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Music / 20/20

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I Can Hear Music!

20/20 is the fifteenth studio album by The Beach Boys, released in 1969. It is their final studio album released with Capitol Records until Still Cruisin' in 1989. This album is not only a showcase for the growing song-writing talents of Dennis Wilson, but it also features their first Bruce Johnston solo composition with the band.

Upon release, this album was critically well-received, although it was criticised for lack of cohesion in the track listing due to the strong Genre Roulette. Commercially, the album was a much bigger success than Friends in both the UK and US, and would spawn the hits and fan favorites "Do It Again", "I Can Hear Music", "Cottonfields", and "Bluebirds Over The Mountain". The album also features important out-takes from SMiLE.

Sadly the album is a bit Overshadowed by Controversy, due to the fact that notorious criminal Charles Manson wrote most of "Never Learn Not to Love". Had this album been released after the Tate/LaBianca murders, that song would most likely never be released.


Side One

  1. "Do It Again" (2:25)
  2. "I Can Hear Music" (2:36)
  3. "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" (2:51)
  4. "Be with Me" (3:08)
  5. "All I Want to Do" (2:02)
  6. "The Nearest Faraway Place" (2:39)

Side Two

  1. "Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song)" (2:21)
  2. "I Went to Sleep" (1:36)
  3. "Time to Get Alone" (2:40)
  4. "Never Learn Not to Love"note  (2:31)
  5. "Our Prayer" (1:07)
  6. "Cabinessence" (3:34)

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:

Trope With Me:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The group managed to get a entire album without writing many new tracks, to whit:
    • "Do It Again" (A previously released single from 1968) - with some of the unreleased "Smile's" workshop skit tagged on.
    • "Be With Me" and "All I Want to Do" (both Dennis compositions) and "The Nearest Faraway Place" (a Bruce Johnston composition)
    • "Our Prayer" and "Cabinessence" (From the unreleased "Smile"), "Time to Get Alone" (a Wild Honey outtake) and "I Went to Sleep" (a Friends outtake). In the case of "Cabinessence", Carl's vocal was newly recorded for this LP though all others were virtually the same.
    • "I Can Hear Music", "Cotton Fields", "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" & "Never Learn Not To Love" - all cover versions - with the latter two being previously released together as a single the previous year.
  • Broken Record: "Cabinessence"
    Who ran the Iron Horse?
  • Cover Version: "I Can Hear Music" (The Ronettes), "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" (Ersel Hickey) and "Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song)" (Lead Belly). "Never Learn Not To Love" (Charles Manson) can be considered a cover of "Cease To Exist" as well.
  • Extreme Doormat: "Never Learn Not To Love"
    Submission is a gift, give it to your lover
    Love and understanding is for one another
    I'm your kind, I'm your kind, and I see
  • Face on the Cover: The cover features a group shot of the band.
  • Genre Roulette: The album! With touches of country, hard rock, psychedelia, folk, and with "Do It Again" a nostalgic surf sound.
  • Instrumental: "The Nearest Faraway Place".
  • Intercourse with You: "All I Want To Do". Granted, it is a Dennis Wilson song:
    Well, I don't care where you wanna go
    Just so you go with me
    And I don't care what you wanna do
    But make sure you do it with me
    All I wanna do with you
    Well, I just wanna make-a some love to you
  • Longest Song Goes Last: The SMiLE remnant "Cabinessence" is a good half-minute longer than any of the other songs.
  • Mad Artist: Charles Manson: cult leader, serial murder, political insurgent, and writer of "Never Learn Not To Love" The band was rattled when Manson threatened to murder Dennis Wilson for changing a line in the song's lyrics, and even more so when evidence of Manson's gruesome crimes later came to light.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "I Went To Sleep", about a man going to sleep in the park and enjoying the quietness.
  • Mythology Gag: This album partially gets its name due to being the 20th overall album the band had released for Capitol at that point, as well as being the final album the band would release for them before their departure for Reprise Records.
  • New Sound Album: The band experimented with new musical genres.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title isn't referred to in any of the lyrics.
  • One-Word Title: "Cabinessence"
  • The Power of Love: "Time To Get Alone"
    The touch of your cheeks
    When they're rosy and cold
    Feels so cosy to hold
    Just to take you close
    And make you warm and
    Time to get alone
    To get alone
    And just be together
    We'll only be together
  • The Power of Rock: "I Can Hear Music".
  • Rearrange the Song: Dissatisfied by the album version of "Cotton fields", Al Jardine wanted to rerecord it with a punchier approach similar to Rock Country. The song was retitled "Cottonfields" and released as a single which performed well worldwide (especially in Europe where it was included in the EU version of Sunflower.
  • Title by Number: The album title refers to the fact that it was their 20th album on the Capitol label.
  • Vocal Tag Team: With every member getting either lead vocals or co-lead vocals.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "Cabinessence", which retained the famously dense, Joycean lyrics that characterized the work of Van Dyke Parks on the SMiLE project, including the lines that led to the infamous confrontation between Mike Love and Parks.
    Over and over
    The crow cries uncover the cornfield
    Over and over
    The thresher and hover the wheatfield