Dad’s Vinyl #8: Good Vibrations

I  can tell ‘Good Vibrations’ has been played a lot, it pops and clicks all the way through – although there are no scratches, and it never jumps – and the paper sleeve is in a bit of a state.

This is one of the singles i think I heard being played when I was a kid, but I’m not sure*. It certainly wasn’t played as much as ‘Hotel California’ or ‘American Pie’, but nothing was (until mum’s Barbara Streisand phase in the early 1980s).

The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" 7" single

The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”

For such an upbeat track, ‘Good Vibrations’ has an unexpected air of melancholy.  It starts in a minor key ‘I… love the colourful clothes she wears…‘, and quickly moves to major chords, but even during those ecstatic stacked harmonies – good! Good! GOOD! – it seems somehow sad, like the minor chords have stained the positivity,  uncertainty spilling out over the three and a half minutes.

The song almost seems like instant nostalgia, knowing that this perfect summer, this perfect girl, this happiness, is fleeting.  Is the ‘she’ of the song even real?

 

 

 

*I suppose I could just phone him and ask, but that takes all the fun out of it.

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