Jesse Jarnow

“i’d love just once to see you” – the beach boys

“I’d Love Just Once To See You” – The Beach Boys (download here)
from Wild Honey (1968)
released by Capitol Records (buy)

(file expires October 24th)

Post-Smile Beach Boys tends to get a bad rap, and maybe rightly so, but some of it is quite excellent — Wild Honey, especially. It doesn’t really fit the popular Smile narrative that Brian should still be making great, current music after the collapse of his concept album, but Wild Honey is a completely Beach Boys take on the back-to-the-roots thing that Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones, and everybody else was doing after a few years of psychedelic blow-outs (see: John Wesley Harding, the White Album, Beggars’ Banquet, etc.).

The lyrics are the stuff of everyday (“I washed the dishes, and I rinsed up the sink, like a busy bee”), but are positively liberated by BB standards. “I wouldn’t mind if I could get with you right away,” Brian sings. (That’s not say they’re entirely liberated. “When’s the last time you baked me a pie?” Brian also asks.) The composition is laced with the same tricks to be found all about Pet Sounds and Smile, here applied to something modest and adult, instead of high school melodrama or teenage symphonies to God. The arpeggiated 12-string figure behind the bridge melody wouldn’t be out of place on “Cabinessence,” and — of course — there’s some lovely harmonized bah-bah-bahing.

But really, the song is all about the punchline at the end: “I’d love just once to see you, I’d love just once to see you, I’d love just once to see you…” — pause– “…in the nude.” Hot. (Kinda is, right?)


  1. kevin r hollo says: - reply

    i’ve been listening to “little bird” for three days straight.
    the change from the “Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah” bridge to the main beat/theme is so dark, so twisted and menacing, it’s unlike anything i’ve ever heard from them. really channeling some love-meets-the stones in a dark alley and fake-fight type shit. it’s saucesome.

  2. Ben Weidner says: - reply

    Hey Jesse. Believe it or not, I’m an avid reader of your blog. Thanks for turning me on to this song – I really dig it.

Leave A Reply