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Spring is the debut and sole album by American Spring. Released in 1972, it features a mix of Beach Boys covers, Bril Building pop covers, and originals.

The album is known for being affiliated with Brian Wilson since he is credited as its executive producer (on top of being the husband of Marilyn Wilson, one half of American Spring, back then). However, he produced only a handful of tracks, and the rest was carried over by David Sandler and Beach Boys sound engineer Stephen Desper. Spring was initially conceived during the recording of The Beach Boys' Sunflower, after Brian met David through Bruce Johnston. They kept in touch and later recorded some songs back in Brian's home studio at a moment where Marilyn wanted to continue making music with her sister Diane, following the dissolution of their Girl Group trio The Honeys. The recording happened between 1970 and 1971, at the same time as The Beach Boys' Carl and the Passions – "So Tough".

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Spring went unnoticed following its release despite critical acclaim. It is now a sought-after collectible item, on top of being an interesting Beach Boys-related project for fans of the band.

Tracklist

Side One

  1. "Tennessee Waltz" (2:03)
  2. "Thinkin' Bout You Baby" (3:05)
  3. "Mama Said" (2:34)
  4. "Superstar" (3:31)
  5. "Awake" (3:24)
  6. "Sweet Mountain" (4:13)

Side Two

  1. "Everybody" (2:20)
  2. "This Whole World" (3:11)
  3. "Forever" (3:14)
  4. "Good Time" (2:50)
  5. "Now That Everything's Been Said" (2:16)
  6. "Down Home" (2:44)

Reissues of the album would also feature some outtakes as bonus tracks: "Shyin' Away", "Fallin' In Love", "It's Like Heaven" and "Had to Phone Ya".


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This album provides examples of:

  • Break Up Song: "Now That Everything's Been Said":
    Now, how come you wanna leave me here
    Is there something else I should know
    You may think it's strange
    I never noticed the change
    That made you wanna get up and go
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Sweet Mountain"
    I'm looking up (what do you see?)
    I see the sky (and tell me why)
    I look and wonder (wonder 'bout why)
    When will I see him? (tell me will I)
  • The City vs. the Country: "Down Home" is about someone living in a city wishing to go back to his native home located around rivers and trees.
    Wish I could leave this big town
    City living just ain't living to me
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: "Good Time" is a song originally written and recorded in 1970 by The Beach Boys but that version was never released until their 1977 album The Beach Boys Love You, and Spring is the first album to feature that song. The Beach Boys version has girlfriends named Penny and Betty while the Spring version has boyfriends named Eddy and Orion.
  • Cover Version: Quite a lot! "Sweet Mountain" might be the only original track while the rest is either Beach Boys songs or songs affiliated to the Brill Building genre.
    • Beach Boys-wise, we have the cover of "This Whole World" and "Forever", two songs which appeared on Sunflower.
      • "Good Time" and "Had to Phone Ya" were written way before their appearance on Beach Boys albums The Beach Boys Love You and ''15 Big Ones", yet they were still intended for The Beach Boys and could count as covers.
      • "Thinkin' Bout You Baby" is a rewrite of "Darlin' which appeared on Wild Honey.
      • "Awake" was also recorded and slated to appear on Sunflower (in a version which featured Brian Wilson on lead vocals) but got canned, making the Spring version the first officially released one.
    • "This Whole World" is partially interpersed by a cover of the nursery rhyme "Starlight, Shine Bright".
    • "Mama Said" is originally a song by The Shirelles.
    • "Superstar" is a Delaney & Bonnie song written in 1969.
    • 'Now That Everything's Been Said" and "Down Home" are Carole King-penned songs which were popular in The '60s.
    • "Tennessee Waltz" was originally written by Pee Wee King back in The '40s.
    • The outtake "Fallin' In Love" is originally a song by Dennis Wilson, the first single he released outside of The Beach Boys.
  • Face on the Cover: The first pressing of the album shows what looks like the molding of Marilyn's face. The european covers feature both sisters with the exception of the Italian version showing the drawing of a tree.
  • Gratuitous French: On "Sweet Mountain":
    Au bord de ma chère montagne d'amour note 
  • One-Word Title: "Superstar", "Awake", "Everybody" and "Forever".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Everybody" is about how everybody goes through a heartbreak and moves on:
    One time or other everybody listen to me
    You lose somebody you love
    That's no reason for you to break down and cry
  • The Power of Love: "It's Like Heaven":
    You know our love was meant to be
    The way that it should truly be
    Every day
    It's like heaven
  • The Power Of Music:
    • On "Forever"
    If the song I sing to you
    Could fill your heart with joy
    I'd sing forever
    • The original LP release of the album comes with a lengthy text written by music journalist Ben Edmonds. It presents American Spring, as well as talking about the meaning of music and its power.
    For many of us, music has the power to do most anything we might need it to do.
  • Self-Titled Album: Subverted. Initially released as an album of the duo Spring, the band later had to change their name after knowing that an European Progressive Rock band had the same moniker, opting for American Spring.
  • Shout-Out: "Good Time" namedrops "Talk To Me" by Little Willie John (a song which would later be covered by The Beach Boys on their album 15 Big Ones.
  • Special Guest
    • Outside of Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson partially producing and providing backing vocals on the album, his brother Carl is also credited as a guitarist and backing vocalist.
    • Beach Boys manager Jack Rieley sings at the end of "Down Home"
  • Title Drop: On all tracks except "Superstar".
  • Vocal Dissonance: The double-tracked whispered voice on the bridge of "Good Time" hardly sounds sexy.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: On "Down Home":
    But there's no way to get down home
    You can't retrieve it
    'Cause once you leave it
    Down home's just a memory
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