I wish I could say that the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys has been handled with nothing but class, but with their brief reunion already over, it has been a little messier than that. For a band to stay together (sort of) for 50 years is nothing less than remarkable. Given the history of the group, the volatile situation surrounding the reunion is none too surprising. Although it is unlikely that we will see  Mike Love and Brian Wilson together onstage again, the classic music that they have made over the years can never be denied. The new two-CD set 50 Big Ones is an excellent overview of the recorded works of The Beach Boys from 1962 to 2012.

For this official version of The Beach Boys story, the 1966 Pet Sounds album marks the halfway point of their career. There are 25 songs from the years 1962-1966, and 25 from 1967-2012. Although the collection is not presented in strictly chronological order, the majority of the first disc is drawn from the period up to and including Pet Sounds, and the second from then all the way up to this year's That's Why God Made the Radio.

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