January 09, 2013

The Beach Boys - You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (1965)

The Beach Boys were primarily composed of the three Wilson brothers (Brian, Dennis, and Carl) and their cousin Mike Love. Dennis, the middle child, was the band’s drummer from their formation in 1961 until his untimely death in 1983. The Beach Boys’ early music surrounding a surfing lifestyle was usually written by Brian, but it was inspired by Dennis, as he was the only member of the group who actually surfed. He was the first member of the band to release a solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, which was released in 1977. Comparatively, his role in The Beach Boys was much like that of George Harrison’s in The Beatles; Dennis was considered to be the dark horse of The Beach Boys, growing from a quiet figure in the background to a prominent member who reached critical acclaim. On December 28th, 1983, a little over three weeks after his thirty-ninth birthday, Dennis became intoxicated and drowned at Marina Del Ray in Los Angeles while attempting to retrieve items from under the sea that he had thrown overboard from his yacht three years prior.

Written by John Lennon and first recorded by The Beatles for their August 1965 album Help!, this song was allegedly written about The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, regarding his closeted homosexuality. In the opening lines, Lennon sang “two foot small” instead of the intended “two foot tall” and decided to keep it that way, stating that the “psueds will really love it.”

This particular version of the song, performed solely by Dennis Wilson, was released on The Beach Boys’ album Beach Boys’ Party! in November 1965. Although it sounds live, the laughter and background chatter was in fact mixed in during post production, making this a studio track. It was recorded in haste to meet the demands of Capitol Records who wanted something to release for the holiday season. The band had just released a Christmas album the year prior, had not yet finished their upcoming masterpiece Pet Sounds, and so this album promoting “togetherness” was the result.

album art

The Beach Boys - You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (1965)

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Here I stand, head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she's gone, I can't go on
Feeling two-foot small

Everywhere, people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say

“Hey! You've got to hide your love away”
“Hey! You've got to hide your love away”

How can I even try?
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I'm in

How could she say to me
“Love will find a way”?
Gather ‘round all you clowns
Let me hear you say

“Hey! You've got to hide your love away”
“Hey! You've got to hide your love away”

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