Wbo Is The Lead In Sound Of Music Sound Of.Music This Was No "Party": Recording The Beach Boys’ "Barbara Ann"

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This Was No "Party": Recording The Beach Boys’ "Barbara Ann"

“Beach Boys Party” from 1965! There was a rolling collection of cover songs; Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys sang tunes by contemporary bands such as the Beatles along with doo wop classics. Played on acoustic instruments, the songs seemed to have been recorded live at a house party; In fact, the album was recorded in the studio and laughter, clapping and chatter were added later for effect. The album yielded one of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits: a cover of the Regents’ “Barbara Ann.”

The Party!” LP was recorded shortly before the Beach Boys’ masterpiece “Pet Sounds” due to pressure from Capitol Records for a new album. Leader Brian Wilson wanted something that wouldn’t take too long to record but would still be fun: a selection of songs the group enjoyed growing up.

Surf rockers Jan & Dean, who were recording at the next studio, were invited to appear on the sessions, but their label, Liberty Records, threatened to withhold their royalties if they appeared on a Capitol album. This did not deter Dean Torrance, who joined.

Torrance shared lead vocals with Brian Wilson on “Barbara Ann”, but Wilson later admitted that in the final mix, Torrance’s voice was stronger than his own. Radio programmers began playing “Barbara Ann” directly from the “Party!” album; Due to the response, Capitol released it as a single, which became a top 10 hit.

The song’s roots go back to 1958, when The Desires, a struggling doo wop group from the Bronx, New York, recorded a series of unsuccessful demos at New York’s Regent Sound Studios. Hoping their luck would change, the group changed their name to the Regents.

In one studio session, the group had ten minutes to spare, so leader Guy Viari suggested the group record a song that is often used as a warm-up number. The song was written by tenor Chuck Passert’s brother, Fred, and named after their sister: “Barbara-Ann” (hyphenated in the original).

The group decided that of their demos, “Barbara-Ann” had the best chance of becoming a hit; They brought the song to over 50 record companies without success. Disheartened, the regents separated at the end of 1958.

Fast forward to 1961. Eddie Jacobucci, younger brother of Regents bassist Don Jacobucci, was there. Eddie’s group, the couple, lacked original songs. Eddie recalls his brother’s demo of “Barbara-Ann”, which he played for his group.

The couple convinced Lou Cicchetti of Cousins ​​Records in the Bronx to let them cut their own version of “Barbara-Ann.” When writer Fred Pasteur heard about it, he brought the blood of Cicetti the heir to the throne; Cicchetti liked it enough to release the Regents original as a single.

Fred Passert quickly went to work finding members of the curfew. After re-forming, the Regents recorded “I’m So Lonely” as the B-side to “Barbara-Anne”. “Barbara-Ann” released in March 1961 was an instant hit, reaching number 13 on the Billboard pop charts.

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