Album: All Summer Long
Here’s a bit of heresy: with a couple of exceptions, I prefer the early exuberant Beach Boys singles over the teenage symphonies to god that ended up breaking Brian Wilson’s brain.
As far as I’m concerned, creating or at least popularizing “Surf Music” by welding teenage concerns & barbershop harmonies to Chuck Berry licks was pretty fucking revolutionary in and of itself. And the automatic singalong “I Get Around” is a prime example of the Beach Boys as a rock ‘n’ roll hit machine.
Even discounting the vocals – which, no, why would you do that? – the music here is pretty sophisticated. Opening with the chorus is always a strong gambit, but my favorite bit is how they invoke The Handclap Rule in order to kick the second half of each verse into high gear, followed by either just a guitar riff and bam into another verse, or straight into the chorus.
The end result is all forward motion, the musical equivalent of the getting around they’re endlessly singing about.
“I Get Around”
My Certain Songs Playlist on Spotify