Wild Honey (The Beach Boys song)

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"Wild Honey"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Wild Honey
B-side "Wind Chimes" (most countries)
"The Girl from New York City" (Greece)
Released October 23, 1967 (1967-10-23)
Format Vinyl
Recorded September 26–27, 1967,
Brian Wilson's home studio, Los Angeles
Genre Psychedelic rock, rhythm and blues, soul
Length 2:37
Label Capitol Records
Producer(s) The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Heroes and Villains"
(1967)
"Wild Honey"
(1967)
"Darlin'"
(1967)
Wild Honey track listing

"Wild Honey" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1967 album Wild Honey. It was also released as a single, with the B-side of the single being "Wind Chimes". The single peaked at #31 in the U.S. and #29 in the U.K.

Composition[edit]

In a 1992 issue of Goldmine, Mike Love explained the idea for the lyrics of the song:

"Brian was doing this track with a theremin and we were doing the song. I went into the kitchen and we were in this health food thing and wild honey was all natural. So there's this can of wild honey and we're making some tea. So I said, I'll write the lyrics about this girl who was a wild little honey. And I wrote it from the perspective that that album was Brian's R&B-influenced album, in his mind. It may not sound like it to a Motown executive but that was where he was coming from on that record. In that particular instance I wrote it from the perspective of Stevie Wonder singing it."[1]

Recording[edit]

Recording for the song began on September 26, 1967 at Brian Wilson's home studio in Bel Air, California with Jim Lockert engineering the session. The song would be almost completely recorded in one day. The band would initially record organ and electric bass guitar courtesy of Bruce Johnston, percussion, tambourine and piano and following that Carl Wilson's lead vocal was overdubbed onto the basic track. The band then recorded instrumental inserts including bongos, percussion and drums, in which Dennis Wilson's bass drum was purportedly recorded in a hallway.[2] The session then concluded with the band doing further vocal overdubs and Bruce Johnston performing the organ solo.[3]

Work was resumed on the track the following day with Paul Tanner overdubbing his custom-built Tannerin over the otherwise finished track. This was the third song in the Beach Boys catalogue after "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" and "Good Vibrations" to feature the Tannerin.

Commercial performance[edit]

The single peaked at No. 22 in Cash Box and No. 14 in Canada. It broke the top 10 playlists of many large markets including Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Cleveland and the rest of Ohio, Portland, Phoenix, and Vancouver, and lodged at No. 2 in Washington DC for three weeks, kept out only by the Monkees; it reached No. 20 in New York.[citation needed]

Variations[edit]

The song was first released as a single on October 23, 1967. It was then released as the first track on Wild Honey in December of the same year. The following year, the song's backing track was released on the Stack-O-Tracks album. The song has appeared on several of the groups greatest hits compilations including the 1999 compilation album The Greatest Hits - Volume 2: 20 More Good Vibrations; the 2003 compilation Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys as well as the 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[4] 10
Dutch Singles Chart[5] 26
New Zealand Singles Chart[6] 11
UK Singles Chart 29
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 31

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sharp, Ken (1992-09-18). "Love Among The Ruins". Goldmine. p. 19. 
  2. ^ Doe, Andrew G, Tobler, John (2004). Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys: the Complete Guide to their Music. p. 63. 
  3. ^ Badman, Keith (2004). The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band on Stage and in the Studio. pp. 200–01. 
  4. ^ "Australian Singles Charts". mountvernonandfairway.de. Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  5. ^ "Dutch Singles Charts". mountvernonandfairway.de. Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Singles Charts". mountvernonandfairway.de. Retrieved 13 November 2007. 

External links[edit]