the worst idea of all time.

Throughout October and November of 1978 Mike Love made 2 albums simultaneously, First Love and Country Love. [sarcasm] For some strange reason neither of these albums were ever released, but at least us die hard fans still have the recordings. [/sarcasm]

But seriously, these songs are terrible. They sound bad quality wise, and they are just boring songs. I admit, I like Viggie and Brian's Back, but they never would have made any kind of dent in American popular music at that time, or ever. Mike Love never learned from the mistakes of this album, as most of the material has appeared on subsequent Beach Boys albums and other solo debacles he attempted later.

However, if you thought First Love couldn't get any worse, wait until you get into the other album in this folder, Country Love. I have always, always hated Country music, so to me this album is a personal attack against all that I hold dear and good. It's like Mike Love is trying to rape my family and kill my God with one album.

Songs like Dallas and Rock N Roll Country Bride are just so awful it literally makes me want to put in a Garth Brooks album just to see if I can appreciate legitimate country music a little bit more. I still have never done this, but God I thought about it. The only song from this album (besides the 2 covers) to ever show its ugly head anywhere else is the song Everyone's In Love With You, which appeared on the Beach Boys album 15 Big Ones two years before. The Beach Boys version is massively, insanely superior to Mike Love's solo version.

So I present you with the track listing to Mike Love's first 2 solo albums, and I strongly suggest you only download this if you are in need of some hearty guffawing.


1. First Love
2. Too Cruel
3. You're Looking Better
4. Little Darlin'
5. I Don't Wanna Know
6. Brian's Back
7. Viggie
8. The Right Kind of Love
9. Sumahama
10. Day Break
11. Tricia


12. Today I Started Loving You Again
13. Dallas
14. Beth On The Mesa
15. Brand New Start
16. Baby I'm A Changed Man
17. Rock N' Roll Country Bride
18. Everything I Touch Turns To Tears
19. Wrinkles
20. My Side of the Bed
21. Everyone's In Love With You
22. Some Sweet Day
23. Hey Good Lookin'

Click Here To Download
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Anonymous said...

I'm currently downloading this double debacle. Getting ready to go into mega-cringe mode.

wrinkles = the pits said...

Truly awful. The Lovester has not got a clue. To think he wrote Good Vibrations and all the big Beach Boys hits (ho-hum). These tracks tell the real story.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and a good education for unsuspecting fans.

Do you have his 'semi-redeeming' and also unreleased Unleash The Love album effort from 2004?

warnakey said...

To the anonymous poster:

I used to have Unleash the love from 2004. I have since deleted it. But, before I did delete it I wrote a review of it on the Smiley Smile forums.

You can read my old review in their archives here:;wap2

You can also read a review from another blog about his latest attempt at a solo album here:

- eric

Anonymous said...

Wow. You're review has really sparked my interest.

Can someone else please make Unleash the Love available for those who missed it the first time around?

Please? Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

you can download unleash the love here:


Alex said...

Am I gonna lose all kinds of credibility if I say I quite like 'First Love' (Haven't listened to 'Country Love'). I mean it's not exceptional but not a travesty as I was expecting. I'd recommend people give it a listen as it does have it's moments

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got these songs in better quality? Maybe somebody has got a Japanese release of these songs by Darkside Productions? Here you've got the cover of the japanese edition:

Dr. VonFiend said...

Amazingly 4 songs from First Love have come out on the new "Unleash the Love" album Mike released, 40 years later. Man he must really believe in these songs!!!