The title of this album is a Shout-Out to a band Carl Wilson was in when he was a teenager. Upon release, this album was a moderate success commercially and received generally positive reviews. However, in the US it was paired with Pet Sounds, which indicated the lack of confidence their record company had with this album.
Fan favourites include "You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone", "Marcella", "All This Is That" and "Cuddle Up".
- "You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone" (3:27)
- "Here She Comes" (5:10)
- "He Come Down" (4:41)
- "Marcella" (3:54)
- "Hold On Dear Brother" (4:43)
- "Make It Good" (2:36)
- "All This Is That" (4:00)
- "Cuddle Up" (5:30)
- Blondie Chaplin - lead vocals, guitar, bass
- Ricky Fataar - drums, backing and co-lead vocals
- Al Jardine - backing and co-lead vocals
- Bruce Johnston - vocals
- Mike Love - backing and co-lead vocals
- Brian Wilson - vocals, piano, percussion
- Carl Wilson - lead vocals, guitar, bass, piano
- Dennis Wilson - lead vocals, piano
You Need A Mess Of Help To Trope Alone:
- Absentee Musician: Bruce Johnston, who quit the band shortly after the initial sessions for this album started. He only appears on "Marcella", contributing backing vocals.
- Darker and Edgier: "You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone" is very powerful heavy rock for the Beach Boys' standards.
- Ethereal Choir: "All This Is That" has harmony singing that sounds much like this. The religious texts, "Jai guru dev, jai " only add to the atmosphere.
- Genre Roulette: Includes Roots Rock, Hard Rock, Gospel, Soul, Blues Rock, Rhythm And Blues, etc.
- God-Is-Love Songs: "He Came Down" is a song that praise God, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Krishna.People have you heard of the world planTo know the inner nature of every manJesus came down to save the world from sinSayin' "Seek ye first the kingdom within"
- Long Title: "You Need A Mess Of Help to Stand Alone". Fans generally just call it "Mess Of Help" for short.
- Mythology Gag: This album partially gets its name from one of the bands Carl Wilson had formed in school prior to The Beach Boys.
- New Sound Album: The album! A complete change of sound to a style not so different from the likes of The Band, The Grateful Dead, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac.
- One-Woman Song: "Marcella".
- Pep-Talk Song:
What can I love that isn't youBut you never understand inside of meTill you realize a lookYou never get more than you tookWon't you pleaseHold on dear Brother
- "Make It Good", where the protagonist cheers a sad woman up and tells her he'll stay with her.
- "Hold On Dear Brother"
- The Power of Love:
Golden auras glow around youOmnipresent love surrounds youWisdom warming as the sunYou and I are truly one
- "All This Is That"
I know a man who's so in love ... the night has come.... cuddle up to meKeep warm, close to me
- "Cuddle Up"
- Real Life Writes the Plot: It is widely believed that "Hold On Dear Brother" was written with Brian Wilson in mind, who was mentally going through a severe breakdown at the time.
- Refrain from Assuming: The chant "Jai guru dev, jai " in "All This Is That" is not a shout-out to "Across The Universe" from The Beatles' album Let It Be. "Jai guru dev, jai" is common chant in Hinduism and Hare Krishna.
- The album title to a band which a teen-aged Carl Wilson was a member of.
- Saint Etienne named their 1993 album So Tough as a homage to The Beach Boys. That same year, they named their compilation You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone.
- Special Guest: Daryl Dragon, best known from Captain And Tenille - as well as a former touring member of The Beach Boys, co-wrote some of the ballads on this album with Dennis Wilson.