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Music / Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)

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Looks like Al and Bruce missed the boat...

Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) is the ninth studio album by The Beach Boys, released in 1965.

It is their first album to feature Bruce Johnston, who joined as band's sixth member while it was being recorded. Johnston joined primarily to replace Glen Campbell as Brian Wilson's substitute for live performances, Brian having quit touring in December 1964.

Along with The Beach Boys Today!, this album is musically seen as the immediate precursor to Pet Sounds, as Brian's song-writing, production and arrangement skills were clearly developing rapidly. Hits and fan favorites include "Girl Don't Tell Me", "Help Me, Rhonda", "California Girls", and "Let Him Run Wild".



Side One

  1. "The Girl from New York City" (1:54)
  2. "Amusement Parks U.S.A." (2:29)
  3. "Then I Kissed Her" (2:15)
  4. "Salt Lake City" (2:00)
  5. "Girl Don't Tell Me" (2:19)
  6. "Help Me, Rhonda" (2:46)

Side Two

  1. "California Girls" (2:46)
  2. "Let Him Run Wild" (2:20)
  3. "You're So Good to Me" (2:14)
  4. "Summer Means New Love" (1:59)
  5. "I'm Bugged at My Old Man" (2:17)
  6. "And Your Dream Comes True" (1:04)

Bonus Tracks (2001 Reissue):

  1. "The Little Girl I Once Knew" (2:40)
  2. "Dance, Dance, Dance (Alternate Take)" (2:02)
  3. "I'm So Young (Alternate Take)" (2:29)
  4. "Let Him Run Wild (Alternate Take)" (2:18)
  5. "Graduation Day" (2:18)


Principal Members:

Summer Means New Tropes:

  • A Cappella: "And Your Dream Comes True" dispenses with instrumental backing altogether.
  • Age-Progression Song: "Girl Don't Tell Me" and the bonus track "The Little Girl I Once Knew" both tell how the protagonist and the object of his desire have both grown older since they last saw each other. In both cases she no longer has interest for him.
  • Alliterative Title: "Summer Days and Summer Nights".
  • Archnemesis Dad: The father in "I'm Bugged at My Old Man" certainly has a tyrannical streak to him. At first he seems like a typical strict father, since he makes the protagonist stay in his room and he is mad when he comes in a little late. But as the song progresses he almost seems like a dictator. He sells his son's surfboard, cuts off his hair in his sleep, tacks up boards on his window so he can't look outside, jerks his phone out of the wall when his son tries to call up his girlfriend, steals his radio and, to top it all off, he is out eating steak, while his son just gets some breadcrumbs and a little glass of water for dinner! Though the last line does turn the tables as it reveals that all this might just be a severe punishment for the fact that the boy got suspended from school.
  • Artistic License – Geography: "Salt Lake City", where the protagonist feels really excited of going there, because "it got the grooviest kids" who "talk so cool". There is also a "number one radio station", a "park near the city"note , "all kinds of girls", "sun" and in "winter time the skiing is great". In reality, Salt Lake City is not exactly the most exciting place to hang around when you're young, so the protagonist in this song might be exaggerating a bit. The song is actually enduringly popular in Salt Lake City itself, partly because of the novelty of a famous group singing about the city, but also partly because the song does come off as an amusingly backhanded tribute, with the guys struggling to come up with two minutes-worth of things to say about Salt Lake. The Epic Riff doesn't hurt either.
  • Break-Up Song:
    • "Help Me, Rhonda" is a quite unusual example. In the song a boy is still undergoing the effect of his previous broken relationship, but at the same time already has a girl, Rhonda, whom he fancies now. Yet, since he can't get his previous girl out of his head he asks Rhonda to help him get over her.
      She was gonna be my wife
      And I was gonna be her man
      But she let another guy come between us
      And it shattered our plan
    • More straightforward is "Let Him Run Wild", where the protagonist warns his former girlfriend in advance that her new partner is basically a jerk. "Girl Don't Tell Me" is about a girl who doesn't answer the letters of her boyfriend anymore.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "I'm Bugged at My Old Man".
    I'm bugged at my ol' man
    And he doesn't even know where it's at
  • Continuity Nod: "The Girl From New York City" makes mention of "California guys", while "California Girls" makes mention of the opposite sex from that US state.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: "Then I Kissed Her", a Perspective Flip cover of The Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me".
  • Cover Version: "Then I Kissed Her", originally by The Crystals.
  • Credits Gag: The back cover credits each member for lead vocals on each song. Brian Wilson is credited on "I'm Bugged at My Old Man" as "too embarrassed".
  • Denied Food as Punishment: "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man":
    (...) They gave me some breadcrumbs and a little glass of water
    And they're out there eating steak
  • Excited Show Title!: Featuring two exclamation marks, no less.
  • Face on the Cover: A group shot of the band members, minus Al and Bruce.
  • Important Haircut: "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man":
    He cut off my hair in my sleep
  • Instrumental: "Summer Means New Love". Interestingly, this was issued as the B-side of "Caroline, No" on a 45rpm single credited to Brian Wilson, his first "solo" release.
  • In the Style of:
    • "Girl Don't Tell Me" sounds very much like The Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride" from Help!. It's likely that the former, which was recorded on April 30, 1965, was influenced by the latter, which had been released on April 9 of that year.
    • "You're So Good to Me" sounds a lot like a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song.
  • List Song: "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man" is a list of all the stuff that the narrator finds irritating about his father. "Amusement Parks, U.S.A." namechecks several real-life American amusement parks of the era and lists all the fun activities that can be pursued therein.
  • Obsession Song: "Help Me, Rhonda"
    She was gonna be my wife
    And I was gonna be her man
    But she let another guy come between us
    And it ruined our plan
    Well, Rhonda you caught my eye (caught my eye)
    And I can give you lotsa reasons why
    You gotta help me Rhonda
    Help me get her out of my heart
  • One-Woman Song: "The Girl from New York City", "Girl Don't Tell Me", "Help Me, Rhonda".
  • Pep-Talk Song: "You're So Good to Me" explains to the girl why she is so great.
  • Race Fetish: Or Region Fetish, anyway; "California Girls" is all about "the girls from state X are attractive in this way, while the girls from state Y are attractive in that way instead".
  • Rearrange the Song: "Help Me, Rhonda" keeps the same basic arrangement as the take on The Beach Boys Today!, but tightens things up and sounds way more polished, with the high harmonies on the chorus and the guitar solo being the major changes.
  • She Is All Grown Up: The bonus track "The Little Girl I Once Knew".
    We met when she was younger
    Then I had no eyes for her
    A few years went by and I saw her
    Now I'm gonna try for her
    Look out babe
    She's not the little girl I once knew
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Amusement Parks U.S.A." has a spoken word interlude by drummer Hal Blaine, where he imitates a barker trying to invite people to come to the "Beach Boy Circus".
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Al Jardine sings lead vocals on "Then I Kissed Her" and "Help Me, Rhonda", as well as co-lead vocals on "And Your Dream Comes True" and the bonus track "The Little Girl I Once Knew". Carl Wilson sings lead vocals on "Girl Don't Tell Me", as well as co-lead vocals on "And Your Dream Comes True" and the bonus track "The Little Girl I Once Knew".
  • Stop and Go: The bonus single-only track "The Little Girl I Once Knew" features two periods of complete silence. Since radio stations want to avoid Dead Air as much as possible, those ended up hindering the single's performance in the charts, causing it to stall at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.note 
  • Surf Rock: "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man" features a token reference to surfing:
    Why did he sell my surfboard?
    (...) I can't hit the surf, can't drag
  • Take That!: The joke song "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man" is roughly based on the abuse Brian, Dennis and Carl went through under their father Murry Wilson.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Brian, Carl, Mike and Al on "And Your Dream Comes True".
  • You Are Grounded!: "I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man"
    I'm bugged at my ol' man, cause he's making me stay in my room
    (...) I wish I could see outside, but he tacked up boards on my window
    (...) They gave me some breadcrumbs and a little glass of water
    And they're out there eating steak