Listen to The Beach Boys cover Bob Dylan song ‘Times They Are A-Changing’
We’re taking a look back at The Beach Boys at the height of their fame as they cover the freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’s iconic protest song ‘Times They Are A-Changing’ in 1965 as part of their now-iconic party record.
By this time, the fame of The Beach Boys, a clean-cut group from the sunny side of America, was growing with an ever-increasing pace. That wild success had prompted the record label to force the band to produce as many albums as they possibly could a la Beatles. While this wouldn’t necessarily always be good for the band, it would produce some cracking releases including 1965’s Beach Boys’ Party!
The monetisation of The Beach Boys’ success had benefitted many of the band but for the legendary songwriter of the group Brian Wilson, selling records was simply no longer good enough. He was now concerned with making true art.
The artist wanted to create something epic, he began work on his masterpiece Pet Sounds. However, the record label still needed a new album from the California boys to put on the shelves. They needed a guaranteed seller and so the Beach Boys went to work.
“The Party! album was a result of the pressure Capitol Records was putting on us for another album,” Mike Love said in a statement. “And we didn’t really have time to develop the type of album we wanted to develop, which Brian was working on, called Pet Sounds. … So we said, ‘Well, what can we do quickly and easily?’ And we decided to do this party album.”
“Mike was saying, why not a party album and we can act like we are [at a party], and just be ourselves on tape, you know?” Brian Wilson said. “And that’s what happened. It was a very spontaneous album.”
The group set about recording Party! on all acoustic instruments, aiming for the sound to come out like a beach-party campfire sing-along with friends—they wanted it to sound organic. The record came complete with a tambourine, bongos and acoustic guitar, the band pull off a warm, if not somewhat canned, sense of merriment throughout the record. The highlight, however, came from their cover of Dylan’s protest song.
The track had quickly become the anthem of the counter-culture movement. The Beach Boys may have been the establishment’s choice of rock act for the masses but the band still appreciated the gravity of Dylan’s arrival and pay homage to the singer with this brilliant cover.
Listen below to The Beach Boys covering Bob Dylan’s protest song ‘Times They Are A-Changing’.