I can never get tired of this song! The overlapping vocal harmonies are wonderful. A good example of Brian Wilson's genius at creating a crafty, intricate production supported by a simple melody. Why this wasn't a huge hit I don't know (I believe it was their last single at Capitol and wasn't promoted very well).
08 Jul 03 ·johnnyweissmueller: I agree - I have just listened to the song for the first time ever and am entirely "won over" - superb - nothing childish about it; simple but great, humble, never overdoing it. This is imaginative genius at work - in this case it has gotten way, way less credit than it deserves. Thumbs up for a powerful voice in good surroundings.
This song has a very tender vocal, which I believe is by either Carl or Dennis, a super-cool reverb-laden piano and sweet handclaps that cue up organ and trumpets. As fully-realized a piece as anything on "Pet Sounds".
from Wild Honey (Capitol) available on CD - Wild Honey/Smiley Smile (Capitol)
06 Dec 05 ·Swinging London: I LOVE this song. From my favourite (under-rated) Beach Boys album, 'Wild Honey' (1967)
There's also a live version available on a Beach Boys 'Live' album, which I believe was recorded in London in 1968...they fluff the lyrics, which, actually, adds to the charm.
Anyway, thank you for reminding me of this little gem.
Sounds almost like a country-rock interpretation of their own early-60s hits, with absolutely breathtaking harmonies that prove that Brian wasn't the only gifted composer in the band. But what is that instrument in the background, a mellotron, perhaps? Great lyrics: "Have you ever been down Salinas way?/where Steinbeck found the valley/and he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin's with Charlie."
To me, songs like this best express the genius of Brian Wilson. Listen to the tender lyrics and vocal on this...this is the happiest he has ever sounded. (Given the time that this was recorded, it's almost depressing...this was probably also the last time in his life that he was truly happy. What the more poetic call bittersweet?) Yet, this is so mellow and unassuming. It's blissful, joyous - and above all else, madly in love, as evidenced by the spoken "I love you." at the end. The writing credits lists Wilson-Love, but all I can hear is Brian here. Mike Love was never this genuine.
As for the arrangement, it hints at what was to come with "Pet Sounds". Fender bass! Tambourines! Harpsichords! It's a beautiful thing, and Sonny Bono built his career off of it. Sleep well, sweet Congressman.
from The Beach Boys Today! (Capitol T-2269) available on CD - The Beach Boys Today!/Summer Days! (And Summer Nights!!) (Capitol)