The Beach Boys – Wouldn't It Be Nice

The Beach Boys – Wouldn't It Be Nice

‘Wouldn't It Be Nice’ is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys and the opening track from their 1966 album Pet Sounds. Written by Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, and Mike Love, it is distinguished for its sophisticated Wall of Sound-style arrangement and refined vocal performances, and is regarded among the band's finest songs. With its juxtaposition of joyous-sounding music and melancholic lyrics, it is considered a formative work of power pop, and with respect to musical innovation, progressive pop. ‘Wouldn't It Be Nice’ was released as a single in July and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was inspired by Wilson's confused infatuations for his sister-in-law, who projected an "innocent aura" that he wished to capture in ‘Wouldn't It Be Nice’. While discussing the song, Tony Asher supported that Wilson was "definitely infatuated by her" and "this innocent aura that she seemed to possess. Brian was really just so naive." Wilson repeatedly brought up the subject while they composed the songs on Pet Sounds, as Asher remembered, "He'd stop in the middle of writing a song or a conversation or whatever and start going on about Diane, about how innocent, sweet, and beautiful she was. I'd be thinking, 'Huh! Your wife's in the next room, and you're talking about her sister!'"

The Beach Boys

Lyrically, the song describes a young couple who feel empowered by their relationship and fantasize about the romantic freedom they would earn once married to each other. Like the other tracks on Pet Sounds, it subverted listeners' expectations, as past Beach Boys songs had normally celebrated superficial conceits such as material possessions and casual flings.

Wilson produced the record between January and April 1966 with his band and 16 studio musicians who variously played drums, timpani, glockenspiel, trumpet, saxophones, accordions, guitars, pianos, and upright bass. The harp-like instrument heard in the introduction is a 12-string mando-guitar plugged directly into the recording console. One section of the song engages in a ritardando, a device that is rarely used in pop music. The band struggled to sing the multiple vocal parts to Wilson's satisfaction, and the song ultimately took longer to record than any other track on the album.

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.

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Label –  Capitol
Songwriters – Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, Mike Love
Producer – Brian Wilson


[Verse 1: Brian Wilson]
Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong?
[Chorus: Brian Wilson]
You know it's gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together
[Verse 2: Brian Wilson]
Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new?
After having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through
[Chorus: Brian Wilson]
But happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was never-ending
Oh, wouldn't it be nice?
[Bridge: Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson]
Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true (Run, run, we-ooh)
Oh, baby, then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
Oh, we could be married (Oh, we could be married)
And then we'd be happy (And then we'd be happy)
Oh, wouldn't it be nice?
[Chorus: Brian Wilson]
You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But let's talk about it
But wouldn't it be nice?
[Outro: Mike Love]
Goodnight, my baby
Sleep tight, my baby
Goodnight, my baby
Sleep tight, my baby
Goodnight, my baby
Sleep tight, my baby
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