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.