Thursday, July 21, 2005

Greatest moments in rock and roll, part 11

Vocal harmony dissection of the day: The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby

The chorus:
Harm1+2        Don't worry baby                       Don't worry baby
Bass Now don't now don't you wor ry baby
Lead She says don't worry baby everything

Harm1+2 Don't worry baby Don't worry baby Ooh
Bass Now don't now don't you wor ry baby Ooh
Lead will turn out all right don't worry baby Ooh
The stereo separation is: Harm1+2 (right), Bass (right), Lead (left). The coolest thing about this harmony is the bass line and how it joins the other two harmonies at the end of each line.

"Don't Worry Baby" was recorded on February 20, 1964, with lead vocals by Brian Wilson. Brian was 21 at the time, so at 22 we are already falling behind.

For years hearing it on oldies radio, I never realized it was a car song. Take a closer look at these great lyrics:
I guess I should've kept my mouth shut
When I started to brag about my car
But I can't back down now because
I pushed the other guys too far
The best part is when Brian sings about the danger of driving a race car. Life and death stuff, man:
She told me "Baby, when you race today
Just take along my love with you
And if you knew how much I loved you
Baby nothing could go wrong with you"
The odd lyrical moment comes when he suddenly has sex on his mind: "Oh what she does to me/ When she makes love to me." But it works, doesn't it? This song is a classic.

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