|"Do It Again"|
|Single by The Beach Boys|
|B-side||"Wake the World"|
|Released||July 8, 1968|
|Recorded||May 26 – June 1968|
|Studio||Beach Boys Studio, Los Angeles|
|Songwriter(s)||Brian Wilson, Mike Love|
|Producer(s)||The Beach Boys|
|The Beach Boys singles chronology|
"Do It Again" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys, released as a single on July 8, 1968. It was written as a self-conscious callback to the group's earlier surf-based material, which they had not embraced since 1964. Lead vocals were shared between Love and Wilson.
The song was issued only two weeks after the release of the band's album Friends, with the album track "Wake the World" as its B-side. It reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became their second number one hit in the UK. A slightly edited version of the song, using an excerpt from the Smile outtake "Workshop", subsequently appeared as the opening track on the Beach Boys' 1969 album 20/20.
"Do It Again" has been rerecorded once by the band (in 2011), once by Wilson as a solo artist (in 1995), and twice by Love as a solo artist (in 1996 and 2017). Its "did-it" vocal hook was a direct influence on Eric Carmen's "She Did It" (1977), ABBA's "On and On and On" (1980), and Hall & Oates' "Did It in a Minute" (1982).
Background and recording
"Do It Again" is a self-conscious callback to the band's earlier surf-based material. Originally titled "Rendezvous", the lyrics to the song were inspired after a day Mike Love had spent at the beach in which he had gone surfing with an old friend named Bill Jackson. Mike then showed the lyrics to his cousin Brian Wilson, who proceeded to write the music to Mike's lyrics of nostalgia. Brian stated that he believes the song was the best collaboration that he and Mike ever worked on. Love commented, "He remembers it being at my house. I remember it as being at his house. He starts pounding at the piano, I was summoning up the words and we got a chorus together, which was basically a bunch of doo-wop inspired harmonies. We created that whole song in fifteen minutes." Other inspiration came from Hank Ballard's & The Midnighters 1960 song "Finger Poppin' Time". Carl Wilson recalled in Melody Maker:
Yes, I suppose it has got the old Beach Boys surfing sound. It's back to that surfing idea with the voice harmony and the simple, direct melody and lyrics. We didn't plan the record as a return to the surf or anything. We just did it one day round a piano in the studio. Brian had the idea and played it over to us. We improved on that and recorded it very quickly, in about five minutes. It's certainly not an old track of ours; in fact it was recorded only a few weeks before it was released. We liked how it turned out and decided to release it.
During the mixdown, engineer Stephen Desper came up with the drum effect heard at the beginning of the track. He explained that he had "commissioned Philips, in Holland, to build two tape delay units for use on the road (to double live vocals). [he] moved four of the Philips PB heads very close together so that one drum strike was repeated four times about 10 milliseconds apart, and blended it with the original to give the effect you hear.". Drums were played by Dennis Wilson and session musician John Guerin; tambourine and wood blocks were also played by Guerin.
A promotional film, directed by Peter Clifton, was shot in Los Angeles. The film, shot in color, features the group pulling up in a van and visiting a surfing shop. The band then drives to the beach in their van and begins surfing. The first screenings of the promotional film were shown on BBC-1's Top of the Pops during broadcasts of the show on August 8, 22 and 29. In Germany the promotional film was shown in September during broadcasts of the Hits A Go Go show on ZDF TV. The clip was later featured in the 1969 Peter Clifton Australian surfing film Fluid Journey. An alternate promotional film for "Do It Again" was planned with the idea to feature special guest, Beatles member Paul McCartney as a clerk. However the idea was abandoned due to his busy schedule.
Released on July 19, 1968 in the United Kingdom the single, forty days after its release, peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart on August 28, 1968, and thus becoming the band's second number one hit in the United Kingdom after "Good Vibrations" two years earlier. Love remembered thinking that the song's success in Britain "was unbelievable. It showed how many fans we had there and how attractive the whole California lifestyle is." When Friends was issued in Japan, "Do It Again" was included in its track list. In Britain's Disc & Music Echo, Penny Valentine praised the single:
This is a vast improvement on The Beach Boys' last single, and thank goodness for it. It sounds like bees humming on a summer breeze and is so completely solid; there isn't room for a fly to creep in. It goes on very gently and easily and is very, very pleasant. In a way it reminds me of one of the tracks off Pet Sounds, which is nice to say the least, and a hit it will most certainly be. I can imagine a few people will be muttering, "Well, she said they were finished," but I didn't. I said they should get back to their competent, commercial sound and they have. So there.
The impact of the single belied its relatively low position in Billboard, rising to number 7 and number 8 in the charts collated and published by rival trade papers Record World and Cash Box, respectively. It placed at #8 on the major playlists of New York City, and did better than that in Chicago (#1), Calgary (#2), Los Angeles (#3), San Diego and Louisville (#4), Toronto (#5), Boston and Buffalo (#6), Washington DC (#7), Detroit and Cincinnati (#8). It also brought something of a media comeback for the Beach Boys, invited to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and several other New York talk shows. The band performed a lip-synched version of the song on the Dick Cavett Show on August 12, 1968. Later that month on August 26, the band performed the song with a live vocal over a pre-recorded track on the Mike Douglas Show. The footage of this appearance was broadcast nationally in America on August 28. The band also performed the song soon after on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 13, 1968. The band sang live vocals over a pre-recorded track. The footage was shot in color in a special blue matte video montage. The footage from the show can be found on the DVD Sights of Summer which was included with the special 2004 edition of Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys.
In Australia, the song became a top three hit for the group. In Germany the single peaked at the number 4 position on the charts. On the Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Irish and Rhodesian (now known as Zimbabwe) charts the single peaked at number 5. It was number 4 in Malaysia, number 6 in Israel and number 7 in Denmark and Switzerland. It was the Beach Boys' last big national hit (of the Sixties) in Canada, placing at number 10 on the RPM Top 100. And on the New Zealand chart the single peaked at the number 14 position.
Influence and use in media
Eric Carmen credited the "did-its" in this song with being the initial inspiration for his 1977 Top 40 hit, "She Did It". Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys also participated in the production and vocals of Carmen's song. "Did It in a Minute", a 1982 hit by Hall & Oates, was in turn inspired by the 'did-its' in both songs.
Alternate studio versions
"Do It Again" was first released on an LP in 1969 for the band's 20/20 album. This version added a fade which consists of hammering and drilling sound effects originating from the Smile "Workshop" session recorded on November 29, 1966. This session was rerecorded for the solo album Brian Wilson Presents Smile (2004). The original Beach Boys recording was used to follow a 1966 take of "I Wanna Be Around" on The Smile Sessions (2011).
The song's backing track was released on the 1968 album Stack-O-Tracks. On the 1998 compilation album, Endless Harmony Soundtrack, an early incarnation of the song was released. Until 2013, the song was only available in mono because the studio multi-track tape was believed to have been stolen sometime in 1980. The tape was retrieved thirty years later; the first true stereo mix was released on the Made in California box set.
The first officially released live recording of the song was released on the 1970 live album Live In London. Wilson, who sings falsetto on the studio track, had retired from touring by this time and in concert his part was replaced by horns as evident on the Live In London album version. In 1980, a live rendition was recorded, though not released until 2002 on the Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 live album. Footage from the concert was also released on video and DVD format. The footage was also released on the 1998 documentary Endless Harmony with the sound re-mixed by Mark Linett into Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
In 2011 the surviving Beach Boys; Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks came together in the studio to re-record "Do It Again" as part of their 50th anniversary celebration. The re-recorded version featured Mike Love (verses) and Brian Wilson (bridge) on lead vocals with longtime Beach Boys and Brian Wilson associate, Jeff Foskett, performing the falsetto vocals. It was released as a bonus track in special editions of That's Why God Made the Radio. "Do It Again" was the opening song performed at all Beach Boys 50th Reunion Tour concerts.
In 1995, Brian Wilson rerecorded the song for his album I Just Wasn't Made for These Times and released the track as a single in Britain, although it did not chart. The single also featured his rerecording of "'Til I Die", which was also from I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, and a rare B-side "This Song Wants to Sleep with You Tonight". He performed the song on the Late Night With David Letterman broadcast of August 17, 1995, with daughter Wendy Wilson performing back up vocals.
- 1969 – A Taste Of Honey and Ronnie Aldrich
- 1983 – Papa Doo Run Run
- 1985 – Twist
- 1987 – Wall of Voodoo, Happy Planet; the band also recorded a promotional film for the song which featured a guest appearance by Brian Wilson.
- 1994 – Trygve Thue
- 2000 – John Hunter Phillips, Diamonds On The Beach
- 2008 – Los Reactivos, Split Single (as "Hazlo Otra Vez")
- 2012 – Wilson Phillips, Dedicated
- 2017 – Mike Love (with Mark McGrath & John Stamos)
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Brian Wilson, at left, views the video in which he stars with I.R.S. Records act Wall of Voodoo.
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