THE BEACH BOYS tried a few other tricks to jump-start their career. In 1984, a one-off single with their former East Coast rivals THE FOUR SEASONS produced the awful EAST MEETS WEST single ... it never charted (deservedly so.) In 1986, the single ROCK AND ROLL TO THE RESCUE snuck up to #68 on both National Charts. It was originally included on an LP called 25 YEARS OF GOOD VIBRATIONS, and was sold at their concert appearances only. The follow-up single, a remake of THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS classic CALIFORNIA DREAMIN', came from the same LP. (It went to #49 and really isn't a bad version ... former BYRDS guitarist ROGER McGUINN plays 12-string guitar on that track ... and it very well may have paved the way for former Papa JOHN PHILLIPS to be involved in what would be THE BEACH BOYS' biggest hit in 22 years ... he cowrote KOKOMO with producer TERRY MELCHER, SCOTT McKENZIE and MIKE LOVE ... and, incredibly, in 1988 THE BEACH BOYS were back at #1!
Could there possibly BE a more appropriate song to finish up our special BEACH BOYS series than HAPPY ENDINGS? Released as a single in 1987, the unlikely pairing of '60's icons THE BEACH BOYS and '50's rock pioneer LITTLE RICHARD teamed up to record a beautiful ballad written by BRUCE JOHNSTON and TERRY MELCHER (as in "BRUCE & TERRY") for the WHOOPI GOLDBERG motion picture THE TELEPHONE. THE BEACH BOYS are in fine voice and LITTLE RICHARD just may be at his most restrained ... their voices blend perfectly together ... and this one SHOULD have been a hit. (Of course, someone would have actually had to play it on the radio in order for that to happen!!!) Their very next release would be another duet ... this time the "God-Only-Knows-Awful" WIPEOUT with THE FAT BOYS ... and THAT one went all the way to #12!!! Soundtrack music would become a big part of THE BEACH BOYS' repertoire during this period ... MAKE IT BIG from the SHELLEY LONG film TROOP BEVERLY HILLS and the title track from the JOHN RITTER film PROBLEM CHILD were just a couple of songs that never saw the light of day on the pop charts. However, the following year, they would have one of the biggest hits of their career when KOKOMO (from the film COCKTAIL) went all the way to #1. Who would have thought? Soon, THE BEACH BOYS were a hot ticket item again (and all over the TV screen as well .... they were pretty much "adopted" by the FULL HOUSE gang!)
DIDJAKNOW???: The original single release of KOKOMO featured the #1 BEACH BOYS hit on the A-Side and the LITTLE RICHARD classic TUTTI FRUTTI on the B-Side! (Both songs were featured in the Soundtrack to COCKTAIL.)
Thank you for spending a week with us as we shared one of our favorite artists with you.