On this day in music history: May 15, 1972 – “Carl & The Passions – So Tough”, the eighteenth studio album by The Beach Boys is released. Produced by The Beach Boys, it is recorded at Brother Studios in Los Angeles, CA from December 4, 1971 – April 13, 1972. The album is recorded during a period of transition with the band in flux. During this time frame, Carl Wilson takes over the duties of leading the band, with older brother Brian Wilson struggling with various personal issues, his musical contributions are minimal to the project. Brother Dennis Wilson, sidelined with a hand injury is unable to play drums at the time of the sessions, primarily contributing keyboards and vocals. In spite of being sidelined from playing his main instrument, Dennis’ previously untapped talents as a songwriter are brought to the fore on the two tracks “Cuddle Up” and “Make It Good”, both co-written by him and keyboardist Daryl Dragon (later of The Captain & Tennille). Early in the sessions, bassist Bruce Johnston abruptly quits after an argument with the band’s manager. Carl recruit guitarists Blondie Chaplin and drummer Ricky Fataar to fill in the vacant spots in the band. Originally issued as a double LP set with the second disc being a reissue of their 1966 masterpiece “Pet Sounds”, fan and critical response to the album is largely indifferent and it sells poorly. Over time the album has become a cult classic and a favorite among hardcore Beach Boys fans. “Carl & The Passions – So Tough” peaks at number fifty on the Billboard Top 200, and number twenty five on the UK album chart.
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