The Beach Boys: selected songs, 1962-1965
(above) The Beach Boys during their debut Hollywood Bowl performance on 19 October 1963 as the last act on Y-Day, an event sponsored by the Hollywood YMCA and local station KFWB. They performed four hits plus an a cappella tribute to the radio station. Preceding them (according to “The Beach Boys Gigography, Tour History” at Songkick.com) were Duane Eddy, Jan and Dean, and The Rivingtons. However, Bobby Vinton rather than The Rivingtons was reportedly advertised. The Beach Boys setlist: 1. Little Deuce Coupe, 2. In My Room, 3. Be True To Your School, 4. Surfer Girl, 5. KFWB Theme.
Lonely Sea (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher) recorded 13 June 1962 (outtake, Surfin’ Safari sessions) released on Surfin’ USA album 25 March 1963
Surfin’ Safari (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — Capitol 4777, b/w 409 was the second Beach Boys single, and their first for Capitol. It was recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California, on 19 April 1962, as a demo. Also recorded at the same demo session were 409, Lonely Sea, and Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.
Mike Love — lead vocal
Brian, Carl, & Dennis Wilson, Mike Love — back vocals
Carl Wilson — guitar
David Marks — guitar
Brian Wilson — bass
Dennis Wilson — drums
LP: Surfer Girl — released 16 September 1963
Surfer Girl (Brian Wilson) — released 22 July 1963 (Capitol 5009), US #7, b/w “Little Deuce Coupe” (US #15)
Little Deuce Coupe (Brian Wilson, Roger Christian) — first issued 22 July 1963 as the B-side of the single Surfer Girl (Capitol 5009). Surfer Girl peaked at #7, while Little Deuce Coupe reached #15 on the Hot 100 chart.
(below) Live, from the Lost Concert, 1964
In My Room (Brian Wilson, Gary Usher) — issued as the B-side of the single Be True to Your School (Capitol 5069); US #23
LP: Shut Down Volume 2 — released 2 March 1964
Don’t Worry Baby (Brian Wilson, Roger Christian) — from the 1964 album Shut Down Volume 2. It was also released on 11 May 1964 as the B-side of I Get Around, which became the first #1 single by the Beach Boys. Don’t Worry Baby reached #24.
The Warmth of the Sun (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — Recorded on 1 and 8 January 1964, and released in March on the Beach Boys’ fifth studio album, Shut Down Volume 2. On 26 October 1964 it was issued as the B-side of the single Dance, Dance, Dance (Capitol 5306), and reached #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.
- Read “The Story Behind The Beach Boys’ Classic The Warmth of the Sun” at forgottenhits.com.
The Beach Boys’ Lost Concert — concert date: 15 March 1964(?)
1. Fun, Fun, Fun
2. Long Tall Texan
3. Little Deuce Coupe
4. Surfer Girl
5. Monster Mash (missing from video)
6. Surfin’ USA
7. Shut Down
8. In My Room
LP: All Summer Long — released 13 July 1964
I Get Around (Brian Wilson, Mike Love)
Live in concert at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in the T.A.M.I Show, 29 October 1964
All Summer Long (Brian Wilson, Mike Love)
LP: Today! — released 8 March 1965
The album is notable for having one side of up-beat songs and a second side of melancholic ballads. On the first half, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man),” “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Do You Wanna Dance?” were all hits, and “Help Me, Rhonda” would later be reworked to deliver the Beach Boys their second #1 hit in May. The second side indicates Wilson’s continuing maturation as an artist, with more sophisticated production values and deeper subject matter foreshadowing the following year’s Pet Sounds.
Kiss Me, Baby (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — Third track on side two of the album Today!, and B-side of the single “Help Me, Rhonda,” Capitol 5395
Please Let Me Wonder (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — B-side of “Do You Wanna Dance,” Capitol 5372 — peak chart positions: “Do You Wanna Dance,” #12; “Please Let Me Wonder,” #52
She Knows Me Too Well (Brian Wilson) — B-side of When I Grow Up (To Be a Man), Capitol 5245
Help Me, Rhonda (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — After the album version, with the name spelled “Ronda,” began to receive airplay, Brian Wilson decided to rework and re-record the song to be released as a single. The revised version was recorded on 24 February 1965. Help Me, Rhonda b/w Kiss Me, Baby, Capitol 5395, was released on 5 April 1965 and became the band’s second #1 single. The hit single, in turn, became the final track on side one of the followup Beach Boys album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). Al Jardine sings lead for the first time on a Beach Boys recording.
single Capitol 5395, b/w Kiss Me, Baby — issued on 5 April 1965
(below) stereo version, from the LP Summer Days, Capitol DT 2354
Girl Don’t Tell Me (Brian Wilson) — Track 5 on side one of the album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), and B-side of the single Barbara Ann (Capitol F 5561), released 20 December 1965
“Girl Don’t Tell Me” was structured very much like The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride“, from the guitar breaks to the drum rolls. Brian Wilson claimed in his autobiography Wouldn’t It Be Nice that he wrote this song for The Beatles to record, though there’s no evidence he ever actually submitted the song to them.
California Girls (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — A-side of the single Capitol 5464, b/w Let Him Run Wild, released 12 July 1965
Let Him Run Wild (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) — B-side of the single California Girls, Capitol 5464
The Little Girl I Once Knew (Brian Wilson) — b/w There’s No Other (Like My Baby) Capitol K 23 123, recorded 13 & 24 October 1965
The last new original song the group produced before the album Pet Sounds, it was not included on any regular Beach Boys album, but has since been collected on several anthologies (its first LP appearance being volume 3 of the group’s Best Of series) and as a bonus track on reissues of Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!).
The song is notable for innovative use of two dramatic periods of near-silence lasting several seconds each. As radio stations preferred to avoid dead air time, the song was poorly received by radio stations, which may account for its relatively low chart rating among their other singles of the period, including “California Girls” and “Barbara Ann”.
Barbara Ann (Fred Fassert)
A 1961 recording, as Barbara-Ann, by The Regents was a #13 hit. The Beach Boys recorded the song on 25 September 1965. The band’s last issued single of 1965, Barbara Ann, b/w Girl Don’t Tell Me (Capitol 5561), was released on 20 December 1965. The album version is a 1:18 longer.
The most famous cover version is by…The Beach Boys. The song was released as a single on December 20, 1965, with the B-side “Girl Don’t Tell Me”. The song peaked at #2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 (#1 in Cash Box and Record World) and at #3 in the UK It also topped the charts in Germany, Switzerland and Norway. It was The Beach Boys’ biggest hit in Italy, reaching #4.