256. ‘Do It Again’, by The Beach Boys

This is a song I’ve known for a long time, from childhood car journeys with The Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits on repeat, and ever since I first heard it I’ve been fascinated by the intro. The pulsing, grinding rhythm that draws us in, sounding like something that Prince would have rejected for being too saucy…

811jnYhbdoL._SS500_

Do It Again, by The Beach Boys (their 2nd and final #1)

1 week, from 28th August – 4th September 1968

Apparently it is several drum sounds merged together and compressed to slightly trippy effect. It doesn’t last long, unfortunately, this electro-beat intro, as The Beach Boy’s familiar chugging surf guitars soon come in. It’s automatic, When I talk with old friends, The conversation turns to girls we knew… It’s an interesting concept, a ‘traditional’ Beach Boys song about girls, surfing, and so on, but written as a reminiscence. It’s barely four years since every song they released was about girls, surfing, and so on, but so much has changed…

California girls and a beautiful coastline, Warmed-up leather let’s, Get together and do it again… In some ways, it’s a run-through of the Boys’ greatest hits: vocal harmonies, oo-bee-dooos and a nifty little guitar solo. But in other ways it’s a completely different band, one that’s been through ‘Pet Sounds’ and a whole load of LSD. It’s a lot slower than, say, ‘I Get Around’, with a very droney vibe. Even the surf-rock solo is crunchy and distorted. And then it fades out with what sounds like a carpenter’s workshop, all sawing and hammering. Repairing a Woodie, perhaps…?

THE_BEACH_BOYS_DO+IT+AGAIN+-+SOLID-76605

It’s short and sweet, a snip over two minutes long, just like its one-week run at the top of the charts. Blink and you’ll have missed The Beach Boys’ second and final number one single, in the UK at least. It’s interesting to me, and a little bittersweet, that none of the early hits that ‘Do It Again’ echoes made #1. ‘California Girls’, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’, ‘Surfin’ Safari’ and the like all fell short. This is all that remains, an echo of more innocent times. Well, this and ‘Good Vibrations’ – one of the most famous pop songs ever recorded – but still…

Mike Love gets a hard time when people look back at The Beach Boys – the Devil to Brian Wilson’s Messiah. And a lot of its deserved: freezing other members out, resisting change (his ‘don’t fuck with the formula’ quote even has its own Wiki page), writing ‘Kokomo’… But ‘Do It Again’ is his and Brian’s baby, a call-back to when they were the biggest band in the States, selling a glossy, sun-swept vision of American life to gloomy, smoggy, faraway places like Britain.

I’ve always liked this song, even in amongst all the other biggies on their Greatest Hits, and listening to it again now I like it even more. It’s the perfect late-summer hit, as the sun goes down and you lie back in your hammock, cracking open your third beer. And it would be the perfect way to bid farewell to The Beach Boys on this countdown, by pressing play on the link below and doing it again…

4 thoughts on “256. ‘Do It Again’, by The Beach Boys

      • Oh yea…the formula, as he said, worked rather well in the early 60s and I still love a lot of that stuff. I Get Around is brilliant as well as a lot of those songs. I’ll give him credit for that.

        He doesn’t do himself any favors with his interviews.

  1. Pingback: Recap: #241 – #270 – The UK Number Ones Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s