Wild Honey

Beach Boys


1. Wild Honey
2. Aren't You Glad
3. I Was Made To Love Her
4. Country Air
5. A Thing Or Two
6. Darlin'
7. I'd Love Just Once To See You
8. Here Comes The Night
9. Let The Wind Blow
10. How She Boogalooed It
11. Mama Says

Alternative Versions

1990 CD re-issue was a "two-fer" with Smiley Smile. The following bonus tracks were included.
Heroes and Villains (Alternate Take)
Good Vibrations (Various Sessions)
Good Vibrations (Early Take)
You're Welcome
Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring
Can't Wait Too Long

Album Trivia

Released on Capitol Records on 18 December 1967
Top Chart Position was #24 in the USA and #7 in the UK

Website Comments and Review

After the trauma of the abortion of SMiLE and the critical and public befuddlement at the "odd" Smiley Smile, the Beach Boys clearly needed to take another direction. Only three months after Smiley Smile, that direction was revealed as Wild Honey was released to a public that, in the USA, at least, was already indifferent to the Beach Boys.

The new direction took the "back to basics" element of Smiley Smile and added the boogie-woogie feel that Brian and his family had grown up. The result is a spirited, up-tempo album that still hinted at the melodic genius of Brian. It was also an album for Brian to "cool out" to, in Carl's words, after the traumas of 1967, although as with all the albums in the immediate wake of the SMiLE sessions, there is still a connection to the material from those sessions in Mama Says, a fragment of Vegatables abandoned for Smiley Smile. Brian is, from a composers point of view, still very involved, although How She Boogalooed It is the first original non-instrumental track put out by the band not written by Brian.

Individual track highlights include Aren't You Glad which hints at Bacharach, the beautiful, soulful Let The Wind Blow and Darlin' which is a retread of the earlier tune Thinking About You Baby but features a fantastic Carl vocal and great production.

The rest of the songs all fit in well to the overall mood of the album, but the fact the harmonies, production and tunes are not all top-drawer prevents this album from being right at the top of cabinessence.net's rating of Brian and the boys' work. Having said that, this is still a vastly underrated album that gives many other much more vaunted works of 1967 a good run for their money in the quality stakes.

Indeed, the fact that 1968 releases from the Stones, Dylan and the Beatles reflected a "back to basics" ethos may indicate that Wild Honey was ahead of its time. While there were probably many other factors in these 1968 releases going in that direction, it is hard to believe that Wild Honey had absolutely no influence on this direction, even given the Beach Boys' diminished "hipness" as that stage. Once again, the band put out a work ahead of its time, and for all times.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10

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