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Monday, June 5, 2017

The Beach Boys - "Don't Worry Baby" b/w "I Get Around" 45 rpm vinyl single, 1964 (Capital Records)


"Don't Worry Baby" is a great and kind of a sad song as well.  In fact, everything Brian Wilson wrote has that touch of sadness or tainted with failure.  Even the classic Beach Boys rocking tunes has a sense of regret or loss of innocence.  Roger Christian wrote the lyrics to this song, and in its narrative, it's a guy who is going to race his car, but there is a hint of either an accident or even death that may take place.  His girl tells him "Don't Worry Baby, Everything will turn out alright."  Yet, is that true? 

Kenneth Anger had the genius to capture the death aspect of hot rod culture.  A mixture of eros and death are partners in crime with respect to the teenage drag race pop song.   Brian & company were experts or the poets of that genre.   The song works as a beautiful statement regarding faith and believing in love.  Yet there is the flip of the coin where disaster can enter the narrative.  The listener can choose their own narration to "Don't Worry Baby."  Popular music works best when there is that cloud of mystery or the story being not totally clear.  We're invited to put our two-cents into the mix, and that is how the song sticks to the listener. 

"I Get Around" is a gang song.  A hot-rod or car culture gang.  One of the best songs about boredom and moving on.  It has that Mike Love swagger, and he's very much an underrated lyricist. He conveys a world /landscape where one has to conquer the others to keep his stance as number one.   It's interesting that he makes the distinction that they are the good guys and not the bad kids in town. Interesting piece of work.  My love for this song is the organ that gets a tad louder toward the end.  It's the little things that give me the greatest pleasure.