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IT'S ALIVE: The Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (Philadelphia, 1985)

It's Alive briefly devotes the airwaves to live music everyday at 1pm. Tune in today hear this performance and more live tracks!

The Beach Boys released one of their most successful songs, "Wouldn't It Be Nice", today in 1966 as the lead single of the highly influential album Pet Sounds.

The song is considered one of the band's most respected compositions, but Brian Wilson's inspiration for the lyrics can be seen as questionable. An infatuation with Diane Rovell, a singer in the girl group The Honeys sparked the idea, but Rovell was Wilson's sister-in-law. Tony Asher, Wilson's co-writer on Pet Sounds, shared in Peter Ames Carlin's 2006 biography of Brian Wilson, "He'd stop in the middle of writing a song or a conversation or whatever and start going on about Diane, about how innocent, sweet, and beautiful she was. I'd be thinking, 'Huh! Your wife's in the next room, and you're talking about her sister!'"

Despite the unusual background for the subject matter, the song has been widely praised for its musical composition, instrumental arrangement, and lush vocal harmonies. This video shows The Beach Boys performing the tune during the 1985 Live Aid concerts in Philadelphia, PA.

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org

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