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Do It Again (The Beach Boys song)

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"Do It Again"
File:Beach Boys - Do It Again (single).JPG
Single by The Beach Boys
B-side "Wake the World"
Released July 8, 1968
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded May–June 1968, Brian Wilson's home studio, Los Angeles
Genre Rock
Length 2:25
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Producer(s) The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys singles chronology

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"Do It Again" is a song by American rock band The Beach Boys, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, who also share lead vocals.[1][2] Produced by Wilson as a self-conscious callback to the band's earlier surf-based material, the song was released as a single on July 8, 1968, and subsequently placed on the band's 1969 album, 20/20. The single's B-side, "Wake the World", is taken from Friends, released the month before.


"Do It Again" is a self-conscious callback to the band's earlier surf-based material. The lyrics to the song, originally entitled "Rendezvous", were inspired after a day Mike Love had spent at the beach in which he had gone surfing with an old friend named Bill Jackson.[3] Mike then showed the lyrics to his cousin Brian Wilson, who proceeded to write the music to Mike's lyrics of nostalgia. Brian has stated in the past that he believes the song was the best collaboration that he and Mike ever worked on.[3] In 2013, Love noted, "I came back from a surfing trip with some high school buddies and said: 'Hey Brian, I just went to the beach and the waves and the girls were great. We've got to do a song called "Do It Again".' He remembers it being at my house. I remember it as being at his house. He starts pounding at the piano, I was summoning up the words and we got a chorus together, which was basically a bunch of doo-wop inspired harmonies. We created that whole song in fifteen minutes."[4]

Many critics and fans noted the return to the surfing style, which the band had generally avoided since 1964. Carl later explained the transition back to their old style in Melody Maker:

"Yes, I suppose it has got the old Beach Boys surfing sound. It's back to that surfing idea with the voice harmony and the simple, direct melody and lyrics. We didn't plan the record as a return to the surf or anything. We just did it one day round a piano in the studio. Brian had the idea and played it over to us. We improved on that and recorded it very quickly, in about five minutes. It's certainly not an old track of ours; in fact it was recorded only a few weeks before it was released. We liked how it turned out and decided to release it."[3]


After six weeks of very little or no work done in the studio (as the band was busy touring), the band got back to work on May 26, 1968, when they first began working on "Do It Again" at Brian Wilson's home studio. The session, produced by Brian and Carl,[citation needed] first listed the song as being called "Rendezvous". After Brian had run the band through a demonstration of the song, the band began recording the track using guitar, organ, bass and drums, with Mike singing his vocal during the initial takes of the track. At first Mike sings the lyric "and surf again", however this is later amended to "and do it again". After the band recorded the basic track, they overdubbed backing vocals as well as adding a guitar and organ insert and a new guitar solo. Further vocal work by Brian, Carl, Dennis Wilson, Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine was done on the track on June 6 again at Brian's home studio.[citation needed]

Further overdubs to the instrumental track were made at Brian's home studio on June 10. John Guerin playing drums, tambourine and wood blocks on the overdubs, Ernie Small provided saxophone overdubs and John E. Lowe provided woodwind overdubs. There's no sax or other woodwinds on this track. Reportedly[by whom?], during the mixdown, engineer Stephen Desper came up with the drum effect heard at the beginning of the track. Many[who?] believe that this sound added to the commercial success of the single. Desper explained that he had:

"commissioned Philips, in Holland, to build two tape delay units for use on the road (to double live vocals). [he] moved four of the Philips PB heads very close together so that one drum strike was repeated four times about 10 milliseconds apart, and blended it with the original to give the effect you hear."[need quotation to verify]


The album version of "Do It Again" has a fade which consists of hammering and drilling sound effects originating from the Smile "Workshop" session recorded on November 29, 1966. Due to the non eventuation of the Smile album, the release of 20/20 on February 10, 1969 was the first official release of this piece of music. A rerecording of the session would later be used on Brian Wilson Presents Smile following "I Wanna Be Around" in 2004. In 2011, the original 1966 "Workshop" session was used to follow a 1966 take of "I Wanna Be Around" on The Smile Sessions.

Promotional film

A promotional film, directed by Peter Clifton, was shot in Los Angeles. The film, shot in color, features the group pulling up in a van and visiting a surfing shop. The band then drives to the beach in their van and begins surfing. The first screenings of the promotional film were shown on BBC-1's Top of the Pops during broadcasts of the show on August 8, 22 and 29. In Germany the promotional film was shown in September during broadcasts of the Hits A Go Go show on ZDF TV. The clip was later featured in the 1969 Peter Clifton Australian surfing film Fluid Journey.[2] An alternate promotional film for "Do It Again" was planned with the idea to feature special guest, Beatles member Paul McCartney as a clerk. However the idea was abandoned due to his hectic schedule.[5]

Commercial performance

The "Do It Again" single backed with "Wake the World" was released in the United States on July 8, 1968. The single hit the charts on July 27 and peaked at the number 20 position on September 14. It would be the band's last single to peak in the top twenty on the charts until "Rock and Roll Music" in 1976 (which is a total of 14 singles without charting inside the top 20), which peaked at the number 5 position.

Released on July 19, 1968 in the United Kingdom the single, forty days after its release, peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart on August 28, 1968, and thus becoming the band's second number one hit in the United Kingdom after "Good Vibrations" two years earlier.[1] The single had knocked "Mony Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells off the top position. However, the single only remained at the top position for one week after it was knocked off by the song "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" by The Bee Gees.[1] Due to the single's success many years earlier, Capitol Records decided to re-issue the single in Britain in June 1991. The single, which featured both "Do It Again" and "Good Vibrations" (the band's only two number one hits in Britain) on the A-side and an extended version of "The Beach Boys Medley" on the B-side, peaked at number 61 on the charts.

In Australia, the song became the band's first number one hit single. In Germany the single peaked at the number 4 position on the charts. On the Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Irish and Rhodesian (now known as Zimbabwe) charts the single peaked at number 5. It was number 4 in Malaysia, number 6 in Israel and number 7 in Denmark and Switzerland. It was the Beach Boys' last big national hit (of the Sixties) in Canada, placing at number 10 on the RPM Top 100. And on the New Zealand chart the single peaked at the number 14 position.

The impact of the single belied its relatively low position in Billboard, rising to number 7 and number 8 in the charts collated and published by rival trade papers Record World and Cash Box, respectively. It brought something of a media comeback for the Beach Boys, invited to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and several other New York talk shows.[citation needed] It placed at #8 on the major playlists of New York City, and did better than that in Chicago (#1), Calgary (#2), Los Angeles (#3), San Diego and Louisville (#4), Toronto (#5), Boston and Buffalo (#6), Washington DC (#7), Detroit and Cincinnati (#8).

Critical response

After the release of the "Do It Again" single, many critics welcomed the return to the band's former style. Penny Valentine noted the transition back to their former ways and gave a glowing review of the single in Britain's Disc & Music Echo:

"This is a vast improvement on The Beach Boys' last single, and thank goodness for it. It sounds like bees humming on a summer breeze and is so completely solid; there isn't room for a fly to creep in. It goes on very gently and easily and is very, very pleasant. In a way it reminds me of one of the tracks off Pet Sounds, which is nice to say the least, and a hit it will most certainly be. I can imagine a few people will be muttering, 'Well, she said they were finished,' but I didn't. I said they should get back to their competent, commercial sound and they have. So there."[2]


The song was featured on the films One Crazy Summer (1986), Flipper (1996), Life on the Longboard (2005), and Happy Feet (2006).[citation needed] It was also the first song to be played after WCBS-FM reverted from the Jack FM format back to their oldies format on July 12, 2007.[citation needed] The opening drum line was sampled for the basis of "Remember" by French electronic duo Air, from their album Moon Safari (1997).[6]

Eric Carmen has credited the "did-its" in this song with being the initial inspiration for his 1977 Top 40 hit, "She Did It".[7] Some of the Beach Boys also participated in the production and vocals of the song.

Chart performance


The song was first released on an LP in 1969 for the band's 20/20 album. The single version was slightly different from the album version in that it did not feature "Workshop" in its fade out. The song's backing track was released on the 1968 album Stack-O-Tracks. On the 1998 compilation album, Endless Harmony Soundtrack, an early incarnation of the song was released.[citation needed]

Until 2013, the song was only available in mono because the studio multi-track tape was believed to have been stolen sometime in 1980. The tape was retrieved thirty years later; the first true stereo mix was released on the Made in California boxset.[20]

Live performances

The band performed a lip-synched version of the song on the Dick Cavett Show on August 12, 1968. Later that month on August 26, the band performed the song with a live vocal over a pre-recorded track on the Mike Douglas Show. The footage of this appearance was broadcast nationally in America on August 28. The band also performed the song soon after on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 13, 1968. The band sang live vocals over a pre-recorded track. The footage was shot in color in a special blue matte video montage. The footage from the show can be found on the DVD Sights of Summer which was included with the special 2004 edition of Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys.[citation needed]

The first officially released live recording of the song was released on the 1970 live album Live In London. Wilson, who sings falsetto on the studio track, had retired from touring by this time and in concert his part was replaced by horns as evident on the Live In London album version. In 1980, a live rendition was recorded, though not released until 2002 on the Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 live album. Footage from the concert was also released on video and DVD format. The footage was also released on the 1998 documentary Endless Harmony with the sound re-mixed by Mark Linett into Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.[citation needed]

2011 remake

In 2011 the surviving Beach Boys; Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks came together in the studio to re-record "Do It Again" as part of their 50th anniversary celebration. The re-recorded version featured Mike Love (verses) and Brian Wilson (bridge) on lead vocals with long time Beach Boys and Brian Wilson associate, Jeff Foskett, performing the falsetto vocals. It was released as a bonus track in special editions of That's Why God Made the Radio.[citation needed] "Do It Again" was the opening song performed at all Beach Boys 50th Reunion Tour concerts.[citation needed]

Brian Wilson solo versions

As a solo artist, Brian Wilson rerecorded the song for his 1995 album I Just Wasn't Made for These Times as a single in Britain. The single also featured his rerecording of "'Til I Die", which was also from I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, and a rare B-side "This Song Wants to Sleep with You Tonight". The single however failed to make any impact on the charts.[citation needed] In 2000, he released a live performance on his album Live at the Roxy Theatre. Wilson performed the song at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 29, 2001 along with his nephew Justyn Wilson (Carl's son) guesting on guitar on the song.[citation needed] The concert, billed as "An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson", was filmed and later released on DVD.

Cover versions

A Taste Of Honey and Ronnie Aldrich were the first artists to cover the song in 1969 just a year after the song had been released. Papa Doo Run Run later covered the song in 1983. Twist covered the song in 1985. Wall of Voodoo covered the track on their last studio album, Happy Planet in 1987. The band also recorded a promotional film for the song which featured a guest appearance by Brian Wilson himself.[21] Trygve Thue also covered the song in 1994. More recently, John Hunter Phillips covered the song on his 2000 album Diamonds On The Beach. The Spanish band Los Reactivos also made a cover, "Hazlo Otra Vez", on their 2008 EP Split Single. In 2012, Wilson Phillips, featuring Brian Wilson's daughters Carnie and Wendy, covered it on their album Dedicated.


  1. ^ a b c d Rice 1982, p. 119.
  2. ^ a b c Badman 2004, p. 223.
  3. ^ a b c Badman 2004, p. 221.
  4. ^ Simpson, Dave. "The Beach Boys' Mike Love: 'There are a lot of fallacies about me'". Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Badman 2004, p. 224.
  6. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Do It Again - The Beach Boys : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Australian Singles Charts". Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  9. ^ " The Beach Boys – Do it Again" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ " The Beach Boys – Do it Again" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ "German Singles Charts". Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "New Zealand Singles Charts". Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  14. ^ " The Beach Boys – Do it Again" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Rhodesian Singles Charts". Retrieved 13 November 2007. 
  16. ^ "The Beach Boys – Do it Again–" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved April 14, 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Beach Boys Producers Alan Boyd, Dennis Wolfe, Mark Linett Discuss ‘Made in California’ (Q&A)". Rock Cellar Magazine. September 4, 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  21. ^ Wall of Voodoo video clip featuring Brian Wilson on YouTube

External links

Preceded by
"Mony Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells
UK number one single
28 August 1968 (one week)
Succeeded by
"I've Gotta Get a Message to You" by The Bee Gees