You Still Believe in Me

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"You Still Believe in Me"
Song by The Beach Boys
from the album Pet Sounds
Released May 16, 1966
Recorded November 1, 1965 / January – February 1966
Studio United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Length 2:36
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Brian Wilson, Tony Asher
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
Pet Sounds track listing
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
"You Still Believe in Me"
"That's Not Me"
Audio sample

"You Still Believe in Me" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band the Beach Boys, released as the second track on their 1966 album Pet Sounds. The recording was produced by Wilson, who also sings lead vocal, with instrumentation that includes harpsichord, clarinet, timpani, and bicycle horn. Wilson and Asher created the song's ethereal intro by plucking a piano's strings with a bobby pin.


The song is in the key of B major, and features frequent use of the ii-V-I turnaround (six uninterrupted repeats of B-C♯m-F♯7). The chorus is composed of slash chords, such as G♯m/C♯, C♯m/B, and G♯m/F♯, resolving unusually to the vi, G major, before beginning again on B.[2][better source needed]

Brian in 1996 explained that this song is "A little 'Boys Choir'-type song with me doing the soprano. Very, very spiritual."[citation needed] This was the first song on Pet Sounds to which Asher wrote lyrics. It was originally titled "In My Childhood".[3] A bicycle horn and bell acting as a remnant from the song's original childhood theme can be heard at the end of the song because they could not be edited out of the final track.[3] Wilson has said of the song,

"You Still Believe In Me" was more of what I would call a man who would not be afraid to take all of his clothes off and sing like a girl because he had feelings for people from that perspective. I was able to close my eyes and go into a world and sing a little more effeminately and more sweet—which allows a lot more love to come down through me, you know what I mean?... It's like Kenny Rogers. There's an example of a guy who has a fairly masculine sounding voice. "You Still Believe In Me" was quite the opposite.[4]

Jim Esch of AllMusic said the song had a "classical sensibility", elaborating of its lyrics: "[they develop] a theme inaugurated and suggested by 'Wouldn't It Be Nice': fragile lovers buckling under the pressure of external forces they can't control, self-imposed romantic expectations and personal limitations, while simultaneously trying to maintain faith in one other. It is a theme that keeps reverberating sweetly, and hauntingly, throughout Pet Sounds."[5]


To achieve the unique sound in the introduction, Tony Asher explains: "We were trying to do something that would sound sort of, I guess, like a harpsichord but a little more ethereal than that. I am plucking the strings by leaning inside the piano and Brian is holding down the notes on the keyboard so they will ring when I pluck them. I plucked the strings with paper clips, hairpins, bobby pins and several other things until Brian got the sound he wanted."[3]

Using United Western Recorders, the instrumental track was recorded on November 1, 1965 and January 24, 1966. Vocal overdub sessions ran between January and February 1966.[3]


Sourced from liner notes included with the 1999 mono/stereo reissue of Pet Sounds,[6] except where otherwise noted.

The Beach Boys
Additional musicians

Live performances[edit]

It appears on the Beach Boys' In Concert (1972). As a solo artist, Brian recorded this song for his 2002 live album Pet Sounds Live.



  1. ^ Miers, Jeff (September 29, 2016). "Sound plan". The Buffalo News. 
  2. ^ The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, Warner Bros. Publications, 15800 N.W. 48th Ave. Miami, Florida 33014, ISBN 978-0-7692-6449-3
  3. ^ a b c d e Elliott, Brad (August 31, 1999). "Pet Sounds Track Notes". Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ The Pet Sounds Sessions: "The Making Of Pet Sounds" booklet (1996)
  5. ^ Esch, Jim. "You Still Believe in Me". AllMusic. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ Pet Sounds (CD Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. 1999. 
  7. ^ "For the Stars review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 

External links[edit]