Darlin' (The Beach Boys song)

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Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Wild Honey
B-side "Here Today"
Released December 18, 1967[1]
Format Vinyl
Genre Rock, soul
Length 2:12
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Wild Honey"
Wild Honey track listing

"Darlin'" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1967 album Wild Honey. It was also released as a single, with the B-side of the single being "Here Today" from the 1966 album Pet Sounds. The single peaked at #19 in the United States and #11 in the United Kingdom. The song was produced by The Beach Boys and featured Carl Wilson on lead vocals.


The song "Darlin'" is a re-write of a song that Brian and Mike had written years earlier called "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby" which was first recorded and released as a single in April 1964 by Sharon Marie - a previously unrecorded teenager who had informally auditioned for Brian and Mike (by singing opera standards) stageside after a Sacramento Beach Boys concert - with production by Brian himself. The song can be heard on the 2004 compilation Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions. In 1972, Brian's wife at the time, Marilyn, as well as her sister Diane were known as the duo American Spring. On their debut album Spring they covered the song "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby". After the song had been re-written as "Darlin'", Brian was planning to give the song to a band called Redwood (later to be known as Three Dog Night) as Danny Hutton was a friend of Brian's around that time, but the other Beach Boys members insisted that they should record the song.


The instrumental and vocal track was recorded under the production of Brian Wilson on October 27, 1967. The instrumental track of the song was released on the 1968 album Stack-O-Tracks.

Single release[edit]

The "Darlin'" single, backed with "Here Today", was issued by Capitol Records in the United States in December 1967. The single peaked at the number 19 position on the Billboard charts, but it placed at number 10 on the Cash Box sales chart. Radio station playlists indicated high popularity in Santa Barbara (#1), Los Angeles (#2), Baltimore and Norfolk (#4); Washington, Boston, Honolulu (all #5); San Diego, Fresno, Portland, Milwaukee, Louisville (all #6); Vancouver (#7), Toronto (#9), and New York (#14).

In the United Kingdom the single was issued in January 1968 with the B-side "Country Air". The single peaked at the number 11 position. In New Zealand the single peaked at the number 10 position. In Sweden it placed number 15, and in the Dutch single charts the song peaked at number 21.

Live versions[edit]

After the song was released it became a regular song in The Beach Boys live set. The song has subsequently been released on three of the band's live albums. First it was released on the band's original 1970 release Live In London in which it was the opening track on the album. It was then released in 1973 on the band's The Beach Boys In Concert live album (the 1973 version also appears on compilation album Ten Years of Harmony). Most recently it was released on the band's 2002 live album Good Timin': Live At Knebworth England 1980. Following Carl Wilson's death the song was often sung live by backing member and drummer John Cowsill

The song was performed by the Beach Boys during their 50th anniversary tour, with backing band member Darian Sahanaja singing Carl Wilson's part as he has done on several recent Brian Wilson solo tours.

The song also appeared on Brian Wilson's solo live album, Live at the Roxy Theatre.

Cover versions[edit]

One of the song's earliest cover versions was by The Paper Dolls, a British girl group and featured on their debut 1968 album Paper Dolls House.

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass released an instrumental version of Darlin' on their 1971 album Summertime.

David Cassidy recorded "Darlin'" for his 1975 album, The Higher They Climb. Cassidy's version of Darlin' was remixed from the album version and released as a single. It hit #16 in the UK, #1 in South Africa and was a big dance hit in Europe and the USA. Both the song and Cassidy's album was produced by Bruce Johnston, who had previously been a member of the Beach Boys (and would later rejoin the group). A live track of Cassidy's version is available on his album, Daydreamer.

Triumvirat recorded "Darlin'" on A la Carte released in 1978.

The song has twice returned to the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching #51 for Paul Davis in 1978, and two years later #68 for the Milwaukee-based band Yipes! with lead vocalist Pat McCurdy.[2]

BMX Bandits recorded a version of "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby", the original form of the song, on their 1993 EP Kylie's Got A Crush On Us.[3]

The song was covered by a short-lived indie rock group of the same name, which consisted of Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and Laurent Brancowitz which would later become the band Daft Punk, without Brancowitz.


  1. ^ Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-818-4 p. 208
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955-1999 (Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2000), 747.
  3. ^ Robbins, Ira. "BMX Bandits". Trouser Press. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 

External links[edit]