It’s one of those lovely poetic facts that the band who have come to represent the spirit of America had their first US No. 1 on Independence Day. The Billboard Hot 100 dated 4 July 1964 showed the Beach Boys climbing to the top of the chart with ‘I Get Around.’
The song that it replaced at the summit was one of the early non-Beatles bestsellers from the British Invasion of that year, Peter & Gordon’s ‘A World Without Love.’ That crashed to No. 6 as ‘I Get Around’ climbed 2-1 in its seventh chart week, ahead of Millie’s ‘My Boy Lollipop,’ which jumped 4-2. Johnny Rivers’ version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Memphis’ rose 6-3, with the top five completed by Gerry & the Pacemakers’ ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ and Barbra Streisand’s ‘People.’
It’s another landmark anniversary in the career of the Beach Boys, whose musical legacy still shines like the 4th of July itself. We offer a special playlist with some favourite music by “America’s Band” in the spirit of Independence Day. It’s augmented by a whole host of other tracks with a 4 July theme, by everyone from Donna Summer to Soundgarden.
‘I Get Around’ is surely one of the greatest hymns to sheer teenage exuberance ever recorded. It was also part of one of the finest double-sided singles of that or any era, paired with the similarly deathless ‘Don’t Worry Baby.’ Its arrival at No. 1 in the States ended a long period of waiting that included four previous top ten hits with ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’, ‘Surfer Girl,’ ‘Be True To Your School’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.’ It was also their UK breakthrough, climbing to No. 7. That was helped in no small measure by Mick Jagger’s enthusiastic endorsement when all five Rolling Stones appeared on the record-rating UK panel show Juke Box Jury.
‘I Get Around’ is on the Beach Boys’ All Summer Long album, which can be bought here.
Follow the official Beach Boys Best Of playlist.