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Love You
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released April 11, 1977
Recorded Autumn 1976–January 1977
Except "Good Time":
Autumn 1969, finished with overdubs by January 1977
Genre Rock, Pop music
Length 34:50
Label Brother/Reprise
Producer Brian Wilson
Mixdown producer: Carl Wilson
Professional reviews
The Beach Boys chronology
15 Big Ones
Love You
M.I.U. Album

Love You is the 1977 follow-up to The Beach Boys' comeback album 15 Big Ones and their twenty-first studio album overall. Almost entirely written and performed by Brian Wilson, it sharply divides critics' opinions from then and now on the project. Some feel that this record is Wilson's real return to form in the 1970s. Others feel it marks the point where Wilson seemingly lost the ability to produce and sing at a professional level.

A pop/rock album full of Brian's recent songs, Love You has a unique and distinct sound. It was during the album's recording that Wilson made his awkward Saturday Night Live appearance on November 27, introducing "Love Is a Woman" for the first time.

Many of the songs contained here have a very childish quality to them ("Roller Skating Child", "Airplane", and "Solar System" are examples of this) and, while attempting to be an up-beat album, it does conjure up a sense of melancholy when one considers that these naive songs are being created and performed by a man who had regressed to a child-like state in the wake of years of drug-affected emotional abuse.

Not all of the songs were strictly new, a few having been written during the 15 Big Ones period, but more specifically "Good Time", which hailed from the 1970 Sunflower era, and "Ding Dang", which was co-written with The Byrds' former leader Roger McGuinn and recorded in late 1973. "Good Time" is a particularly anomalous inclusion because, unlike the rest of Love You, it features Brian's original sweet voice before that was lost in a haze of heavy tobacco and cocaine use in 1975. Indeed, on the other tracks Wilson's voice is so gruff that it can be difficult to distinguish him from his also newly hoarse brother Dennis.

A trilogy of love songs, "The Night Was So Young", "I'll Bet He's Nice" and "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" (with soon to be ex-wife Marilyn on co-lead) was a throwback to the topics of the Pet Sounds era without approaching their sophistication.

Considered by some to be The Beach Boys' last truly great album, others have found the release's unconventional sound difficult to swallow. Released just after announcing the band's new record deal with CBS Records (now Sony Music), Reprise Records put little promotion into the album, and with the advent of disco and punk, The Beach Boys' commercial steam had run out once again. Peaking at a disappointing fifty-three in the U.S. (and a marginally better twenty-eight in the UK), Love You was overlooked and soon forgotten by the mainstream pop music audience. However, many Brian Wilson fans all continue to claim for it an awkward beauty and high level of musical creativity. In recent years, Brian Wilson has called it his favourite Beach Boys album.


Track listing

All songs by Brian Wilson, except where noted.


Side 1

  1. "Let Us Go On This Way" (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) – 1:58
    • Features Carl Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
  2. "Roller Skating Child" – 2:17
    • Features Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  3. "Mona" – 2:06
    • Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  4. "Johnny Carson" – 2:47
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  5. "Good Time" (Brian Wilson/Al Jardine) – 2:50
    • Features Al Jardine and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  6. "Honkin' Down the Highway" – 2:48
    • Features Al Jardine on lead vocals
  7. "Ding Dang" (Brian Wilson/Roger McGuinn) – 0:57
    • Features Mike Love and Carl Wilson on lead vocals

Side 2

  1. "Solar System" – 2:49
    • Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  2. "The Night Was So Young" – 2:15
    • Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  3. "I'll Bet He's Nice" – 2:36
    • Features Dennis Wilson, Brian Wilson, and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  4. "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" – 2:14
    • Features Brian Wilson and Marilyn Wilson on lead vocals
  5. "I Wanna Pick You Up" – 2:39
    • Features Dennis Wilson and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  6. "Airplane" – 3:05
    • Features Mike Love, Brian Wilson, and Carl Wilson on lead vocals
  7. "Love Is a Woman" – 2:57
    • Features Mike Love, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine on lead vocals


  • "Honkin' Down the Highway" b/w "Solar System" (Brother 1389), 30 May 1977

Love You is now paired on CD with 15 Big Ones.

Love You (Brother/Reprise MS 2258) reached #53 in the U.S. during a chart stay of 7 weeks. It reached #28 in the UK

New Album

In late 1976, Brian Wilson's original follow-up to 15 Big Ones was titled "New Album". The album was to be made up of 15 Big Ones outtakes, new songs recorded in late 1976, and songs from the group's library. The following songs were to be included on that album:

  1. "My Diane"
  2. "Marilyn Rovell"
  3. "Hey Little Tomboy"
  4. "Ruby Baby"
  5. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
  6. "Sherry She Needs Me" (a 1965 track finished with a 1976 Brian Wilson vocal)
  7. "Come Go with Me" (different from the one released on M.I.U. Album)
  8. "Mony Mony"
  9. "On Broadway"
  10. "Sea Cruise"
  11. "H.E.L.P. Is on the Way"
  12. "Games Two Can Play"
  13. "When Girls Get Together"

Adult Child

In 1977, Brian Wilson put together a proposed solo album to follow Love You. Called "Adult Child", group dynamics prevented its release. It included:

  1. "Life Is For The Living"
  2. "Hey Little Tomboy"
  3. "Deep Purple"
  4. "H.E.L.P. Is On The Way"
  5. "It's Over Now"
  6. "Everybody Wants To Live"
  7. "Shortenin' Bread"
  8. "Lines"
  9. "On Broadway"
  10. "Games Two Can Play"
  11. "It's Trying To Say" (aka "Baseball")
  12. "Still I Dream Of It"

Both unreleased albums have been heavily bootlegged, and padded out with other unrelated outtakes from the period


  • Surf's Up: The Beach Boys On Record Brad Elliott
  • 15 Big Ones/Love You CD booklet notes, Dennis Diken and Peter Buck, c.2000.
  • "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.
  • "Wouldn't It Be Nice - My Own Story", Brian Wilson and Todd Gold, c. 1991.
  • "Top Pop Singles 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955-2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.

External links


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