Sloop John B

Highly Appreciated

“Sloop John B”  is a traditional folk song from The Bahamas, “The John B. Sails”, which was included in Carl Sandburg’s 1927 collection of folk songs, The American Songbag.  It is best known as a recording by the Beach Boys — the seventh track on their 1966 album Pet Sounds.  Brian Wilson sang, produced, and arranged the Beach Boys’ recording.  Released as an A-sided single two months before Pet Sounds, it peaked at number 3 in the US and number 2 in the UK.  In several other countries, the single was a number one hit.  The group’s folk rock adaptation of “Sloop John B” was ranked #271 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  (More from Wikipedia)

When the British Invasion came along and seemed to sweep away the surf music scene, Brian Wilson masterminded a response album in 1966 by the Beach Boys that matched the Brits in every way:  Pet Sounds.  The hit songs from the album – “Wouldn’t it be Nice”, God Only Knows and “Sloop John B” – don’t begin to convey how well Pet Sounds works as an album.  The record was hugely influential and (in a nice twist) was an even bigger hit in England than it was in the USA


(June 2013/2)


Last edited: March 22, 2021