The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” originally belonged to another band

TL; DR:

  • The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” was originally by a doo-wop band.
  • Mike Love had a strong reaction to the other band’s version of the song.
  • “Barbara Ann” nearly reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
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Doo-wop had a huge influence on Beach Boys songs. For example, the original version of “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys was done by a doo-wop group. Mike Love revealed he was surprised when the band’s cover of “Barbara Ann” became a hit.

Mike Love explained how doo-wop music inspired Beach Boys songs

During a 2022 interview with The Red Bulletin, Love said that doo-wop music had a huge influence on his band. “We were inspired by all the doo-wop bands with their harmonies, the bass guitar, the lead, and all the harmonies,” Love recalled.

Afterwards, Love discussed the Kingston Trio’s doo-wop version of the traditional song “Sloop John B.” “They were fun songs – like ‘Sloop John B’, which my cousin Brian Wilson did amazing arranging and producing, and our version ended up on the animal sounds album,” he said.

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Mike Love was a fan of the Beach Boys’ original version of “Barbara Ann”

Next, Love discussed another cover from his band. “Our hit ‘Barbara Ann’ was a cover, as they call it,” he said. “It was done by a group called The Regents from the East Coast. They came up with a great arrangement. Notably, The Regents were a doo-wop group.

Love said the audience reaction to his band’s “Barbara Ann” surprised him. “My cousin Brian also made this arrangement, and we used it on our Boys party on the beach album,” he recalls. “We didn’t even expect it to be a record for us, but it was. It was high on the charts, right before animal sounds came out of.”

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How “Sloop John B” and “Barbara Ann” and their parent albums fared on the charts in the United States

Although the group did not originate “Sloop John B” or “Barbara Ann”, both songs became hits in the United States. “Sloop John B” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 11 weeks. The cover appeared on the album animal sounds. The album peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the charts for 47 weeks.

“Barbara Ann” has become even more popular. The track reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 11 weeks. “Barbara Ann” appeared on the album Beach Boys Party! The album reached No. 6 and lasted 24 weeks on the chart.

“Barbara Ann” proves that there were more connections between doo-wop and classic rock than one might think.

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