Album: Wild Honey (1968)
Charted: 11 19


  • Brian Wilson wrote this in 1963 as "Thinkin' 'Bout You Baby," a record the Beach Boys mastermind produced for Sharon Marie, a girlfriend of Mike Love's. Marie was a previously unrecorded teenager who had informally auditioned for Wilson and Love by singing opera standards stageside after a Sacramento Beach Boys concert.

    When the Beach Boys formed Brother Records in 1967, the plan was that everybody would produce outside artists. Brian's first signing was Redwood, a group formed by his friend Danny Hutton, who, up until that time, was best known for the 1965 hit, "Roses And Rainbows." Wilson resurrected this song, re-wrote it and named it "Darlin'," for Redwood. They cut the track, which Wilson produced but it and other Redwood recordings were never released. Soon after, Redwood changed their name to Three Dog Night, and went on to become one of the most commercially successful American bands of its time.

    The other Beach Boys members insisted that they should record the song. It was produced by the band and featured Carl Wilson on lead vocals. The tune was included on their 1967 album Wild Honey and also released as a single, peaking at #19 in the United States and #11 in the United Kingdom.
  • Brian Wilson said in a 2011 interview with Goldmine: "I was writing more in a soul/R&B bag. The horns were conceived as a Phil Spector kind of a horn thing. 'Darlin' was for Three Dog Night (known as Redwood at the time). They recorded it and said, 'No, you can have it' so I gave it to Carl to sing. That song took about a week to write.
  • David Cassidy covered the song for his 1975 album, The Higher They Climb. The LP was produced by Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston and the then teen idol's version of "Darlin'" was released as a single peaking at #16 in the UK.
  • Brian Wilson told American Songwriter this is his favorite of all the songs he's written. "I just like the melody," he said."
  • This was a plot point in the 2015 episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Earworm Reverberation." In the episode, Sheldon (Jim Parsons), gets the tune from this song stuck in his head, but can't identify it. After a while he believes he is losing his mind, but when he starts ruminating on artistic geniuses who have also gone crazy (putting him in good company), he thinks of Van Gogh, Bobby Fisher, Jackson Pollack... and Brian Wilson. This triggers the memory and he remembers the song.

    He later realizes he was thinking about the song because the lyrics reminded him of his ex-girlfriend, Amy, so he makes a play to get her back.

Comments: 5

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWhat a beautiful voice Carl had. Sadly he was a smoker.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 17th 1967, "Darlin'" by the Beach Boys entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and six weeks later on January 28th, 1968 it peaked at #19 {for 2 weeks} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    And the week after its second week at #19 it was at #33 and that was its ninth and last week on the chart...
    The song was track one of side two on the quintet's thirteenth studio album, 'Wild Honey', the album peaked at #24 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart and #7 on the United Kingdom's Albums chart...
    R.I.P. Dennis Wilson {1944-1983} and Carl Wilson {1946-1998}.
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song has a bright bounce sound,very upbeat with a strong melody.It has the kind of style the Beach Boys are known for.Every so often their brilliance shown through on classics such as this.
  • Ross from Brooklyn, NyCheck out that record's version of "Aren't You Glad?" as well!
  • Ross from Brooklyn, NyAs much as I love the "Wild Honey" LP, the definitive version of this song is on the "Live in London 1969" album with the horn section. Terrific Wilson/Love stuff in a superb arrangement. And, oh yeah, those vocals!
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