This was written by the husband-and-wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who were in their mid-20s at the time but already established songwriters, with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
" and "Blame It On The Bossa Nova
" among their credits. They also wrote the Animals hit "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
"; when producer Terry Melcher went to work on the Paul Revere & the Raiders album Midnight Ride
, he asked Mann and Weil for a similar song. They sent him "Kicks," which they had originally written hoping it would help get a friend off drugs.
Terry Melcher started working with the group after doing production work on The Byrds' first two albums. In 1968, he rented his house to director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate. Melcher knew Charles Manson and worked with him on some projects before abandoning them. In 1969, Manson's "family" killed Tate and four of her friends in Melcher's house. Melcher became much more secluded after the murders, but did help write The Beach Boys 1987 hit "Kokomo
." He died of cancer in 2004.