Guess I'm Dumb

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"Guess I'm Dumb"
Single by Glen Campbell
B-side "That's All Right"
Released June 7, 1965 (1965-06-07)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded October 14, 1964 (1964-10-14)–March 8, 1965 (1965-03-08), United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Genre Orchestral pop
Length 2:44
Label Capitol
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
Glen Campbell singles chronology
"Tomorrow Never Comes"
(1965)
"Guess I'm Dumb"
(1965)
"Universal Soldier"
(1965)

"Guess I'm Dumb" is a 1965 song written by Brian Wilson and Russ Titelman for American musician and singer Glen Campbell.[1] Although it has later been called one of the earliest works of Wilson's continued artistic growth that he would later be known for in the 1960s,[2] the single flopped and failed to chart.

It has been described to have a "surging, elegant Burt Bacharach-inspired string and horn arrangement and Campbell's forlorn Roy Orbison-like vocal."[3] It's also been said that the arrangement later inspired the work of Jimmy Webb.[4] The song was later covered by a wide variety of artists including Jules Shear, Lambchop, Louis Phillipe, Wondermints, and Tatsuro Yamashita.

Composition[edit]

The song is one of two written by Brian Wilson and Russ Titelman during the early 1960s, the other being "Sherry She Needs Me", an unfinished outtake for the Beach Boys' Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (1965).[5][6] "Guess I'm Dumb" was written at Wilson's apartment and wife Marilyn's home sometime in 1964.[5]

A portion of the melody is similar to later Wilson composition "Had To Phone Ya".

Recording[edit]

The instrumental was recorded at United Western Recorders in late 1964 during sessions for the Beach Boys' Today! (1965).[7] Despite the backing track requiring 23 takes to get right, Wilson accidentally congratulated the sessions players excitedly and audibly toward the end of the recording. Several months after Wilson's bandmates declined to sing the track, Wilson approached Glen Campbell and asked if he wanted to sing on it, which he then agreed.[8] Campbell was at the time filling in for Wilson for their live performances, and had been given the song as a "reward" by Wilson for these performing duties.[1]

Variations[edit]

The song is featured on many Glen Campbell compilations, and appears as one of the many Wilson-produced tracks on Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions. In 2013, the instrumental track with backing vocals was released on the Beach Boys compilation Made in California.

Personnel[edit]

Sourced from Musician's Union AFM contract sheets and surviving session audio, documented by Craig Slowinski.[9]

Additional musicians
  • The Honeys (Marilyn Wilson, Diane Rovell, Ginger Blake) – backing vocals
  • Arnold Belnick – violins
  • Hal Blaine – drums, timbales, bell tree
  • Roy Caton – trumpet
  • Harry Betts – trombone
  • Louis Blackburn – trombone
  • Steve Douglas – tenor saxophone
  • Jesse Ehrlich – cello
  • Jim Getzoff – violin
  • Anne Goodman – cello
  • Larry Knechtel – electric bass guitar
  • Leonard Malarski – violin
  • Jav Migliori – saxophone
  • Oliver Mitchell – trumpet
  • Alexander Neiman – viola
  • Sidney Sharp – violin
  • Tommy Tedesco – guitar
  • Darrel Terwilliger – viola
  • Brian Wilson – backing vocals, acoustic grand piano
  • Carl Wilson – backing vocals, twelve-string electric guitar
Production staff

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Badman, Keith (2004). The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band. San Francisco, Calif.: Backbeat. p. 86. ISBN 0879308184. 
  2. ^ Lambert, Philip (2007). Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: the Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius. New York, New York: Continuum. p. 176. ISBN 0826418775. 
  3. ^ Leonard, David N. (2004). Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings. p. 59. ISBN 0634055607. 
  4. ^ Priore, Domenic Priore (2007). Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood. London, England: Jawbone Press. p. 172. ISBN 1906002045. 
  5. ^ a b "Russ Titelman 35th Anniversary Salute". Billboard: 44. June 1996. 
  6. ^ Dillon, Mark. Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys. Toronto, Ontario: ECW Press. ISBN 1770410716. 
  7. ^ Badman, Keith (2004). The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band. San Francisco, California: Backbeat. p. 67. ISBN 0879308184. 
  8. ^ Burke, Ken (2004). Country Music Changed My Life: Tales of Tough Times and Triumph from Country's Legends. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press. p. 35. ISBN 1556525389. 
  9. ^ Slowinski, Craig (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!". Retrieved October 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]