Beach Boys' Party! is an album of mostly cover songs, featuring acoustic instruments, by American rock band the Beach Boys that was recorded for and marketed during the lucrative Christmas season. The original album release included a sheet of photographs of the band 'appearing' to be at the party at hand. It was the Beach Boys' tenth album release, and their third in 1965. Although it was recorded in a music studio, it is presented as an impromptu live recording of a party.
- 2 Reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Sales chart positions
- 6 References
- 7 Sources
- 8 External links
Background and recording
In August, after the release of Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), the Beach Boys' leader Brian Wilson was contemplating his next studio effort, which would turn out to be Pet Sounds. Capitol Records requested a new album for the holiday season (and "Pet Sounds" was just beginning to be developed, and would not be prepared in time). Since The Beach Boys' Christmas Album had been released the previous year, as had a live performance via Beach Boys Concert, the "live party" idea was selected to reflect the togetherness of the holiday spirit. Sporadically during September, the band and their friends rehearsed current and older hits (including revisiting the Rivingtons' "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow"). Although presented as a live recording, the individual songs were recorded carefully, and laughter and background chatter was mixed in during post-production.
The album included versions of the Beatles' "Tell Me Why", "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "I Should Have Known Better"; "Devoted to You" by the Everly Brothers; the Phil Spector produced "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" and a send-up of their own "I Get Around" and "Little Deuce Coupe".
Beach Boys' Party! was recorded as a "fun", disposable album for the Christmas market, rather than the band's next artistic statement, and as such, the album wasn't originally intended to have a single. Several other songs were also recorded, but not put on the album. This included a rendition of the Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride", three takes of the Rolling Stones "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", a version of the Drifters' "Ruby Baby", which would later appear on Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys, a version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and the song "Riot In Cell Block #9" (which would later be played live in the early 1970s, and subsequently reworked as "Student Demonstration Time" for the Beach Boys' Surf's Up album), and several other songs, all of which can be found on bootlegs.
In November, 1965, the Beach Boys released the single "The Little Girl I Once Knew" which repeatedly used a measure of silence in the arrangement and was reportedly disliked by radio programmers due to their avoidance of having "dead air", this has been cited as being partially responsible for the single stalling at US number 20. Still wanting to play new material by the band, radio disc jockeys around the United States began starting to play the last track of Party!straight off the LP, a cover of The Regents' "Barbara Ann". After receiving good listener's response, "Barbara Ann" was promptly issued as a single by Capitol when they started hearing from radio programmers, and became a number 2 hit in early 1966.
Beach Boys' Party! reached number 6 in the US. Beach Boys' Party! and the surprise hit single "Barbara Ann" became the Beach Boys' biggest successes yet in the UK, both reaching number 3 in early 1966 and making them stars in the Beatles' homeland.
- In 1997, the Canadian Indie Rock group Sloan, released an EP entitled Recorded Live at a Sloan Party! (a.k.a. The Party Album) as a bonus disc to the US release of One Chord To Another in homage to the Beach Boys' Party! LP. Like the Beach Boys' Party! album, Recorded Live At A Sloan Party! mixes acoustic versions of old classics and songs originally written and recorded by other artists, and presents a supposed gathering that was actually constructed in the studio.
- Rivers Cuomo revealed that the Beach Boys' Party! album inspired Weezer's 2008 "Hootenanny Tour," in which fans would be invited to bring their own instruments to play along with the band. Cuomo also named it as his favorite all-time Summer album in a July 2008 issue of Entertainment Weekly.
- In 2003, Netherlands pop-punk band The Travoltas released Party! in homage to the Beach Boys' Party! which includes acoustic covers of Beach Boys and other surf-rock tracks. Like the original Beach Boys' Party! album and subsequent tribute albums (e.g. Live at a Sloan Party!), the album includes the ambient sounds of a party, spontaneous-sounding singalongs, glasses clanking, etc.
- In 2013 indie-rock band Hellogoodbye released a live album entitled Did It Kill You? (reference to their album Would It Kill You?. The album was recorded live, acoustic, referenced Beach Boys' Party! and contained a cover of "Barbara Ann".
|1.||"Hully Gully"||Fred Smith/Cliff Goldsmith||Mike Love||2:22|
|2.||"I Should Have Known Better"||John Lennon/Paul McCartney||Carl Wilson/Al Jardine||1:40|
|3.||"Tell Me Why"||Lennon–McCartney||Jardine/C. Wilson||1:46|
|4.||"Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow"||Carl White/Al Frazier/Sonny Harris/Turner Wilson Jr.||Brian Wilson/Love||2:18|
|5.||"Mountain of Love"||Harold Dorman||Love||2:51|
|6.||"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"||Lennon–McCartney||Dennis Wilson||2:56|
|7.||"Devoted to You"||Boudleaux Bryant||Love/B. Wilson||2:13|
|1.||"Alley Oop"||Dallas Frazier||Love||2:56|
|2.||"There's No Other (Like My Baby)"||Phil Spector/Leroy Bates||B. Wilson||3:05|
|3.||"Medley: "I Get Around" / "Little Deuce Coupe"||Brian Wilson/Mike Love/Roger Christian||Love||3:12|
|4.||"The Times They Are a-Changin'"||Bob Dylan||Jardine||2:23|
|5.||"Barbara Ann"||Fred Fassert||B. Wilson/Dean Torrence||3:23|
- Al Jardine – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Bruce Johnston – vocals, bass
- Mike Love – vocals
- Brian Wilson – vocals, bass
- Carl Wilson – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Dennis Wilson – vocals
- Dean Torrence – vocals
- Hal Blaine – ashtrays
In 1990, Beach Boys' Party! was paired on CD with Stack-O-Tracks with bonus instrumental tracks. The bonus instrumental tracks include "Help Me, Rhonda", "California Girls", and "Our Car Club". In 2012, the first stereo mix of Beach Boys' Party! was released.
Sales chart positions
|1965||German Albums Chart||4|
|1966||UK Top 40 Album Chart||3|
|1966||US Billboard 200 Albums Chart||6|
|1966||"Barbara Ann"||US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart||2|
|1966||"Barbara Ann"||UK Top 40 Single Chart||3|
Chart information courtesy of Allmusic and other music databases.