The song was recorded in 4/4 time for its first take. Immediately after, Brian rearranged the song after realizing that there weren't many waltzes on the radio. Brian Wilson once stated, "The cut 'Friends' was, in my opinion, a good way to keep waltzes alive. Carl had sung...before and now he spearheaded this cut with a heavy vocal performance." As Peter Reum, a Beach Boys historian, stated "'Friends' is a waltz, and it's been used at the Berklee College of Music to teach students how to write in 3/4 time."
Brian has since claimed that the song was his favorite from the Friends album.