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Music / Friends (1968)
aka: Friends

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The standard album cover for Friends.Click for the alternate Australian cover 

Take that simple path
And love will set you free
Live in harmony
And love will set you free, oh
You know, you know you are
Be still and know you are
You know, you know you are
Be still and know you are
— "Be Still"

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"):

Side One

  1. "Meant For You" (0:38)
  2. "Friends" (2:30)
  3. "Wake The World" (1:28)
  4. "Be Here In The Mornin'" (2:16)
  5. "When A Man Needs A Woman" (2:06)
  6. "Passing By" (2:23)

Side Two

  1. "Anna Lee, The Healer" (1:51)
  2. "Little Bird" (1:57)
  3. "Be Still" (1:22)
  4. "Busy Doin' Nothin'" (3:04)
  5. "Diamond Head" (3:37)
  6. "Transcendental Meditation" (1:49)


Bonus Tracks (2001 Reissue):

  1. "Break Away" (2:57)
  2. "Celebrate The News" (3:05)
  3. "We're Together Again" (1:49)
  4. "Walk On By" (0:55)
  5. "Old Folks At Home/Ol' Man River" (2:52)

Principal Members:

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 nervous
    When you wait for you boy
    You wait nine months for a bundle of joy
    There's a baby
    Yes, there's a baby about to be born
    And someday I'll put my son on my knee
    And his little eyes will be looking at me
    Then I'll tell him
    When a man needs a woman
    They make things like you, my son
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Anna Lee, The Healer"
    Anna Lee, Anna Lee, the healer
    Healer with the healing hands
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Transcendental Meditation"
    Transcendental meditation can emancipate the man
    And 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 healer
    She cures people with her hands
    I'm just one of her many fans
    You'd love to feel those healing hands
    Of 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.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Meant For You" is the Beach Boys' shortest songs to be recorded.
  • 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. Furthermore, the lyrics of the first bridge are allegedly the actual directions to Brian Wilson's then-residence from the house of one of his friends, set to a perfect lyrical meter and catchy melody.
  • 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 brook
    Gave the worm another look
    And told me not to worry
    About my life
  • The Power of Friendship: "Friends".
    We've been friends now for so many years
    We've been together through the good times and the tears
    Turned each other on to the good things that life has to give
    We drift apart for a little bit of a spell
    One night I get a call and I know that you're well
    And days I was down you would help me get out of my hole
    Ohhhh, 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.
  • Wanted a Son Instead: Though he didn't outright ask for a son, Brian expected one according to the lyrics of "When A Man Needs A Woman". In the end, he had two daughters with his first wife Marilyn.
    You know it makes you nervous
    When you wait for your boy
    You wait nine months for a bundle of joy
    There's a baby
    Yes, there's a baby about to be born

Alternative Title(s): Friends