Song of the Week – Please Let Me Wonder, The Beach Boys

Ignored             Obscured              Restored

A few weeks ago, I watched A Grammy Salute to the Beach Boys on CBS.  The two-hour special featured performances by John Legend, Brandi Carlile, and Beck, among many others.  It reminded me how much I love the music of the Beach Boys.

The group had so many big hits that fans often overlook some of the hidden gems that weren’t in the Top 40.  And believe me, there are many if you take the time to dig for them.  Take, for instance, today’s SotW – “Please Let Me Wonder” from The Beach Boys Today! (1965).

“Please Let Me Wonder” is a bridge from “Don’t Worry Baby” (another classic) to the more sophisticated song cycle on Pet Sounds.  The instrumentation used is not typical for rock music, but there isn’t any excess — every note serves the song.  Many of the players are from the famous Wrecking Crew, including Carol Kaye (bass), Glen Campbell (12-string), Barney Kessel (guitar), and Earl Palmer (drums).  It is worth listening to very carefully to try to pick out each instrument as they are layered to construct this beautiful arrangement.

Lyrically, Brian Wilson sings of “wondering” if a girl is in love with him, rather than facing the reality that she may not.  It is backed by beautiful Four Freshman inspired harmonies like so many other Beach Boys’ tracks.

In the month of 4/20, it is notable that “Please Let Me Wonder” has often been cited as the first song Wilson wrote on marijuana.

Enjoy… until next week.

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