Friends is the fourteenth studio album by The Beach Boys, released in 1968. With a mellow, laid back approach not unlike Smiley Smile (But at the same time completely different), it received generally positive reviews upon release, even if was not a success in the US.
It is also their first album to feature songs written by Dennis Wilson (Which are "Little Bird" and "Be Still"), who would quickly prove to be a major song-writing talent within the band.
Tracklist (The Australian release replaces "Diamond Head" with "Good Vibrations", and the Japanese release added "Do It Again" between "Passing By" and "Anna Lee, The Healer"):
- "Meant For You" (0:38)
- "Friends" (2:30)
- "Wake The World" (1:28)
- "Be Here In The Mornin'" (2:16)
- "When A Man Needs A Woman" (2:06)
- "Passing By" (2:23)
- "Anna Lee, The Healer" (1:51)
- "Little Bird" (1:57)
- "Be Still" (1:22)
- "Busy Doin' Nothin'" (3:04)
- "Diamond Head" (3:37)
- "Transcendental Meditation" (1:49)
Bonus Tracks (2001 Reissue):
- "Break Away" (2:57)
- "Celebrate The News" (3:05)
- "We're Together Again" (1:49)
- "Walk On By" (0:55)
- "Old Folks At Home/Ol' Man River" (2:52)
- Al Jardine - guitar, backing and lead vocals
- Bruce Johnston - piano, vocals
- Mike Love - backing and lead vocals
- Brian Wilson - lead vocals, organ, vibraphone, keyboard
- Carl Wilson - lead vocals, guitar
- Dennis Wilson - drums, backing and lead vocals
Anna Lee, The Troper:
- Album Title Drop: "Friends"We've been friends now for so many years
- Babies Make Everything Better: "When A Man Needs A Woman"You know it makes you nervousWhen you wait for you boyYou wait nine months for a bundle of joyThere's a babyYes, there's a baby about to be bornAnd someday I'll put my son on my kneeAnd his little eyes will be looking at meThen I'll tell himWhen a man needs a womanThey make things like you, my son
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Anna Lee, The Healer"Anna Lee, Anna Lee, the healerHealer with the healing hands
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Transcendental Meditation"Transcendental meditation can emancipate the manAnd get you feeling grand.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The psychedelic album cover.
- Face on the Cover: The band members (including, for the first time, Bruce Johnston) are featured on the album cover, but drawn in a more creative, psychedelic way.
- Important Haircut: "Friends".I talked your folks out of making you cut off your hair
- Instrumentals: "Diamond Head". "Passing By" could also count, as it has wordless vocals.
- Intimate Healing: "Anna Lee, The Healer".Anna Lee, Anna Lee, the healerShe cures people with her handsI'm just one of her many fansYou'd love to feel those healing handsOf Anna Lee
- Lighter and Softer: Usually considered to be the most low-key and mellow Beach Boys album, especially compared to the raucous R'n'B sound of Wild Honey.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Wake The World" about the glory of a new morning. "Busy Doin' Nothin'", which is literally about going about your own way and doing mundane tasks.
- New Sound Album: Not quite like any other Beach Boys albums.
- One-Woman Song: "Anna Lee, The Healer".
- One-Word Title: "Friends".
- Pep-Talk Song: "Little Bird"The trout in the shiny brookGave the worm another lookAnd told me not to worryAbout my life
- The Power of Friendship: "Friends".We've been friends now for so many yearsWe've been together through the good times and the tearsTurned each other on to the good things that life has to giveWe drift apart for a little bit of a spellOne night I get a call and I know that you're wellAnd days I was down you would help me get out of my holeOhhhh, let's be friends, let's be friends, let's be friends
- The Power of Love: "Meant For You", "Be Here In The Mornin'", "When A Man Needs A Woman", "Be Still".
- Promotion To Album Covers: Although Bruce Johnston had been a member of The Beach Boys since 1965, due to contractual reasons he could not appear on an album cover until this album (though he does appear on the back cover of Wild Honey from the previous year).
- Psychedelic Rock: As most albums of the time.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Mike Love visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and wrote the songs "Transcendental Meditation" and "Anna Lee, The Healer", inspired by his teachings.
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Wake The World" and "Be Here In The Mornin'", which follow each other on the track-list.