"I Wanna Pick You Up" was tracked on October 13, 1976 at Brother Studios with the backing track largely being performed by Brian Wilson through the aid of multitrack recording.Dennis Wilson sings the majority of the lead vocals on the song with brother Brian joining him on the second half of the verses and the chorus. The song's tag features a five-part a capella harmony arrangement.
In the 1990s, the song was covered by Darian Sahanaja in the production style of Pet Sounds with an introductory keyboard arrangement similar to the opening of The Beach Boys' "You Still Believe In Me," and an ending with vocal harmonies borrowed from a "Heroes And Villains" outtake that were eventually used on the Brian Wilson Presents Smile version of the song. Sahanaja's cover of "I Wanna Pick You Up" was released as a b-side of the Brian Wilson penned "Do You Have Any Regrets". The single was pressed on blue vinyl with a label parodying X Records, the label that released The Beach Boys' first single, "Surfin'".
In 2000 the song was covered by Alex Chilton for the compilation album "Caroline Now!".