Do You Wanna Dance?

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"Do You Want to Dance"
Single by Bobby Freeman
B-side Big Fat Woman
Released 1958
Label Josie
Writer(s) Bobby Freeman
"Do You Want to Dance"
Single by Cliff Richard and The Shadows
A-side I'm Lookin' Out the Window
Released May 1962 [1]
Recorded December 1961, EMI's Abbey Road
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bobby Freeman
Producer(s) Norrie Paramor

"Do You Want to Dance" is a song written by Bobby Freeman and recorded by him in 1958. Cliff Richard and the Shadows' version of the song reached No. 2 in the United Kingdom in 1962, despite being a B-side. It reached No. 8 in the United States when released by the Beach Boys in 1965 as "Do You Wanna Dance?", and a 1972 cover by Bette Midler ("Do You Want to Dance?") reached No. 17.

The Beach Boys version[edit]

"Do You Wanna Dance?"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Today!
B-side "Please Let Me Wonder"
Released February 15, 1965
Format Vinyl
Recorded January 11, 1965
Genre Rock
Length 2:21 (mono)
2:39 (stereo)
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"The Man with All the Toys"
"Do You Wanna Dance?"
"Help Me, Rhonda"
Today! track listing

The Beach Boys' version of "Do You Wanna Dance?" was a single released through Capitol Records on February 15, 1965. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the highest charting Beach Boys song to feature Dennis Wilson on lead vocals. According to the contemporary Gilbert Youth Survey conducted nationwide in April 1965, it spent one week on its chart at number five. The B-side was "Please Let Me Wonder". The song was also released on the 1965 album The Beach Boys Today!.


"Do You Wanna Dance?" was recorded on January 11, 1965 at Gold Star Studios and was produced, arranged and conducted by Brian Wilson. Take 3 of the song was used as the master. The song was first released in 1965 in mono on the band's album Today! with a stereo remix of the song being released in 2012 on the stereo remaster of that same album.[2]


The Beach Boys
Additional musicians and production staff

* derived from AFM contract sheets.[3]

Live versions[edit]

The song was rarely played live before the late 1980s. Due to the original lead singer, Dennis Wilson's death in 1983, the song was sung by band mate Bruce Johnston throughout the late 1980s and into the late 1990s. When original Beach Boy David Marks rejoined the group for a short stint in 1998, he began to take over the lead on the song. Following Marks departure in 1999, Johnston once again took over the lead on the song. The song has often been played as a medley with the Beach Boys single "Dance, Dance, Dance".

Brian Wilson has performed the song on most of his solo tours with Brian himself taking the lead. However in recent years backing band member Scott Bennett has taken over the lead.

During the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour the song was played with Brian on lead vocals.

Bette Midler version[edit]

Bette Midler included the song—with the original title restored, "Do You Want to Dance"—on her 1972 debut album The Divine Miss M. In contrast to the Bobby Freeman, Cliff Richard, and Beach Boys versions, which are uptempo rock and roll songs, Midler slowed the tempo of the song down to a sultry-sounding ballad. Midler's first single release, it was a hit, reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1973.

In 1985, Ula Hedwig, a Bette Midler-soundalike and former backup singer, sang the song emulating Bette Midler's version for a Mercury Sable television commercial. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that using this sound-alike version in a TV commercial violated Midler's right of publicity. Midler v. Ford Motor Co., 849 F.2d 460 (9th Cir. 1988).

Other versions[edit]

  • 1982 - Jan & Dean recorded and released the song on their album, One Summer Night/Live.
  • It was covered live during Neil Young's 1983 rockabilly period.
  • 1985 - Dave Edmunds on the soundtrack Porky's Revenge!
  • 1987 - Barbie and the Rockers in the "Rockin' Back to Earth" special (where they are erroneously referred to as "Barbie and the Sensations" in the special's title), a sequel to their previous special, "Out of this World".
  • 1988 - David Lindley and El Rayo-X on their "Very Greasy"
2000s (decade)

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "The OFFICIAL Cliff Richard website: Discography - Singles". Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  2. ^ Doe, Andrew G. (2012). "MONOSTEREO". Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Craig Slowinski (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!". Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ Cliff Richard and The Shadows: Do You Want to Dance at Discogs
  5. ^ "We Five Discography - USA". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Do You Wanna Dance". Retrieved 2014-02-09. 

External links[edit]