Don't Back Down (song)

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"Don't Back Down"
Song by The Beach Boys from the album All Summer Long
Released July 13, 1964
Recorded October 18, 1963 / April 2–May 19, 1964,
Western Studios
Genre Surf rock
Length 1:52
Label Capitol Records
Writer(s) Brian Wilson/Mike Love
Producer(s) Brian Wilson

"Don't Back Down" 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 as well as on their EP, Four.


The subject matter of this song is surfing; this would be the group's last surfing-themed song until 1968's "Do It Again".[1] In the lyrics, the surfers would try to impress the girls by not backing down from the waves.

"Don't Back Down" has appeared on numerous compilation albums, including Spirit of America (the sequel to the band's infamous compilation album Endless Summer,) Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys, The Capitol Years, and Made in California. An alternate take of this song is found on the Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long CD.

Critical opinion[edit]

AllMusic critic Richie Unterberger called the track a "relatively little-known treasure" and praised it for its "uncommonly anxious lyrics."[2] Writer Andrew Hickey called the song "one of [All Summer Long's] best tracks."[1] Author Philip Lambert said that "'Don't Back Down' positively explodes with surfing energy and vitality."[3]


Per Craig Slownski.[4]

The Beach Boys
  • Mike Love – lead, bass, backing, and harmony vocals
  • Al Jardine – backing and harmony vocals, electric bass guitars
  • Brian Wilson – chorus falsetto, backing, and harmony vocals; upright, tack, or grand piano; Hammond B3 organ; arranger
  • Carl Wilson – backing and harmony vocals, electric rhythm guitars
  • Dennis Wilson – backing and harmony vocals, drums
Additional musicians and production staff

The Queers version[edit]

"Don't Back Down"
Song by The Queers from the album Don't Back Down
Length 1:58
Writer(s) Brian Wilson/Mike Love

The song was covered by the punk rock band The Queers on their album Don't Back Down.


  1. ^ a b Hickey, Andrew. The Beach Boys On CD vol 1: The 1960s. 
  2. ^ Richie Unterberger. "All Summer Long - The Beach Boys | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  3. ^ Lambert, Philip. Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: The Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius. 
  4. ^ Boyd, Alan; Linette, Mark; Slowinski, Craig (2014). Keep an Eye On Summer 1964 (Digital Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records.  Mirror