In the Back of My Mind

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"In the Back of My Mind"
Song by The Beach Boys
from the album Today!
Released March 8, 1965
Recorded January 13 / 19, 1965
United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Length 2:09 (mono version)
2:11 (stereo version)
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Brian Wilson/Mike Love
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
Audio sample

"In the Back of My Mind" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys, first released on their 1965 album The Beach Boys Today!.[1] It is a heavily orchestrated ballad in 6/8 time. Dennis Wilson largely sings lead unaccompanied though briefly during the middle-eight, his brothers Brian and Carl sing two lines in unison.[2]

Biographer Peter Ames Carlin said of the track: "It's like the orchestra is falling apart. It's about the guy's wife and that's the most intimate relationship you can have. It radiates the complexities in Brian's inner life and how that comes through in his music and how he expresses that in music."[3] Matthew Greenwald of Allmusic also offered praise of the song and its lyrics, saying that the choice of lead singer was good and that Dennis' performance is "wonderfully fragile".[4]


"In the Back of My Mind" was recorded over two dates at Western Studios, both produced, arranged and conducted by Brian Wilson. 40 takes of the instrumental track were recorded on January 13, 1965 with the 39th being deemed the master. The vocals were overdubbed at a session on January 19, 1965.[5] The song was first released in 1965 in mono on the band's album The Beach Boys Today! with a stereo remix of the song being released in 2012 on the stereo remaster of that same album.[6]

In 1995, Brian expressed disappointment with Dennis' vocal, and that it was not doubletracked well.[7]


Surviving sessions audio and AFM musician contracts sheets, documented by Craig Slowinski, have enabled this personnel list to be compiled.[5]

The Beach Boys
Additional musicians and production staff

Brian Wilson version[edit]

"In the Back of My Mind"
Song by Brian Wilson
from the album No Pier Pressure (Deluxe Edition)
Released April 7, 2015 (2015-04-07)
Recorded 1975
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
No Pier Pressure (Deluxe Edition) track listing
"The Last Song"
"In the Back of My Mind"
"Love and Mercy"

Brian recorded a demo version of the song in 1975 with himself on lead vocals. It was released as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Brian's solo album No Pier Pressure.[8]


  1. ^ Leaf, David (1990). Today/Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (Media notes). The Beach Boys. California: Capitol Records. 72435-27945-2-2. 
  2. ^ Hickey, Andrew (2011). The Beach Boys On CD vol 1: 1961 - 1969. 
  3. ^ Chrome Dreams (2010). Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969 (Documentary). United States: Sexy Intellectual. 
  4. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "In the Back of My Mind - The Beach Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  5. ^ a b Craig Slowinski (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!" (PDF). Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ Doe, Andrew G. (2012). "MONOSTEREO". Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ Benci, Jacopo (January 1995). "Brian Wilson interview". Record Collector. UK (185). 
  8. ^ Goldenberg, Joel (March 20, 2015). "Demos are sometimes best versions of songs". The Suburban News. 

External links[edit]