Wouldn't It Be Nice

Album: Pet Sounds (1966)
Charted: 58 8
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  • This innocent love song is told from the perspective of a young man who is deeply in love and enjoys spending every waking moment his sweetheart. In an era when most Americans married in their early 20s, these kind of songs often ended in wedding vows, but Brian Wilson took a different approach, making it a song about savoring their time in the present, as they are too young to be married. Even though he was very sophisticated musically, Wilson was looking for ways to relate to the teen audience and hit upon the "too young to be married" theme for this song.
  • This was the leadoff track to The Beach Boys legendary Pet Sounds album. While the "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows" singles sold very well, the album had very disappointing sales when it was first released. The album has since garnered massive critical acclaim and sold well in reissues, but upon first release it only made #10 on the charts. In the UK, it did much better, going to #2 and giving The Beach Boys a lot more notoriety.
  • Brian Wilson wrote the song with contributions from vocalist Mike Love and lyricist Tony Asher. Asher wrote all of the lyrics except for the "Good night, my baby, sleep tight, my baby" lines at the end of the song, which were Love's contribution.

    Wilson worked with a few different lyricists over the years, and Asher's talent was phrasing the words for commercial appeal - he was a copywriter at an advertising agency. Looking back on his time with Wilson, Asher said, "It was a great joy making music with him but that any other relationship with Brian was a great chore. I found Brian's lifestyle so damn repugnant. I mean, for say, every four hours we'd spend writing songs, there'd be about 48 hours of these dopey conversations about some dumb book he'd just read. Or else he'd just go on and on about girls... his feelings about this girl or that girl... it was just embarrassing."
  • Mike Love sang the bridge; Brian Wilson did the verses. Love explained in the liner notes for the Pet Sounds boxed set that Brian Wilson made him do over 30 takes singing one background section of this song. Around the 20th take, Love started affectionately calling him "dog ears," as he could hear things other humans couldn't. "Brian must have been part canine because he was reaching for something intangible, imperceptible to most, and all but impossible to execute," wrote Love.
  • This song has been adapted and used for Cadbury chocolate commercials in South Africa.
  • This song featured in the movie 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. In the film, Sandler falls in love with Barrymore, but she has no short term memory and forgets about him every morning. He realizes that some part of her knows of him because she sings this song, which she heard with him. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    (thanks, Sue - Woking, England, for above 2
  • In 2006, The National Review magazine compiled a list of what they claim are the 50 most conservative rock lyrics. This was one of the songs they mentioned, claiming it advocates abstinence and promotes marriage.
  • This song was prominently featured in the Michael Moore movie Roger & Me. In one scene, a recently laid off auto worker talks about hearing it on the radio as he was driving home after his firing. It also appears at the end of movie as the credits are rolling. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    john - alexandria, VA
  • Brian Wilson's autobiography is titled Wouldn't It Be Nice. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    CJ - West Haven, CT
  • The song was also featured at the very end of the movie Shampoo. Warren Beatty watched as the woman he realized he loved and tried too late to make a life with (Julie Christie) drives out of his life forever with another man (Jack Warden). Great roles played by Lee Grant and a very young Carrie Fisher as well. Roll credits. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Brantford, ON

Comments: 22

  • Evan O'brien from Sarnia OntarioThis song always brings a smile to my face, in my opinion its the greatest song ever written and performed. The Beach Boys harmonies are always a joy to hear no.matter what.mood you are in they must've had a fun time recording this back in the day and probley had no idea it would still be played 60 plus years later
  • Neal from KnoxvilleShampoo (1975) Warren Beatty.
  • Simmo from PerthThis song is religious propaganda?
  • Sarah K from London, UkI love the way the harp is calmly playing at the beginning until the sudden drum, when the story begins! Always loved this- such a classic, and breathtaking harmonies.
  • Moanin' Lisa from Chillicothe Mo.Still love this song. In 1966, my late brother bought the LP "Pet Sounds" and I loved most of its songs, especially this one. I was in the Beach Boys Fan Club in the 60s and 70s. Recently, when I got onto their Internet website, it seems to be filled with haters instead of their fans. I left it right away. What a downer! Anyway, this hit is one of many BB hits that I love. Enjoy.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaGREAT WORK by the Wrecking Crew on this song. If I recall correctly this is the song where one of the players was playing in a totally different key then everyone else. Didn't think it would work till they heard the playback.
  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkI've loved this song ever since its release & climb up the charts in '66. I had to have their Pet Sounds LP too & it was great. What a history this song has too. It was really an iconic song for my generation.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 24th 1966, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; and on September 11th, 1966 it peaked at #8 (for 1 week) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #4 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
    The record's B-side, "God Only Knows", also made the Top 100, it stayed on the chart for 8 weeks, peaking at #39...
    R.I.P. Dennis (1944-1983) and Carl (1946-1998).
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkWithout a doubt - my favorite BB song! "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was on the "Pet Sounds" LP which I bought in '66. The Beach Boys got quite a lot of critical acclaim for the album. Anyway, I loved it. In those times, music was changing dramatically in a variety of directions. A great time for music-lovers, rock-n-roll, and pop.
  • Joe from Cleveland, OhDoes any one else hear the singing coming in in a different key than the intro?
  • Adam from York, PaWho thinks this made the movie fifty first dates.
    Also on a related note, who thinks that katy perry practically ruined the beach boys when she made her version of california girls and the music video that went with it. She has made the beach boys suffer, for a crime they did not commit.
  • Ryan from Anahola, HiThis song was on an episode of King of The Hill.
  • George from Belleville, NjThis is one of the best songs ever written and proof that Brian Wilson is a genius songwriter.This song has it all,great lyrics,an incredible melody,fantastic harmony singing.An all around classic.One of my favorite songs.
  • Emma from Adelaide, Australiai dont know why, but this song makes me want to cry
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, NjNo adrian (love the name) he sued him because he wrote the last few words "Good night baby, sleep tight baby"...
  • Adrian from Crossville, TnMike Love sued Brian Wilson for song writing credits on this song because he penned the line, "run run run"
  • Sabrina from Corvallis, OrOf all of the Beach Boys music catalog, this is my hands down favorite! I can remember hearing it as a child in a very snowy Cleveland winter, and wishing I could go to California where it's always nice and hot and everyone was surfing and happy and what not. Spent 10 years in So. California discovered it wasn't quite like that, but it still doesn't stop me from like the song and having those sorts of associations with the song...even tough I now live in the Pacific Northwest! Always a good song to cheer you up when you're feeling down.
  • Przemek from Warsaw, Polandthe only think i don't like about this wonderful song is unnecessary Mike Love's part
  • Bill from Downers Grove, IlI've seen the Beach Boys live 5-6 times and ALWAYS love the Timpani part right after "But let's talk about it". I cried for days after Carl died knowing that was the end of the band as I knew and loved it. Now I go to see Brian live and boutht Al's live CD, which is excellent by the way. RIP Carl and Dennis.
  • Dave from Hawkinsville, GaThe second verse where the vocal harmonies kick in is amazing, vibrant with energy, like a blinding light from heaven. Much more than just pop music indeed.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiai'm a radio announcer, and never ever get sick of playing this song............it so full of life , makes ya wanna get out there and discover something
  • Matt from West Springfield, Mathis song is awesome and, even though it reminds me of my ex girlfiend, I still love it! MAYBE my favorite beach boys song.
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