Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Song of the Week: The Beach Boys - Darlin' and Here Today

Here Today
Here at On The Flip-Side we tend to focus on the little records that could, not the Goliaths of the music world. But occasionally we break that rule for a compelling record. Today is one of those days.

By the time The Beach Boys recorded and released Darlin'/Here Today for Capitol Records in the waning hours of 1967, the band was in a downward spiral. Brian Wilson's tenuous hold on stability was not so firm. The music scene had changed enough that The Beach Boys were considered passé by most of the hep-cat record buyers who were focusing on The Doors, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane. But that didn't stop the band from making one last great single. And here is that record.

Darlin' was written by Mike Love and Brian Wilson and recorded on October 27, 1967 with Carl singing lead. It's a curious vocal performance as Carl struggles to hit the higher notes of the song...but in a good way. His performance is enthusiastic and charming and the harmonies, as was always the case with the band of brothers and cousins, is tight as hell. It's a shame the song fades out. Songs should NEVER fade out. Never. An irony here is that this, the last great Beach Boys 45, inspired a Zombies song in their twilight hours. Any guesses as to what that song is?

The Flip-Side is an older song, Here Today, which first appeared on the much vaunted Pet Sounds album in 1966. It's one of the better Beach Boys songs ever with the Pet Sounds trademark lush production. The musicians on the song are the vaunted Wrecking Crew and they nail it on this track. I'm particularly smitten with the music break starting around 1:45. You can hear Brian Wilson yelling out the music cues at two points. Mmmmm, nice.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side.


  1. had about 8 bob &it was a choice between this and fire brigade and this just won pretty sure country air was on the flip here in the uk . a few years later i got american spring & was surprised to hear darlin with a different title and lyrics.

    1. I believe you are right about the flip-side in the UK. We did a piece on Fire Brigade a few months back. It can be found here:

      Keep stopping by and leaving comments.

  2. I first came to your blog while reading about my favorite band, The Zombies, and you've spotlighted some great songs of theirs. I wish more people knew how great their music is. I did want to mention, though, that "Darlin'" was recorded two-to-three months after The Zombies finished their final track of Odessey and Oracle (the track being "Time of the Season" which was recorded in August 1967) even though the album wasn't released until 1968. Any semblance between The Beach Boys (whose work I also love) and The Zombies at that point was pure coincidence. The Zombies performed their last gig together around December 12, 1967, six days before "Darlin'" was released.

    1. Hey Bradley - Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to have you here.

      RE: The Zombies reference.

      Even though The Zombies had broken up, Rod Argent continued to record with Chris White and others under the moniker of The Zombies...even though it could easily be considered "Argent" at this point. The song in question by "The Zombies" is She Loves The Way They Love Her (Argent/White). According to the Zombie Heaven box set (a must for all Zombies fans), She Loves The Way They Love Her was recorded on 16th December, 1968 at Trident Studios, Wardour Street, London. It wasn't released until 1973, however. That would put the recording of The Zombies song exactly 363 days after the release of The Beach Boys number, Darlin'.

    2. It should be mentioned that we are talking about one part of Darlin' here, the chorus such as between :40 and :50.

  3. Right you are. This is far from a plagiarism. But certainly similar. Inspired by...?