I Can Hear Music

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"I Can Hear Music"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album 20/20
B-side "All I Want to Do"
Released March 3, 1969[1]
Format Vinyl
Recorded October 1, 1968
Genre Sunshine pop
Length 2:36
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Carl Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Bluebirds over the Mountain"
"I Can Hear Music"
"Break Away"
20/20 track listing

"I Can Hear Music" is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. It was originally performed by The Ronettes in 1966, and later covered by The Beach Boys in 1969, by Larry Lurex (a pseudonym for Freddie Mercury) in 1973, by José Hoebee in 1983, and by She & Him in 2010.[2]

The Beach Boys version[edit]

"I Can Hear Music" was covered by the American rock band The Beach Boys. It was released on their 1969 album 20/20 with Carl Wilson on lead vocals.

With Brian Wilson increasingly losing interest in producing for the Beach Boys, his younger brother Carl took over the role of producer and lead Beach Boy. "I Can Hear Music" is considered by many to be Carl Wilson's first taste at being the "leader" of the group. Released as a single, the song peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #20 on the Cash Box and Record World charts) in the US. Internationally, it reached #5 in Sweden, #6 in the Netherlands and Malaysia, #7 in Poland, #10 in the UK, #13 in Germany and in Australia's Go Set chart, and #15 in Ireland. The Beach Boys' version is noted for its a cappella section of harmonies and counterpoint.

Within the US it peaked on top 10 playlists at #5 Boston, #7 New York, #7 Chicago (WCFL), San Diego, Seattle, Houston and Vancouver in order of success; #11 Chicago (WLS), #12 Los Angeles (KHJ), Columbus and Indianapolis; #14 Detroit.

Other versions[edit]

In 1968 The song was covered by Czech singer Pavel Novák (group VOX) as MALO TI ZBYVA

In 1978, a version of the song was released on RSO records by the Curt Boettcher/Bruce Johnston studio project band California.

In 1996, The Beach Boys re-recorded the song, with contemporary Christian singer Kathy Troccoli on lead vocals, for their country album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1. That recording was released as a single, and hit #16 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

The song was again covered by Wilson Phillips for their 2012 album Dedicated.

The song was featured as a B-Side on She & Him's second single, In The Sun.


  1. ^ Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-818-4 p. 29
  2. ^ In the Sun B/W I Can Hear Music