Beach Baby

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"Beach Baby"
Beach Baby - The First Class.jpg
Single by The First Class
B-side"Both Sides of the Story"
Released3 May 1974
Format7" 45rpm
Recorded1974
GenrePower pop
Length5:15
LabelUK Records
Songwriter(s)John Carter and Gillian Shakespeare
Producer(s)John Carter for Sunny Records Ltd.
The First Class singles chronology
"Beach Baby"
(1974)
"Bobby Dazzler"
(1974)

"Beach Baby" is a song by the British band The First Class. The song, written by John Carter and his wife, Gillian (Jill) Shakespeare, became the band's only substantial hit.

Background[edit]

Carter and Shakespeare wrote "Beach Baby" in their home in East Sheen, South West London. Shortly afterward, Carter hired Tony Burrows and session singer Chas Mills to record the song as The First Class. Toward the end of the song, there are two instrumental quotations, both on the French Horn: the main theme from the last movement of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony and the tune of the title line from one of Carter's previous compositions ("Let's Go to San Francisco", a hit in 1967 for The Flower Pot Men). In the song, lead singer Burrows attempts to sing in an American accent, reflecting the song's setting in California. Because of the song's length of being over 5 minutes, several AM radio stations edit the song by fading it out during the second instrumental Bridge.

On the 31 August 1974 edition of American Top 40, Casey Kasem revealed that a recording of the song already existed by 1973:[1]

Now on American Top 40, I have that song that was launched by a criminal act, an act that could have cost the owner of a British record company at least a stiff fine. He's also a recording artist, Jonathan King. He's known to Americans as the guy who hit back in 1965 with 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon', remember? Well, since then he's become a successful producer in England, and he started his own label a couple of years ago. Last year, during the United Kingdom's severe energy crisis, a songwriter came to Jonathan's house with a master tape of a new song that he'd just recorded, but he'd come on a bad day of the week. You see, it was a day when Britons were prohibited from using electricity because of the power shortage. But something told King to take a chance. He invited the artist to come in, and, in a room lit only by candles, keeping the volume turned way down, he listened to that tape, and he knew he'd bought a hit song. Here it is, up to #25 this week, 'Beach Baby' by First Class.

In 1974, the song became a hit in the UK (where it peaked at #13),[2] and in the US, where it peaked at #4. In Canada, "Beach Baby" was a #1 hit.[3]

Although the band went on to release two studio albums and a multitude of singles, they were unable to recreate the success of "Beach Baby".

Chart performance[edit]

Covers[edit]

  • It was subsequently recorded in French by Sacha Distel under the title "Vite, Chérie, Vite".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American Top 40 August 31 1974 with Casey Kasem (11:23 - 12:23)". YouTube. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 200. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ a b "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  4. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Beach Baby". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.rock.co.za/files/sa_charts_1969_1989_songs_(A-B).html
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 86.
  8. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2015-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]