Wendy (song)

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"Wendy"
Wendy Beach Boys single label.jpeg
Label to single release as B-side of "Good Vibrations"
Song by The Beach Boys from the album All Summer Long
Released July 13, 1964
Recorded April 29, 1964
Western Studios
Genre Surf rock
Length 2:16
Label Capitol Records
Writer Brian Wilson/Mike Love
Producer Brian Wilson
All Summer Long track listing
Endless Summer track listing

"Wendy" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1964 album All Summer Long and was also featured on their EP, Four by The Beach Boys. "Wendy" peaked at No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100, at No. 36 in Germany and at No. 5 in Switzerland in July 1967 when it was nominally the B-side of "Good Vibrations" — as it was everywhere outside the US. In regional North American charts it made the top ten in Washington DC, Louisville, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Denver (rising to #2 at KBTR), and Tucson; top twenty in Toronto, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

Composition[edit]

The opening has an ominous feel to it and a cough is audible during the song's middle eight.[according to whom?] It was originally credited to just Brian Wilson. Mike Love's name was added as a result of a lawsuit filed by him against Wilson in the 1990s.

The opening chords are whole notes played on electric guitar and bass. The song begins with a minor i chord in the key of D minor, moves to a major IV, comes back to the minor i, and then moves to a major VI chord, a IV in the key of F. The song then modulates to the key of F major (the relative major of D minor) through a substituted plagal cadence, using a I-ii progression to solidify the new tonic of F.

The verse begins with another I-IV-I progression, ending on an IV chord in the first line. The second line begins the same as the first, but moves to a major ♭VII (in D minor the Neapolitan Chord), and then modulates to the relative minor through use of a iii chord (A minor, the V in the key of D minor), the A minor moving to a D minor via an authentic cadence. The chorus/bridge ("I never thought a guy could cry") uses the same chord progression found in the introduction (D: i-iv-i-VI(IV in F), coming back to the key of F for the final line. This repeats for the second verse, before going into the organ solo.

After the second chorus, the song modulates again from F to D minor, this time through the usage of the ♭VII (E♭ major), which is a tritone substitution for the V of D. The solo follows the same general progression of the introduction and chorus. Another run of the verse/chorus follows, and the song then fades out with repeated I-IV cadences.

Personnel[edit]

The Beach Boys

Live performances[edit]

On September 27, 1964, the group performed "Wendy" as well as "I Get Around" on The Ed Sullivan Show.

For most of the years in which the song was performed live Mike Love the original lead singer sang lead. However starting in the early 2000s longtime Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston took over the lead. The song was also played at some shows during The Beach Boy 50th Reunion Tour with Johnston again on lead vocals. Brian Wilson has also performed the song at some of his solo shows with Wilson himself taking the lead.

Covers[edit]

  • American punk band The Descendents on their Enjoy! (1986) album and their live album Liveage! (1987)

References[edit]