Good Vibrations

Today I began listening to BBC 6 Music during morning rituals and routines. The always affable guest host Huw Stephens was in the chair on Shaun Keaveny’s show (13:00-16:00 GMT). After a news break, Stephens’ playlist resumed and “Good Vibrations” by the California, USA band, The Beach Boys was the first song I took note of while puttering around in the quiet of the early morning kitchen, with sunlight streaming in the east-facing windows.

I know I’ve written before about this, but it always amazes me how a song can help harness the beginnings of a good day and make it even better. That’s one of the things I love so much about music. Combined with the sun and the smell of coffee filtering into the cup, the music set a lovely tone for the day.

Released in 1966 as a single five years after the band formed, “Good Vibrations” was a massive hit. It is reported to be the most expensive-to-produce single at the time, with its complex structure and soundscapes. Singer-songwriter Brian Wilson also produced the track, using many hours of tape and session musicians to supplement the band’s instrumentation, adding others like the electro-theremin to create the layers of textured sound that span several phases in the piece. It’s quite a brilliant piece of studio work when one thinks of the technology available 55 years ago.

The song also led the way into experimentation in music that spawned genres like psychedelic and progressive rock.

I-I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

Close my eyes, she’s somehow closer now
Softly smile, I know she must be kind
When I look in her eyes
She goes with me to a blossom world

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations (Oom bop bop)
I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Good vibrations, oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations)

(Ahh)
(Ah, my my, what elation)
I don’t know where but she sends me there
(Oh, my my, what a sensation)
(Oh, my my, what elation)
(Oh, my my, what)

Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’ with her
Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a-happenin’

(Ahh)

Good, good, good, good vibrations (Oom bop bop)
(I’m pickin’ up good vibrations) (Oom bop bop)
She’s giving me excitations (Excitations, oom bop bop)
Good, good, good, good vibrations

Na na na na na, na na na
Na na na na na, na na na (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)
Do do do do do, do do do (Bop bop-bop-bop-bop, bop)

(“Good Vibrations,” by Brian Wilson, Mike Love.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

Wikipedia features an extensive article about “Good Vibrations,” and I recommend reading it if you want to learn more about the creation and development of the song.

The single also appeared as a track on the band’s 12th album, Smiley Smile (1967). Rolling Stone magazine lists “Good Vibrations” as number six in their “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official music video from The Beach Boys’ official YouTube channel (click on the settings wheel and choose 1080p for the best sound):

2 thoughts on “Good Vibrations

  1. Love this, one of my favorite Beach Boys’ songs, and one of my all time favorite summer songs. Read your blog then gave it listen. Great midday pick me up when stuck in the office.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to have helped you with a little mid-day, lift, Stephen! Hopefully there will be good vibrations for the rest of your day. It’s an amazing track for sure… reading and writing about it helped me get more out of the song. Thanks for visiting, liking and commenting!

      Like

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