Fun, Fun, Fun

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This article is about The Beach Boys single. For the music festival, see Fun Fun Fun Fest. For Shonen Knife album, see Fun! fun! fun!. For other uses, see fun (disambiguation).
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Shut Down Volume 2
B-side "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
Released February 3, 1964
Format Vinyl
Recorded January 1, 1964
Genre Surf rock,[1] pop rock,[2] power pop[3]
Length 2:16
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Brian Wilson / Mike Love
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)
"I Get Around"
(1964)
Shut Down Volume 2 track listing
Endless Summer track listing
Audio sample
file info · help

"Fun, Fun, Fun", written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, was a hit single by The Beach Boys that was released in 1964 on the band's album Shut Down Volume 2.

Plot[edit]

The song is about a teenage girl who tells her father she needs his car (a Ford Thunderbird) so she can go to the library. Her dad permits this. However, instead of going to the library, she grabs a hamburger for lunch and cruises "just as fast as she can". At the end, her father finds out her lie and takes the keys to the Thunderbird from her. However, the narrator tells her not to worry because he has ideas for them to have fun together.

Composition[edit]

The song was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Despite the number and variety of stories about "the girl it was really about", the song's plot and lyrics came from Love's brain.[4][5]

Murry Wilson, the father of the Wilson brothers, denounced the whole idea for the song as immoral, and tried to prevent the group from recording it.[citation needed] The song, backed by a single-only mix of a remake of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", became a top-five hit. This eventually led to the musicians dismissing Murry as manager during the recording sessions for "I Get Around".

The opening electric guitar introduction of the original version of the song was based on Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode", which in turn was based on the intro of Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman (They'll Do It Every Time)".[6]

Recording[edit]

The song was recorded on January 1, 1964, at Western Recorders. The instrumental track was released on the 2001 archival release Hawthorne, CA. The song features Mike Love on lead vocals.

The stereo and mono mixes stem from the same recording but have a significant difference: the fadeout on the stereo mix fades out early into the song's outro, with the instruments fading away before the vocals (and an overdubbed drum part). The mono mix, as heard on the 45 as well as mono copies of Shut Down Volume 2 has an extended outro. In 2013, a new stereo mix was released for the Made In California set.

Single release[edit]

The "Fun, Fun, Fun" single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" was released in the United States in February 1964. The single peaked at the number 5 spot on the Billboard chart.

In the United Kingdom, the single was released in March 1964 through Capitol Records. However, the single failed to chart. In Australia, the single peaked at the number 6 position, which was the band's highest charting single in Australia at that time. In West Germany, the single became their first single to chart in the country when it peaked at the number 49 position. According to various national charts published in Billboard through the Sixties, the single peaked at number 4 in The Philippines (February 1965) with thirteen weeks in its top 10, and spent four weeks at number 3 in Hong Kong (December 1965) with ten weeks in its top 10.

In February 1996, the Status Quo version of the song, featuring The Beach Boys, was released under Polygram Records as a single in the United Kingdom. The single, featuring another artist on the B-side, peaked at the number 24 position on the charts.

Album and alternate releases[edit]

The song was first released on an album in the United States in March 1964 on the band's Shut Down Volume 2 album. In the United Kingdom the album was released in July 1964, and it was only the band's second album to be issued in the UK (as opposed to the fifth album in the U.S.) The song was also released in Britain on the Fun, Fun, Fun EP which included both "Fun, Fun, Fun" & "In My Room" on the A-side and "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" on the B-side. The EP charted at the number 19 position.

The song was covered in 1996 by the then-current lineups of The Beach Boys and Status Quo (see Don't Stop), with a new verse written for the song. The Beach Boys sang mainly backing vocals, with Status Quo's Francis Rossi performing the lead vocal for the entire song, except the new verse, which was sung by Mike Love. The instrumental track was released on the 2001 album Hawthorne, CA.

The song is also regularly released on many of the band's greatest hits albums, including the 1974 chart topping compilation Endless Summer; the 1986 compilation Made in U.S.A.; the 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys; the 1999 compilation The Greatest Hits - Volume 1: 20 Good Vibrations; and the 2003 compilation Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys.

Live versions[edit]

After the song was released it immediately became a regular in The Beach Boys live set. In the early years when it was released it was sometimes used as the band's concert opener. However, in the mid-1970s it regularly became the band's concert closer. Several live renditions of the song have been officially released on various Beach Boys releases. It was first released on their first live album Beach Boys Concert in 1964 as the opening track. It was later released on their 1973 live album The Beach Boys in Concert as the album closer. A concert from Anaheim Stadium on July 3, 1976, which featured the song was filmed and produced by Lorne Michaels for a Beach Boys television special which first aired in the United States in August 1976. The TV special was later released on video and DVD as Good Vibrations Tour. In 1980, a live rendition was recorded, though not released until 2002 on the Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 live album. Footage from the concert was also released on video and DVD format. The band also performed a live version of the song at the NBC Television Studios in Burbank, California, which was filmed on March 14, 1964. Footage of the concert was later released on the DVD The Lost Concert.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Both the Boomerangs and Brendan Bower & His Royal Show Band Waterford covered the song in 1965.
  • Two French covers of the song have been released by Les Missiles in 1964 and Les Excentriques in 1965 under the title "Fume, Fume, Fume".
  • Dino, Desi, & Billy covered the song in 1966.
  • In 1967 The Surfriders covered the song.
  • The Carpenters did a cover of the song for their 1973 album, Now & Then.
  • In 1976 Adam Surf & The Pebble Beach Band covered the song.
  • The song was recorded and released by Jan & Dean on their 1982 album, One Summer Night/Live.
  • Papa Doo Run Run covered the song on their 1985 album California Project.
  • In 1986, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts covered the song.
  • In 1987, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their TV series episode "Tell It to the Judge".
  • In 1993, Robin the Frog and the Frog Scouts covered the song for the album Muppet Beach Party.
  • In 2002, John B. & The Surfin' Safaris covered the song on their 2002 album A Tribute to the Beach Boys.
  • In 2003, British boy band Busted covered the song as a B-side for their Number 2 single Year 3000.
  • In 1996 the British rock band Status Quo did a version of "Fun, Fun, Fun" with The Beach Boys.
  • This song was performed by Brian Wilson and the ensemble that performed for An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson in 2001, which was later released on DVD.
  • Caleigh Peters, a pop rock musician, performed a cover of this song for the soundtrack of Herbie: Fully Loaded, a Walt Disney Pictures movie released in 2005.
  • In 2000, Grandaddy covered the song on their album The Windfall Varietal. The track is labeled "Fun x3".
  • The astronaut band Max Q covered the song for the Wake up call of the STS-134 crew.
  • In 2011 the Israeli satire group Latma did a parody version of "Fun, Fun, Fun". The version titled “Guns, guns, guns.”

Charts[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[7] 10
German Singles Chart[8] 49
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richie Unterberger, Samb Hicks, Jennifer Dempsey. Music USA: the rough guide, ISBN 185828421X, p. 383.
  2. ^ "Fun, Fun, Fun". allmusic.com. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Altham, Keith. "Lily Isn't Pornographic, Say Who" New Musical Express May 20, 1967
  4. ^ Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys. Songfacts.com. Accessed 2013-{{subst:LOCALMONTH}}-{{subst:LOCALDAY2}}.
  5. ^ Mike Love of the Beach Boys (interview 2012-10-31). Songfacts.com. Accessed 2013-{{subst:LOCALMONTH}}-{{subst:LOCALDAY2}}.
  6. ^ http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/117987/The%20Beach%20Boys-Fun,%20Fun,%20Fun_Chuck%20Berry-Johnny%20B.%20Goode/
  7. ^ "Australian Singles Charts". mountvernonandfairway.de. Retrieved 12 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "German Singles Charts". mountvernonandfairway.de. Retrieved 12 November 2007. 

External links[edit]