All Summer Long is the sixth studio album by The Beach Boys and their second in 1964. It rose to number four in the US during a forty-nine week chart stay, and was certified gold by the RIAA. The album's sessions were recorded in the aftermath of the British Invasion, marking a major turning point in the Beach Boys' career, and in bandleader/primary songwriter Brian Wilson as an artist. For a brief period of time following its release, All Summer Long was to be their final album which reveled in California beach culture.
"Drive-In" was recorded shortly after the release of Little Deuce Coupe in October 1963. Beginning in February 1964, Wilson engaged in a rigorous period of songwriting, emerging some weeks afterwards with songs including "I Get Around", "All Summer Long", "Wendy" and "Girls on the Beach". "I Get Around" preceded the album's release by some two months and quickly raced to become their first number one single in the United States; they also had a UK Top 10 debut with a number seven peak.
There was a major change in the internal structure of The Beach Boys during sessions. After enduring father and manager Murry Wilson's domineering ways for over two years, the band had reached their breaking point, and during the recording session for "I Get Around", the musicians dismissed him as manager. An attempt at reconciliation on Murry's part, much of it captured on the tapes for the 1965 single version of "Help Me, Rhonda", cemented the break.
Photography was credited to both Kenneth Veeder and George Jerman (who had taken the photographs for the bands earlier albums) but it remains unclear as to who took the color pictures in the montage on the front of the sleeve, or the black and white studio shots on the reverse. The location for the shoot was once again Paradise Cove, north of Malibu, the same location used for the Surfin' Safari sleeve. However, whilst it appears that all five band members were present for the session only Brian, Carl, Dennis and Mike were photographed on the sand (along with the two girls, in various outfits) - Al was absent that day for a case of Flu and his images were added at a later date.
On first pressings of the LP, the song "Don't Back Down" is misprinted as "Don't Break Down" on the front cover. This version of the LP sleeve also has the song titles printed in the same mustard-colored ink as the album title. Subsequent printings with the typo corrected have the song titles printed in black.
7 of the 12 songs have been performed by either The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson as a solo artist. "I Get Around" has become the only concert staple from the album, although several other songs on the album have been played many times as well.
"All Summer Long", "Hushabye", "Little Honda" and "Wendy" have all been played live by The Beach Boys on many occasions. "All Summer Long" has often been played as part of a medley with "Help Me Rhonda". It has also been used as part of Brian Wilson's encore on many occasions. "Little Honda" and "Hushabye" have also been played at as many shows as has "Wendy", although in recent years Bruce Johnston has taken over Mike Love's lead on the song.
"Don't Back Down" had been played infrequently before the mid 2000s, when the Mike Love led Beach Boys began to play it frequently. The song was also part of the opening medley at most of the Band's 50th Anniversary Tour shows. The final song, "Drive-In", has been played by Brian Wilson a handful of times, however never by The Beach Boys.