#13 The Beach Boys – Dance, Dance, Dance
The sheer output of hits that Beach Boy Brian Wilson composed between 1962 and 1964 is mind boggling. And the fact that Capitol records gave him virtually complete creative control over the band’s studio work was, at the time, almost unprecedented. Surfin’ U.S.A., Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe, produced a batch of Top 40 entries that held their own against the onslaught of the British Invasion. They would likely have all been Number 1 records, if not for the heated competition from across the pond.
My favorite among favorites is 1964’s “Dance, Dance, Dance“. It’s Brian in the days before psychedelics and introspection, when the stories the songs told were about the joys and tribulations of growing up and experiencing the youthful sensations of the moment.
It was also the creative prime of LA’s legendary studio musician conclave, The Wrecking Crew. Plug Brian’s creative mind into the heads of the most sought after musical talent in town and magic ensues.
That’s Glen Campbell playing the lead axe on the opening with Hal Blaine shaking the trademark sleigh bells. Clocking in at barely two minutes, Brian crams a ton of imagery, the Beach Boys’ trademark harmonies and an amazing 12 string guitar solo into that package. The modulation into a new key after the instrumental break makes you wish the tune didn’t have to end. Brian apparently agreed, stretching the fade out another 15 seconds when technology made a decent stereo mix possible.
“Dance, Dance, Dance” is a delectable tease, like getting permission to eat only one piece of candy from your Halloween haul. It’s an experience to be savored, second by second, until all too soon, it’s gone… and you immediately want to devour it again.