Beach Boys' Party! is an album of mostly cover songs (featuring acoustic instruments) by American rock band The Beach Boys that was recorded for and marketed during the lucrative Christmas season. The original album release included a sheet of photographs of the band 'appearing' to be at the party at hand. It was The Beach Boys' tenth album release, and their third in 1965. Although it was recorded in a music studio, it is presented as an impromptu live recording of a party.
In August, after the release of Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!), The Beach Boys' leader Brian Wilson was contemplating his next studio album, which would turn out to be Pet Sounds. Capitol Records requested a new album for the holiday season (and "Pet Sounds" could not be finished in time for that). Since The Beach Boys' Christmas Album had been released the previous year, as had a live performance through The Beach Boys Concert the "live party" idea was selected to reflect the togetherness of the holiday spirit. Sporadically during September, the band and their friends rehearsed current and older hits (including revisiting The Rivingtons' "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow"). Although presented as a live recording, the individual songs were recorded carefully, and laughter and background chatter was mixed in during post-production.
The album included versions of The Beatles' "Tell Me Why", "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "I Should Have Known Better", The Everly Brothers' "Devoted to You", Phil Spector's "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" and a send-up of their own "I Get Around" and "Little Deuce Coupe".
Beach Boys' Party! was recorded as a "fun" album, rather than the band's next artistic statement, and as such, the album wasn't originally intended to have a single. Several other songs were also recorded, but not put on the album. This included a rendition of The Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride", three takes of The Rolling Stones "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", a version of The Drifters' "Ruby Baby", which would later appear on the Good Vibrations Box Set, a version of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and the song "Riot In Cell Block #9" (which would later be played live in the early 1970s, and then became "Student Demonstration Time" on the Beach Boys' Surf's Up album), and several other songs, all of which can be found on bootlegs.
In November, 1965, the Beach Boys released the single "The Little Girl I Once Knew" which repeatedly used a measure of silence in the arrangement and was reportedly disliked by radio programmers due to their avoidance of having "dead air", this has been cited as being partially responsible for the single stalling at US number 20. Still wanting to play new material by the band, radio disc jockeys around the United States begun started playing the last track of Party! straight off the LP, a cover of The Regents' "Barbara Ann". After receiving good listener's response, "Barbara Ann" was promptly issued as a single by Capitol when they started hearing from radio programmers, and became a number 2 hit in early 1966.
Beach Boys' Party! reached number 6 in the US (though it never went gold). Beach Boys' Party! and the surprise hit single "Barbara Ann" became The Beach Boys' biggest successes yet in the UK, both reaching number 3 in early 1966 and making them stars in The Beatles' homeland.
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