Best of The Beach Boys Vol. 2 is the 1967 sequel to the previous year's hits package. It was compiled by Capitol Records rather hastily after Brian Wilson had announced the shelving of Smile, the album he had spent the better part of a year toiling on. Released at a perilous moment in the Beach Boys' career, the appearance of their past glories on Best of The Beach Boys Vol. 2 perhaps helped confirm to the general public that the band was not up to the challenge of the new psychedelic music, spearheaded by The Beatles', Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band and The Jimi Hendrix Experience's radical debut Are You Experienced.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
Almost exactly one year after Capitol Records issued its first Best of the Beach Boys album (to cover the perceived weak performance of Pet Sounds) came this second volume, and once again it was a creation born of expediency. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys had spent most of the second half of 1966 and the first half of 1967 working on the concept album SMiLE before abandoning it in the late spring of 1967; as a stopgap measure, to get something new into the hands of fans, Capitol Records once more raided the Beach Boys' back catalog. But Best of the Beach Boys vol. 2 ranges a bit further than its predecessor. The label was obviously still uncomfortable promoting the "new" Beach Boys music from Pet Sounds and beyond, so there's no sign of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" or even "Sloop John B," and the compilation is still in the era of surf and car songs, with the expected hits including "I Get Around," "California Girls," "Help Me, Rhonda," "Surfin'' Safari," "Barbara Ann," and "409." But they're interspersed with some of the most unusual work of their early period, including the ethereal "Please Let Me Wonder" and the exquisitely textured "Don't Worry Baby," along with two of the more thoughtful teen anthems of the period, "Let Him Run Wild" and "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)."