The Beach Boys' crossover to the counterculture was one of the most welcome, if strangest, phenomena of the late '60s. After all, though leader Brian Wilson had been on the board of the Monterey Pop Festival, the 1967 event that essentially announced the new rock to the world, he refused to perform with his own band for fear that the hippie audience would laugh them off the stage. By the early '70s, however, the band's popularity was waning: Wilson's eccentricities had begun to devolve into serious, highly public episodes of mental illness that left the band rudderless and on the verge of becoming, for all intents, an oldies act. Perhaps sensing this, the group's former label, Capitol Records, released this two-LP collection of the band's '60s hits in 1974, and to everybody's shocked surprise it quickly went platinum (ending up, in fact, the Beach Boys' biggest hit of the '70s). There have been better-sounding reissues since, but ENDLESS SUMMER is the best collection of the group's most influential and endearing material -- a mix of surf songs, ballads as beautiful as "Don't Worry Baby," and timeless odes to cruising, carburetors, and girls.