You Still Believe in Me

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"You Still Believe in Me"
Song by The Beach Boys from the album Pet Sounds
Released May 16, 1966
Recorded November 1, 1965 / January–February 1966;
United Western Recorders, Los Angeles
Genre Psychedelic pop, baroque pop[1]
Length 2:31
Label Capitol
Composer Brian Wilson/Tony Asher
Producer Brian Wilson
Pet Sounds track listing

"You Still Believe in Me" is a song by the American rock band The Beach Boys, taken from their 1966 album Pet Sounds. It is the second track on the album. The song was composed and produced by Brian Wilson with the lyrics by Tony Asher. Brian Wilson also sings lead vocal.


The song is in the key of B major, and features frequent use of the ii-V-I turnaround (six uninterrupted repeats of B-C♯m-F♯7). The chorus is composed of compound chords, such as G♯m/C♯, C♯m/B, and G♯m/F♯, resolving unusually to the vi, G major, before beginning again on B.[2] The main theme is a slightly-broken descent through the full B major scale, and the progression is described as a turnaround.)[citation needed]

Brian in 1996 explained that this song is "A little 'Boys Choir'-type song with me doing the soprano. Very, very spiritual."[citation needed] This was the first song on Pet Sounds to which Asher wrote lyrics. It was originally titled "In My Childhood".[3] A bicycle horn and bell acting as a remnant from the song's original childhood theme can be heard at the end of the song because they could not be edited out of the final track.[3] Wilson has said of the song,

"You Still Believe In Me" was more of what I would call a man who would not be afraid to take all of his clothes off and sing like a girl because he had feelings for people from that perspective. I was able to close my eyes and go into a world and sing a little more effeminately and more sweet—which allows a lot more love to come down through me, you know what I mean?... It's like Kenny Rogers. There's an example of a guy who has a fairly masculine sounding voice. "You Still Believe In Me" was quite the opposite.[4]


To achieve the unique sound in the introduction, Tony Asher explains that "We were trying to do something that would sound sort of, I guess, like a harpsichord but a little more ethereal than that. I am plucking the strings by leaning inside the piano and Brian is holding down the notes on the keyboard so they will ring when I pluck them. I plucked the strings with paper clips, hairpins, bobby pins and several others things until Brian got the sound he wanted."[3]

Using United Western Recorders, the instrumental track was recorded on November 1, 1965 and January 24, 1966. Vocal overdub sessions ran between January and February 1966.[3]

Live performances[edit]

It appears on the Beach Boys' In Concert album. As a solo artist, Brian recorded this song for his 2002 live album Pet Sounds Live.


The Beach Boys
Additional musicians

*denotes uncertainty who plays the finger cymbals, bicycle horn & bell[5]


This song has been covered by M. Ward. This song was also covered by Elvis Costello and Anne Sofie von Otter in their 2001 album "For the Stars".[6] A version by Kirsty MacColl appears on her posthumous collection From Croydon to Cuba – An Anthology.


  1. ^ "Jim Esch review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  2. ^ The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, Warner Bros. Publications, 15800 N.W. 48th Ave. Miami, Florida 33014, ISBN 0-29156-93680-3
  3. ^ a b c d Elliott, Brad (August 31, 1999). "Pet Sounds Track Notes". Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ The Pet Sounds Sessions: "The Making Of Pet Sounds" booklet (1996)
  5. ^ Charles L. Granata, Wouldn't it be nice: Brian Wilson and the making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, (Chicago Review Press, 2003), ISBN 1-55652-507-9, p.149.
  6. ^ "For the Stars review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 

External links[edit]