Single of the Week #27: I Can Hear Music/All I Want to Do Jul 5, 2021 12:29:30 GMT
Post by Kapitan on Jul 5, 2021 12:29:30 GMT
In early 1969, the Beach Boys were not in a great place. In fact, it was a period later described by Dennis Wilson as their low point (at least before their 1977 near-breakup), losing money on their own lifestyles and other artists, not selling records themselves in the quantities they had become accustomed to, and with Brian Wilson struggling with his mental health and drug abuse to the point that he checked himself into a psychiatric hospital in the latter half of '68.
The album the band cobbled together in Brian's near-absence ironically turned out to be a strong one, whatever the origins of the mishmash of tracks. The third single released from 20/20, a cover of the Barry/Greenwich/Spector song "I Can Hear Music," is one such strong song.
Carl Wilson made his debut as a (sole) producer with the song, one of two on the album (along with "Time to Get Alone") credited to him alone. Carl also took the soaring lead vocal, which floats atop the pseudo-Wall of Sound through the verses until the group joins him on the refrains.
The song was another minor hit, reaching #24 in the US and #10 in the UK, and so approaching but not quite beating the chart success of "Do It Again" or "Darlin," but topping the performance of other recent singles.
On the flip side was "All I Want to Do," one of the hardest rocking songs in the group's catalogue. A Dennis Wilson/Stephen Kalinich composition, Mike Love takes the lead vocals out of his comfortable baritone voice and into, well, a scream. The heavily distorted lead guitar that stood out as unnatural in "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" is firmly in its place here. And at the end, famously, remains audio evidence of Dennis's extracurricular activities. The song did not chart anywhere.
Please discuss and rate "I Can Hear Music" backed with "All I Want to Do."