The Warmth of the Sun
|"The Warmth of the Sun"|
|Single by The Beach Boys|
|from the album Shut Down Volume 2|
|A-side||"Dance, Dance, Dance"|
|Released||October 26, 1964|
|Recorded||January 1 and 8, 1964|
|Studio||Western Studios, Hollywood|
|Songwriter(s)||Brian Wilson, Mike Love|
|The Beach Boys singles chronology|
|Endless Summer track listing|
"The Warmth of the Sun" 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 Shut Down Volume 2 and as the B-side of the "Dance, Dance, Dance" single, which charted at number eight in the United States and number twenty-four in the United Kingdom. Brian Wilson produced the song, and the rest of the album.
Wilson and Love began composing the song on the night of November 21, 1963 and completed it early the following morning, mere hours before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The subsequent recording of the song was informed by the emotional shock felt by its authors in the wake of Kennedy's death.
"The Warmth of the Sun" was started in the early morning hours of the same morning that President Kennedy was killed in Dallas. The melody was so haunting, sad, melancholy, that the only thing that I could think of lyrically was the loss of love, when interest slips and feelings aren't reciprocated…though I wanted to have a silver lining on that cumulus nimbus cloud so I wrote the lyrics from the perspective of, "Yes, things have changed and love is no longer there, but the memory of it lingers like the warmth of the sun." I think it's really impactful and memorable…one of my favorite songs from an emotional and personal point of view.— Mike Love, 2007
In the 2015 autobiography I Am Brian Wilson, Wilson recalled that the song was written the day of the assassination, in response to it:
When the shooting happened, everyone knew instantly. It was all over the TV and on every kind of news. I called Mike and he asked me if I wanted to write a song about it. I said sure. It seemed like something we had to think about, and songs were the way I thought about things. We drove over to my office and in a half hour we had "The Warmth of the Sun." We didn't think of it as a big song. It was a personal response. But it got bigger over time because of the history linked to it.
Reviewing the song for AllMusic, Donald A. Guarisco stated, "The sublime balance of lush vocals and sensitive songwriting made 'The Warmth of the Sun' one of the Beach Boys' finest and most moving ballads." Brian Wilson pioneered the use of adventurous chord changes in pop—"The Warmth of the Sun"'s transitions from C to A-minor to E-flat, were unheard of in 1964.
Vince Gill performed another version at "An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson (2001)" concert.
In 2010, Rumer recorded a version on the B-side of her single "Aretha".
Shelby Flint and Tim Weston, "Wouldn't It Be Nice, A Jazz Portrait of Brian Wilson."
Friends of Dean Martinez recorded a version on their album "Under the Waves."
- Love, Mike (November 21, 2013). "JFK and the Story Behind 'The Warmth of the Sun'". The Huffington Post.
- "The Warmth of the Sun". The Warmth of the Sun Podcast Series. Episode 8. 26 June 2007.
- Wilson, Brian; Greenman, Ben (2016). I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir. Da Capo Press. p. 5 9. ISBN 9780306823060.
- Guarisco, Donald A. "'The Warmth of the Sun' Song Review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- Panfile, Greg. "Mind of Brian". Retrieved 10 June 2016.
- "Phonograph Recording Contract" (PDF). American Federation of Musicians. Retrieved 10 June 2016.