For the album, the band hired Culture Club producer Steve Levine, who took them into the world of drum machines, synthesizers, sampling, and hi-tech recording technology. Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine all took active roles in the project, writing several new songs for it, with Stevie Wonder and Culture Club each donating a song. The album was recorded during summer 1984 at Red Bus studio in London, and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles during late 1984/early 1985. It features Motown artist Stevie Wonder on harmonica and keyboards on the song "I Do Love You", which he also wrote. Ringo Starr also appears on the track "California Calling". Noted guitarist Gary Moore features on all tracks playing both guitar and synthaxe.
Brian Wilson contributed a song written in 1982 by himself and Dennis Wilson called "Oh Lord", but the song did not make the final cut. Also cut from the album was a cover of "At the Hop" with lead vocals by Mike Love.
Two videos were produced to promote the album: "Getcha Back" and "It's Gettin' Late." Both videos feature a stereotypical nerd as the central character who socializes near the beach. In "Getcha Back", all band members are featured in a story of childhood love separated until the couple reaches their teenage years. In the second video, "It's Gettin' Late", the central character learns about the trials and tribulations of dating. The only Beach Boys member to appear in "It's Gettin' Late" is Brian Wilson, who makes an appearance at the end of the video. He is shown picking up a seashell and using it to listen to the song "California Calling".
Although "Getcha Back", was a top 30 hit, the album only reached #52 in the U.S. (making it their highest charting album since the release of 1976's album 15 Big Ones). After the album, CBS Records let the band's contract expire, leaving them without a record deal for the first time in years.