On this day in Pet Sounds History “Caroline, No” was recorded January 31, 1966 at Western Recorders, Hollywood, CA. Released March 7, 1966 as Capitol single 5610, by Brian Wilson. Entered Billboard “Hot 100”: March 26, 1966; on chart 7 weeks; peaked at #32 April 30, 1966.
Brian has called Caroline No “one of the prettiest, most personal songs” he’s ever written. “Caroline No concerned growing up and the loss of innocence,” he explained. “I’d reminisced to Tony [Asher] about my high school crush on [blonde cheerleader] Carol Mountain and sighed, ‘If I saw her today, I’d probably think, God, she’s lost something, because growing up does that to people.’ But the song was most influenced by the changes Marilyn and I had gone through. We were young, Marilyn nearing 20 and me closing in on 24, yet I thought we’d lost the innocence of our youth in the heavy seriousness of our lives. [Tony] took a tape home, embellished on my concept, and completed the words.”
For Asher, the song encapsulated “Brian’s wish that he could go back to simpler days, his wish that the group could return to the days when the whole thing was a lot of fun and very little pressure.”
Of course, the question most asked is: who was Caroline? “Actually, I had recently broken up with my high school sweetheart who was a dancer and had moved to New York to make the big time on Broadway,” admitted Asher. “When I went east to visit her a scant year after the move, she had changed radically. Yes, she had cut her hair. But she was a far more worldly person, not all for the worse. Anyway, her name was Carol. And when I sang the lyric for the first time to Brian, I was singing 'oh, Carol, I know.’ Brian, understandably, heard it as 'Caroline, No.’ which struck me as a far more interesting line than the one I originally had in mind.”
During the recording of the track, Hal Blaine played an empty, upside-down Sparkletts water bottle, producing the unique percussive effect that opens the track. On hand for the session was Brian’s father, Murry. “I continued to solicit his opinion,” Brian explained. “He praised the song, but suggested that I change the key from C to D. The engineer put a wrap around the recording head, a technique which sped up the playback, and the two of us listened again. My dad was right, and I took his advice.”
Caroline, No was issued as a single under Brian’s name, the only time his name appeared on a record as a solo artist during the group’s years with Capitol Records. The song features only Brian’s voice – he sings the entire lead vocal (doubled) and there are no background vocals. The track was released as a Brian Wilson single at Brian’s urging. Capitol knew Brian was the sole singer on the record and that no other Beach Boys had participated, so they were agreeable. Unfortunately, Brian’s name was far from a household word, and since there was no substantive promotional campaign to accompany the 45, it met with mixed response and ran out of steam at #32.
The trailer with the barking dogs and passing train was not part of the single and was added specifically to close the album. The dogs were his pets, Banana and Louie, recorded at Western Recorders on March 22, 1966. “I took a tape recorder and I recorded their barks,” Brian remembered. “And we went through some sound effects tapes and we found a train. So we just put it together.”
This video features the recording from January 31, 1966 at the original speed before Murry Wilson had the recording sped up which version ultimately ended up on the LP. Brian WilsonThe Wrecking Crew
OH GOD THAT PICTURE OF YOUNG ALBA HURT NNNGH. Kudos to the artist for ripping my heart in itty bitty pieces. (I am the anon who gave that RtR prompt) (I loved the fill by the way) (Can I... can I ask for a slice-of-life scene of life before war, too, because I want to hurt myself)
(This will probably make zero sense to anyone who has not read Road to Ruin, but hey.)
Dianthus, Cohdopia, March 1966
“You’re taking me to the Spring Fair.”
The statement - no, it was an order, plain and simple - caused Quercus to look up from his book for the first time in a couple of hours’ time. He was sitting on the ground in the shade of the old oak tree, and was therefore at the same eye level as his younger sister. She had her mouth set and chin raised, as though daring him to say otherwise.
Quercus found himself thinking that Crown Princess Luzula - who had to be more or less Laurie’s age by now - probably looked like that while giving orders to some servant. Unfortunately for his sister, she was no princess and he was no servant.
Fun fact Friday for Black History Month! Did you know that Donyale Luna was the first African American supermodel & she also became the first black model to appear on the cover of a Vogue magazine, the March 1966 British issue, shot by photographer David Bailey. Visit diamonddivani.com & find out more on Donyale Luna & see my recreation with a little twist photoshoot on her as well!! 💕 link in my bio 💕#donyaleluna #blackhistory #funfact #supermodel