Break Away (The Beach Boys song)

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"Break Away"
Single by the Beach Boys
B-side"Celebrate the News"
ReleasedJune 16, 1969
RecordedMarch 31  – April 23, 1969
Songwriter(s)Brian Wilson, Reggie Dunbar
Producer(s)Brian Wilson, Murry Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"I Can Hear Music"
"Break Away"
"Add Some Music to Your Day"
Licensed audio
"Break Away" on YouTube

"Break Away" is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys that was recorded during the early sessions for their album Sunflower and issued as a non-album single on June 16, 1969. It was written by Brian and Murry Wilson, although Murry was credited as lyricist under the pseudonym "Reggie Dunbar". Dennis Wilson's "Celebrate the News" was chosen as the B-side. The single peaked at number 63 in the US and number 6 in the UK.[1]

Record World called it "an extremely pretty and summery song."[2]


According to Brian, Murry came up with the idea for the song from watching The Joey Bishop Show on television while it proclaimed, "We're gonna break away for a minute and we'll be right back!". Brian, at his piano, then composed the song with Murry as they "plunked and plunked and plunked" and "finally got a song going."[3][4] At another time, Brian said that the Monkees inspired him to write this song.[5] The Monkees had appeared on the aforementioned television program on April 29, 1969,[6] but "Break Away" was recorded prior to that date.[7]

Asked why Murry had used a pseudonym, Brian responded that his father "didn't want anyone to know that he wrote it with me."[8] On another occasion, Brian gave a different answer to the same journalist, saying "I don't know. He was nutty. He was crazy, that was his fictitious name."[3]

Brian Wilson spoke positively of the song in a later interview, commenting, "That's a beautiful song. I think it might be one of my most underrated songs."[4]


Chart (1969) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 10
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 10
New Zealand (Listener Chart)[11] 20
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[12] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 63
West Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 29


  1. ^ Badman, Keith (2004). The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band, on Stage and in the Studio. Backbeat Books. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-87930-818-6.
  2. ^ "Single Picks of the Week" (PDF). Record World. June 21, 1969. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  3. ^ a b Sharp, Ken (January 2006). "Christmas with Brian Wilson". Record Collector. United Kingdom: 72–76.
  4. ^ a b Sharp, Ken (January 2, 2009). "Brian Wilson: God's Messenger". American Songwriter.
  5. ^ "Good Times with The Monkees: Bands we love to discredit". 2016-02-18.
  6. ^ Ventrella, Mike (2018). Long Title: Looing for the Good Times - Examining the Monkees' Songs. One by One. Albany, GA. ISBN 9781629331751.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Doe, Andrew G. "GIGS69". Bellagio 10452. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  8. ^ "Brian Wilson Remembers: An In-Depth Interview with the Beach Boys' Resident Genius | Best Classic Bands". 20 June 2022.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Beach Boys". Irish Singles Chart.
  10. ^ "The Beach Boys – Break Away" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ "Break Away (search)". Flavour of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2022-12-21. Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 65.
  14. ^ " – The Beach Boys – Break Away" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.

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