I Get Around

Album: All Summer Long (1964)
Charted: 7 1
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  • Like most early Beach Boys songs, this does not have deep lyrical content; it's a fun song about a teenage lifestyle featuring friends, girls and cars. Musically, however, it was incredibly innovative, with an opening fuzz guitar, stop-start rhythms and a keyboard line working in and out of the song. Written by Brian Wilson with contributions from Mike Love, it was the first Beach Boys recording after The Beatles took hold in America, and Wilson responded with this rather complex creation.
  • This was The Beach Boys first #1 in their own country ("Surfin' Safari" went to #1 in Sweden two years earlier). Father-manager Murry Wilson and therefore his beleaguered son Brian despaired over not hitting the top spot in the US, coming off second best first to the Four Seasons through 1962 and into '63, then to Jan & Dean when they got to #1 that summer with "Surf City" - a song Brian Wilson wrote - and then into 1964 with the Beatles took over.
  • This was released as a double A-side single in May 1964 with "Don't Worry Baby." It is considered one of the best ever single releases along with "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles and "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. It was rated fifth biggest seller of 1964 by both Billboard and Cash Box - indicating close to 2 million US units sold - though it was another 18 years before Capitol submitted it to the RIAA for auditing (the only other Beach Boys single the label did this for was "Good Vibrations").
  • This was The Beach Boys real breakthrough in the UK, reaching #7 in a chart that for months had seen only British faces. It was effusively pushed by Mick Jagger on British TV's Juke Box Jury and he personally circulated copies of it to the UK's independent pirate radio stations offshore. It was also #1 in Canada and New Zealand.
  • Fuzzed and reverbed guitar were demonstrated on this way before anyone else in rock, but too subtly for the general public to notice. It was about three years later that fuzz and reverb became a huge deal from the amplifiers of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Gary - Auckland, New Zealand, for above 4
  • Alice Cooper says that this is his favorite song. The horror rocker is a big fan of '60s pop music, especially The Beach Boys and The Beatles. He was 14 when he first heard "I Get Around," and even though he didn't surf, he did want to drive around with his friends.
  • In our interview with Randy Bachman, he recalls a conversation with Brian Wilson where Wilson explained that this song is based on the Broadway show tune "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue." Said Bachman:

    "I said, 'How did you do that?' He said, 'Well, when they say to stay on the C chord for two beats, I stay on it for four. Or if they say stay on the C chord for eight beats, I stay on it for two.' So if you listen to 'Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue, oh, what those five feet could do,' that's 'I Get Around.' But they went, 'Round, round, get around, I get around.' And then he put his own, 'Woo oo,' and then he wrote his own song and he put in his own lyrics."
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Comments: 19

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDuke you left off one Glen Campbell played on this as well.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDuke they were part of the fabulous Wrecking Crew. Did a bunch of stuff for Brian.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 27th 1964, the Beach Boys performed "Wendy" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Thirteen days later on October 11th, 1964 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #71; and on November 8th, 1964 peaked at #44 {for 1 week} and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show the quintet also performed their #1 hit, "I Get Around".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs stated in the next post below Hal Blaine played timbales on this record; amazingly between 1961 and 1976 the R 'n R Hall of Famer Mr. Blaine played drums on 38 records that peaked at #1 on the Top 100 (starting with Elvis' "Can't Help Falling in Love" in 1961 and ending with "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" by Diana Ross in 1976)...
    The two weeks "I Get Around" was at #1, it prevented "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small and "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers from reaching #1, both song peaked at #2.
  • Duke from Fresno, CaSession musicians played on I GET AROUND....50 YEARS AGO...as of May 20, 1964

    Hal Blaine – timbales
    Chuck Britz – engineer
    Steve Douglas – tenor saxophone
    Jay Migliori – baritone saxophone
    Ray Pohlman – bass guitar
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 18th 1964, the Beach Boys performed "I Get Around" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One month later on May 23th, 1964 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #76; and on June 28th it peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 9 of those 15 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    The record's B-side, "Don't Worry Baby", also charted; it peaked at #24 and stayed on the Top 100 for 10 weeks...
    On the same 'Bandstand' show they performed "Fun Fun Fun", it had preceded "I Get Around" on the Top 100 and reached #5...
    R.I.P. Dennis Wilson (1944-1983), Carl Wilson (1946-1998), and Dick Clark (who passed away on this day in 2012 at the age of 82).
  • Christopher from Los Angeles, CaMichael, I have always understood this song to mean that none of the guys go steady because they are NOT taking their best girls out on Saturday. They are out cruising around stag. They all realize it would be wrong to leave their girlfriend at home, so none of them have a steady girl.
  • Michael from New Haven, CtFor years I thought the line said, "All of the guys go steady..." Now that I see they said, "None of the guys go steady..." it doesn't make any sense. Now it is my understanding that to "go steady" is declaring your intention to be true to one person and not date anyone else. So if you "go steady" that means you're going to be taking your "best girl" out on the town since it wouldn't be right to leave her at home and take out some cheap floozie. So how is it that none of the guys go steady and yet it's still not right to leave their best girl home?
  • Lyle from Farmington,Hey the chili peppers coverd this song
  • Alan from Sault Ste. Marie, OnPaul McCartney said Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" was the greatest song ever recorded. Also he was inspired to begin development of "Sargent Pepper" after listening to the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" considered by many one of the greatest albums ever. Keith Moons favourite song was Don't Worry Baby the "B" side to I Get Around. I could go on about the influence the Beach Boys had and still have in music. The Beach Boys also captured a time and place, Southern California with the cars, the surf and the girls something many of us just dreamed of.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaThis is the Best Beach Boys sounding production...
    it's Brian's best production of all time, in my opinion...the public loved it too..no.1 for 4 straight weeks!
  • Doug from Oakland, CaMy buddies and me are getting real well known
    The bad guys know us and they leave us alone

    This lyric perfectly sums up my last two years of high school.No way I could front off being a thug and a bad guy.But I held my own and got respect from the little gangsters!
  • Rob from Stamford, CtThis song was very well placed in the 80's kid movie, 'Flight of the Navigator', in a scene when the main character was flying around in a flying saucer type of vehicle.....I recall that scene with this song playing all these years later.
  • Dennis from Moses Lake, WaLOL So true, Charlie! Here's to simplicity!

    Mike, your written English is as good, if not better, than most who claim English is their first language! "I get around" means they cruise ALL over town (or at least wherever the fun is). "Around" in this song means the here and there and wherever, like "around town." Hopefully that helps. :)
  • Charlie from Cape Girardeau, MoThe lack of comments are probably due to the fact that there are no controversial lyrics to debate the meaning of. Suffice to say, it IS a great song.
  • Alan from Grande Prairie, Alberta, CanadaA great song "but" the B side is better!!! Don't Worry Baby. The greatest Beach Boys song ever!!!!
  • Mike from Ottawa, CanadaI really, really love this song. It is so an awsome song. really very catchy. lots of melody and things and very good too. the best song by the beachboys (my favorite by them). I also like very much ''be true to your school'' ALOT. anyway I don't know what he means by "i get around"? like, i get around, ok, but around WHAT??? if some kind person would explain to me... SORRY ABOUT MY ENGLISH.
  • Pete from Ny, NyOne of the outstanding pop singles of all time.
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaUsed in the movie "Three Kings". Just got into the Beach boys, and am glad.
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