A Beach Boys album from 1970 - their first for Warner Bros. records, and their least commercially successful (at least in the US) up to that point.

Many fans' favourite album (and Bruce Johnston's personal favourite) and it's not hard to see why - it's more of a group effort than previously, with every band member getting at elast one songwriting credit (although Johnston, Brian Wilson and Dennis Wilson seem to have had most songwriting input, particularly Dennis), and produced largely by Carl Wilson (though the band as a whole get equal production credit).

Track list:

  1. Slip On Through
  2. This Whole World
  3. Add Some Music To Your Day
  4. Got To Know The Woman
  5. Deirdre
  6. It's About Time
  7. Tears In The Morning
  8. All I Wanna Do
  9. Forever
  10. Our Sweet Love
  11. At My Window
  12. Cool Cool Water

Currently available on Capitol Records as a twofer with Surf's Up

Previous album - 20/20
Previous album (UK) - Beach Boys Live In London
Next album - Surf's Up

Band line-up Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston

A little known fact about sunflowers, and other plants in their family, is that their 'flowers' are actually a composite of several to hundreds of flowers. Each 'petal', in fact, is a seperate flower, with one large lobe (called a ligule) sticking off of the side. Each little segment in the middle, which will turn into a single seed, is its own flower. It is amazingly strange and interesting that a plant would move from having one flower to having many close together, and then the mass of flowers, over time, melded together again to make one large composite flower containing thousands of individual reproductive structures, and very closely resembling a single flower.

The family in which these plants exist is called Asteraceae, or Compositae in older books, and contains such diverse plants as thistles, dandelions, asters, small trees, and desert-loving plants such as sagebrush.

If you're a plant nerd, and want to use a cheesy line on a girl, you can give a girl a single sunflower and inform her that it is actually thousands of flowers.

Sunflower is the common name for annual and perennial herbs from the genus of composite flowers. Is has about 70 different species and is thought to be native of South America. Now they are seen just about worldwide. Some of the taller growing sunflowers reach about 12 feet in height and the flower can be almost a meter in diameter.

But hey, why do they always turn to face the sun?

Well, as it turns out, the daily orientation of the flower to the sun is the result of the differential growth of the stem. The plant produces a growth regulator or auxin that accumulates on the shaded side when conditions of unequal light prevail. Because of this, the darker side grows faster than the sunlit side. Thus, the stem bends toward the sun.

Well, that being answered, what is it used for?

Besides the beauty they bring and paintings, poems and songs they inspire, the plants are mostly cultivated for their seeds. Refined sunflower seed oil is edible and is favorably compared to olive oil. Some of the cruder oil is used in making soap and candles. The oil cakes (solid residue after the oil is expressed) are used as cattle feed. The raw seeds are used in poultry mixes and are consumed in vast quantities by baseball players. The roots of one species, called the Jerusalem artichoke can be eaten boiled, stewed or baked

Underneath the star of David,
A hundred years behind behind my eyes,
And with my half of the ransom
I bought some sweet, sweet, sweet sweet sunflowers
And gave them to the night.

Sunflower"
--Low


If you drive through Kansas there are fields and fields of sunflowers that turn about to face the sun. Fantastic, whispering fields of black, yellow, and green rotating with the planet, following the light.

Pressed against the window of a dirty bus, I closed my eyes and imagined I was a sunflower, too. My face turned with the light and when I closed my eyes I saw bright pink. I wonder if that's what sunflowers see as they stretch upward. The bus pulled into a small gas station on the side of the road.

Have you ever sat in a bus for two days? Your knees begin to feel like jell-o and your ankles ache for pressure. I hopped off the bus just after an older woman and two small children and looked around. Fields of them, everywhere. I inhaled fresh Kansas air and stretched my hands to the sky. Across the two-lane highway leaned an ancient produce stand. Bright reds, oranges and greens against dirty grey wood, all under that beautiful blue sky. And in a barrel just near the old register: sunflowers.

Only these didn't turn in the sun. Couldn't.

Back on the bus, five freshly cut mammoth stalks of sunflower on the seat next to me, we drove on. They smelled sweet and I put them to the glass. They didn't search the sky. Neither did I.

By dusk we were in the middle of Nebraska, stopping again for a 15 minute chunk of peace and diesel. I waited on the bus with my traveling companions, running my fingertips through the hundreds of dark flowers that made up each larger one. The yellow petals felt like lettuce and velvet. They'd begun to wilt.

Perhaps it was the endless travel, or the quiet summer evening. I gathered the stems in bunches and dashed off the bus. There on the highway's shoulder, in a part of the country where prairie was a goddess, I left my beautiful Kansas sunflowers.

As the bus pulled away, I made a silent apology to myself and the flowers. I watched them from the back of the bus long after they were swallowed up by the night.

Sun"flow`er (?), n.

Any plant of the genus Helianthus; -- so called probably from the form and color of its flower, which is large disk with yellow rays. The commonly cultivated sunflower is Helianthus annuus, a native of America.

 

© Webster 1913.

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