Don't Worry Baby

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"Don't Worry Baby"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Shut Down Volume 2
A-side "I Get Around"
Released May 11, 1964
Format Vinyl
Recorded February 20th, 1964
Genre Surf rock, pop[1]
Length 2:47
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Brian Wilson, Roger Christian
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)
"I Get Around"
(1964)
"When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)"
(1964)
Shut Down Volume 2 track listing

"Don’t Worry Baby" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian, produced by Wilson and first recorded by The Beach Boys. The band's version, a tender ballad with falsetto lead vocal by Brian, was first released on their 1964 album Shut Down Volume 2. It was also released as the B-side of The Beach Boys' first U.S. number-one hit single, "I Get Around", also reaching number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its own right. The single was released in the United States in May 1964 through Capitol Records. It was released a month later, in June 1964, in the United Kingdom.

The song "Don't Worry Baby" is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.[2], and ranked as the 176th greatest song of all time in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Pitchfork Media placed it at number 14 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".[3]

Writing and recording[edit]

The song, as originally performed by the Beach Boys, describes a teenager who agrees to a challenge to race a rival in order to defend his honor after bragging about his car, and his girlfriend's plea to take her love with him when he races.

Brian Wilson cited the song as his attempt to capture the essence of his all-time favorite record, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, who would later cover this song. At one time, Wilson listened to his 45 record of the song he "could never do" up to 100 times a day.[citation needed]

Released versions[edit]

The stereo mix of the song had been used on Shut Down Volume 2 when it was released in 1990 and 2001. A single mono mix appeared on the 20 More Good Vibrations compilation. On the 2008 Singles box set, a mono album version was used instead of the single mix. The original stereo mix of "Don't Worry Baby" had Brian's lead vocal hard-panned in the left channel, the instrumental track in the centre and backing vocals on the right. Thanks to the discovery of the lost multi-track masters in 2009, an alternate stereo mix was created from the analog master with the instrumental track and Brian's lead vocal placed in the middle channel while the backing vocals were shared between the left and right channels. This new stereo mix can be found on the 2009 compilation Summer Love Songs.

Lorrie Morgan sang lead vocals on the Beach Boys' 1996 Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 album and was their only venture into the genre of country music to date. This version peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.[4]

Personnel[edit]

The Beach Boys
Production staff
  • Brian Wilson – producer
  • Chuck Britz – audio engineer

Live versions[edit]

The song has been played live at most Beach Boys concerts since its release. However with Brian Wilson's absence from the group the song has had many lead vocalist for its live versions.

Al Jardine sang lead on the song during the early '70s with Carl Wilson taking over in the late '70s. Brian Wilson sang the song live in 1981 in his brother Carl's absence.[5] In the mid '80s Carl Wilson and backing musician Jeffrey Foskett shared the lead vocals. While in the early '90s singer Adrian Baker would take over on the lead. In the mid 90's Al Jardine's son Matt sang the lead. Following the departure of Matt Jardine, Adrian Baker once again sang the lead until his departure in 2003 in which bassist Randell Kirsch took over the lead.

Brian Wilson performed the song live during his solo concerts in which he took the lead. However in the late 2000s the lead was given to Jeffrey Foskett a member in Brian Wilson's backing band.

For The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary tour Jeffrey Foskett once again took the lead.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song is featured prominently during the climax of the 1999 Drew Barrymore film, Never Been Kissed, with a slightly different arrangement, notably a swelling string section.
  • In the 2006 Denzel Washington time-travel thriller film Déjà Vu the song was used to simulate the actual concept of déjà vu as detailed in the plot.
  • This song was used in the opening of the 2012 film The Magic of Belle Isle, starring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen.

Covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Shut Down, Vol. 2 review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  2. ^ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "500 songs that shaped rock and roll" [1]
  3. ^ http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/6405-the-200-greatest-songs-of-the-1960s/1/
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8. 
  5. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]