A Cork on the Ocean: Beach Boys and Wilson Brothers song-by-song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lance LaSalle, Jul 16, 2023.

  1. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Albums discussed so far:
    1. Surfin' Safari 2.7907
    2. Surfin' U.S.A. 2.7875
    3. Surfer Girl 3.752
    Albums ranked:
    1. Surfer Girl 3.752
    2. Surfin' Safari 2.7907
    3. Surfin' U.S.A. 2.7875
    BeSteVenn and croquetlawns like this.
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Today’s song is “The Things We Did Last Summer”, written by Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne. Produced by Brian Wilson.

    The Beach Boys – Things We Did Last Summer Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

    “The Things WE Did Last Summer” was an old song that had hit the Top Ten in 1946, performed by Jo Stafford and more recently had charted at #44 for Shelly Fabares.

    The Beach Boys recorded their version on April 21st for the Red Skelton TV show, along with a version of “Surfin' U.S.A.”. This was the first national TV show The Beach Boys appeared on. The songs were meant to highlight their then-current single, and Murry and Brian included this song to appeal to the parents as well as their children.

    However the program did not air until August, and by that time, the “Surfin' U.S.A.” single had already fallen off the chart. It was recorded with backing from the CBS house orchestra. Although the vocal arrangement is in the Four Freshmen style, The Four Freshmen did not do a version of this song.

    Line UP:
    Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine: vocals

    Other personnel unknown.

    James B. Murphy indicates in Becoming the Beach Boys 1961-1963 that David and Dennis were present at the recording but did not perform on this track, but doesn’t mention Al; WillJC wrote on another site that Al sang on this track.

    An acetate of “The Things We Did Last Summer” was made, but the song was not released until 1993, when it appeared on Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys.

    It was also released as a jukebox only single with “Be True To Your School" on the flip-side in 1993.
  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    The actual TV performance:
  4. pocketcalculator

    pocketcalculator Forum Resident

    New York City
    “The Things We Did Last Summer” - the arrangement is snoozy, but the boys’ harmonies are nice. 3/5
  5. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Things We Did Last Summer
    Pretty song, nice vocal arrangement. Can't find any fault with it but doesn't float my boat.
    Rating 2
  6. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Carnival of Light enjoyer... IF I HAD ONE

    Oh that's nice. It would have held up just with a simple rhythm section backing. The full orchestra gives it that extra layer of cheese that doesn't do it many favors.
  7. NeonMadman

    NeonMadman Forum Resident

    The Things We Did Last Summer

    A lot of early and not-so-early rock n' rollers were highly influenced by doo wop, but is there anyone who was influenced by this kind of mainstream "traditional pop" vocal music to anything close to the extent of the Beach Boys? It's so cool what they were able to make of it, and, as here, it's pretty cool too how fully they were able to recreate it. But that doesn't mean I want to listen.

  8. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: A couple of years later, labelmates The Lettermen would record a similar arrangement:

  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    I love it. It is certainly not rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s so pretty.

    I include this on my Alternate All Summer Long playlist. I’ll let you guess which track it replaces.

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  10. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    The pants. I just can't get enough.
    Past Masters and brownie61 like this.
  11. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    Exactly. It's hard to imagine anyone -- any teen or rock 'n roll fan I mean -- thinking this was anything but completely square and retro, even in 1963.
  12. FrankenStrat

    FrankenStrat Forum Resident

    The Things We Did Last Summer
    Beautifully sung, and the lyrics are certainly of their time. It's so far removed from the surfing and hot rod themes we would expect when this was recorded, but it shows the boys are nothing if not versatile, 3/5
  13. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    If the radio was on and I was hearing this from a distance I'm sure I could confuse it for Graduation Day. It sounds an awful lot the same.
  14. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    This actually "rocks" lots harder than The Beach Boys live version. I could almost tap my foot to this. Almost.
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  15. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    Here's Rick Nelson mining the same vibe in 1961 with "That Warm Summer Night":

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  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Nice vocals and the kind of thing a fan might hunt for on a multi artist compilation album: 2.5/5.
  17. Library Eye

    Library Eye Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    I've never thought this was a great song, no matter who's doing it, but this is a very nice and fairly convincing version. it's as convincing as any older version, really, which is something and on that count maybe I'm hiking the score and perhaps too much but hey, they, or Brian, had a goal and look, listen (don't SMiLE, not yet*) they reached it. (*oh darn, speaking of goals that's one they never…).

    here's another rendition for y'all to enjoy

  18. Komakino___

    Komakino___ Forum Resident

    Things We Did Last Summer

    This is pleasant enough though I can't really say that this is really my kind of thing musically but the harmony is nice.

  19. smilin ed

    smilin ed Senior Member

    One out of three, Will, but I now feel I've been slightly harsh on Summer Dream and I should have a top four!
  20. smilin ed

    smilin ed Senior Member

    Summer - 3. Beautifully arranged vocals
  21. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    I like the BB's Things We Did Last Summer less than Their Hearts Were Full of Spring, but IMHO they are both better than the renditions of A Taste of Honey and Til There Was You by that other band. But none of them are anywhere close to the magic of the Flamingos doing I Only Have Eyes For You.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
  22. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Things We Did Last Summer
    Pairing this with "Surfin' USA" is a real show of versatility.
    The best I can say about this is that it doesn't have Christmassy lyrics so I won't have to listen to it while shopping in December.

    Probably McCartney.
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  23. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    'The Things We Did Last Summer' - I appreciate this was done to appeal to the parents but the problem is I'm not even the generation of the then hip young things! Unfortunately, this is a retro stage too far for me; this is so polite in its smooth stylings that if I'd eaten breakfast it would be on its way back up... Gimme more songs about car parts that I don't understand! 1/5
  24. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus Thread Starter

    Not for rating but....
    Fox67, danasgoodstuff, Mr. D and 7 others like this.
  25. Turk Thrust

    Turk Thrust Forum Resident

    It's pleasant enough, but I never really listen to it. It doesn't really fit with the other material the group were recording at the time and stands alone during this era.

    The voices are strong, as always, and you can hear again how important Mike's voice was to the harmonies.


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