Wouldn't it be Nice

Highly Appreciated

"Wouldn't It Be Nice"  is the opening track on the 1966 album Pet Sounds by the American rock band the Beach Boys.  It was composed, arranged, and produced by Brian Wilson with words largely by Tony Asher.  It was released as a single two months after the album's release with "God Only Knows" as its B-side.  Its lyrics describe a couple in love lamenting about being too young to run off to get married, fantasizing about how nice it would be if they were adults.  The music contains classical music devices that are unusual for a rock song, such as bitonality and ritardando.  In 2006, Pitchfork Media placed it at number 7 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".  (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)


*       *       *


The single was originally issued by the Beach Boys in July 1966 backed with "Wouldn't it be Nice"; in some countries, "God Only Knows" was the "A" side, and in others, it was the "B" side.  Both songs were co-written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher; Asher says of his role in the songwriting (as quoted in Wikipedia):  "The general tenor of the lyrics was often [Brian's]; however, the actual choice of words was usually mine.  I was really just his interpreter."  


In addition to these two songs, "Wouldn't it be Nice" and "God Only Knows", Tony Asher also wrote lyrics for 6 additional songs on the Beach Boys' landmark 1966 album, Pet Sounds.  (Asher also wrote the original lyrics for "Good Vibrations" that was intended to be included on that album also; his lyrics were not recorded until the 2004 release of "Good Vibrations" as part of the album, Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE).  Although sales in this country were slow initially, Pet Sounds had strong sales overseas and is now regarded as one of the most influential popular music albums ever recorded.  


(October 2014)


Last edited: March 22, 2021