Song of the Day #2,136: ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice? (Behind the Sounds)’ – The Beach Boys

pet_soundsThe first Beach Boys song I considered for this list of favorite “happy” songs was ‘God Only Knows.’ It’s probably my favorite of theirs. But I quickly realized that it’s pretty melancholy as love songs go.

So I went with my backup, another favorite of mine, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice?’ You could argue that this song is bittersweet as well — after all, it’s about a couple that can’t be together the way they want to be — but it’s musically exuberant.

This video clip provides a glimpse at the recording process, particularly Brian Wilson’s genius for arrangement.

If hearing this build-up of all the pieces falling into place makes you ache to hear the full song (as I did), you can do so at my post for Song of the Day #1,598.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we’ve been spending
I wish that every kiss was neverending
Wouldn’t it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married (we could be married)
And then we’d be happy (and then we’d be happy)

Wouldn’t it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn’t it be nice

Good night my baby
Sleep tight my baby

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,136: ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice? (Behind the Sounds)’ – The Beach Boys

  1. Dana says:

    That is a very cool video.

    As a kid, I had always heard about the complex and revolutionary quality of Pet Sounds, but I must confess that, for years, while I liked the songs, I didn’t really get it. Hearing many of these songs playing on AM radio probably didn’t help, but I now think the reason is that the end product is so natural and free-flowing, that the complexity of the arrangement doesn’t jump out at you. And that is, I believe, what Brian Wilson intended.

    It’s similar to some pieces of art that look beautiful, but the intricacy of the paint strokes, the uniqueness of materials used, etc. is not obvious to the casual observer. You just know on an instinctive level that it works.

  2. Rob says:

    There are albums where one wishes they could be present in the studio while the album is being created. “Pet Sounds” is one of those albums for me.While they were recording tracks like “God Only Knows”, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Caroline No”, they just had to know they were creating magic.
    Many years ago I was a band director in a Montreal theater production. One of the songs we performed was “God Only Knows”. I had to chart that piece for a ten piece band. As such, I listened to that song hundreds of times, trying to capture the subtle nuances in the arrangement. I can say with all honesty, despite having some great talent in that live band, we could not come close to capturing that magic in a live setting. Brian Wilson is a genius.

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