June 16, 2009

"Don't Worry Baby"

So, "God Only Knows" was supposed to be the first use of the word "God" in the title of a pop song? I'm guessing "Don't Worry Baby" has one of the first (if not the first) instances of the word "worry" showing up in a song for teeny boppers. This song is possibly the beginning of Brian Wilson's songs dealing with more mature and serious issues, other than just cars and surfing. I've always loved Brian's voice on this. It is a little disconcerting though for such a high-pitched voice to be coming out of so big of a dude:

And how does one explain the way a song about such relatively "macho" subject matter succeeds so well with a vocal line a full octave above any normal male singing range, sustained in falsetto completely throughout? (source)

From Rolling Stone:

Wilson wrote "Don't Worry Baby" for Ronnie Bennett, hoping she'd cut it as a follow-up to the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," a Phil Spector production he listened to so much he wore out the grooves. From the opening drum riff (played by Hal Blaine, also heard on "Be My Baby"), "Don't Worry Baby" is sheer homage but also vintage Beach Boys, with one of Wilson's finest falsetto-punctuated lead vocals.

And how about those background vocals? They wash over the listener like a huge wave at high tide. That third verse (after the guitar "solo") is something! I think the song transcends at that point.


Gunnar and Sherry said...

I always loved that song too.

Amy said...

I actually heard this song earlier today on our oldies station & what a treat. A completely awesome song. I never noticed until now that it's sort of similar to "Be My Baby." Great video too.

Chris said...

It's a classic! In fact, Amy, I think many of the same musicians (session players) were on both records.