Thursday, February 28, 2013

That time when the Beach Boys covered the Beatles

Assorted Beatles and Beach Boys hanging out with the Maharishi, circa 1967-68.
In 1965, the Beach Boys put out an album of informal live covers called Beach Boys' Party! (exclamation point sic). The conceit is that you're at a house party that just happens to be played by the Beach Boys: there's lots of stagey background noise, laughter, and hand-clapping, and Dennis Wilson doesn't play anything bigger than the bongos. What's wonderful is that you get to hear the Beach Boys playing other people's music: "The Times They Are A-Changin'," for one, and also several Hard Day's Night and Help-era Beatles songs, like this cover of "Tell Me Why":


Unfortunately, there are no examples of the Beatles singing, say, "God Only Knows" (though we can pray that there might be moldering acetate of such a blessed event out there somewhere); "Back In the USSR" is, however, obviously an oblique Beach Boys reference. And as you can see from the picture above, they had a shared interest in transcendental meditation. Some fans even say that it's implicit from the lyrics ("Full speed ahead, Mr. Barkley! ... Aye, sir, fire!") that the yellow submarine was really on the hunt for the Sloop John B—probably one reason why the crew of the latter had such an awful time on board. 

Additionally, let me take you down: check out my now fully-linked-up archive of things I've written here. Nothing to get hung about. 

No comments:

Post a Comment