Wonders: The Beach Boys’ Wild Honey

March 20, 2008 at 11:31 am


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Wild Honey is the album that came after Smiley Smile, which in itself was a sort of half-hearted apology for the Smile debacle that is well documented elsewhere. Where “Smiley Smile” was a barely hit/mostly miss album, Wild Honey feels like a giant sigh of relief. (Both albums are available on one disc through the Capital Records reissues)

The title track starts with a wonderfully familiar sound: a theramin. Carl Wilson’s vocals on “Wild Honey” are pretty fantastic – he doesn’t sound bored at all! This song, along with the Stevie Wonder cover “I Was Made to Love Her” seems to set an odd theme to album – defending the feelings you have for someone to someone else. Here is the first verse of the title track:

Mama I’m tellin’ you as sure as I’m standing here
She’s my girl, and that’s the way I’m keeping it now mama dear
No good will it do you to stand there and frown at me
The girl’s got my heart and my love’s coming down on me
My love’s coming down since I got a taste of wild honey!

The entire album is really solid – even with a few weird songs (“I’d Love Just Once to See You” comes to mind, as it seems to be a plea from the singer to an unknown girl that he would love to just see her naked). Some of my favorite songs on the album really recall the harmonies that set all those earlier Beach Boys albums apart, such as the simple and catchy “Country Air.” “Let the Wind Blow” seems connected (at least spiritually) to “Wind Chimes” from the defunct Smile album, and later released on Smiley Smile and Brian Wilson’s Smile.

What got me thinking about Wild Honey is that Nate sent me a really, really disturbing track from a later album called L.A. (Light Album). It is an eleven minute version of “Here Comes the Night” from Wild Honey. “Here Comes the Night” is actually a really great song, but who knows what the hell was going on with the disco version. It actually made my stomach bleed.

Anyway, “Wild Honey” is a really great album – let me know if you’d like to listen to it.

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Entry filed under: Music, Wonders.

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