Definitions

fun employed

Fun, Fun, Fun

Fun, Fun, Fun, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, was a hit single by The Beach Boys that was released in 1964 on the band's album Shut Down Volume 2.

Composition

The song, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love was about Shirley England, the daughter of the owner of radio station KNAK in Salt Lake City, Utah (Not to be confused with the call letters now assigned to a station in Delta, Utah) where she worked as a teenager. She borrowed her father's Ford Thunderbird to go study at the library. Instead of driving to the library, she ended up at a hamburger stand. When her father found out he took the car away. The next day she was at the radio station complaining about it to the staff while The Beach Boys were visiting and they were inspired to write this song.

The Wilsons' father, Murry, always the critical conservative, denounced the whole idea for the song as immoral, and tried to prevent the group from recording it. The song, backed by a single-only mix of a cover version of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", became a top-five hit. This argument set the seed for further deterioration in the family. It finally led to Murry being sacked as The Beach Boys manager a few months later when "I Get Around" was about to become the first number-one single for The Beach Boys.

The opening electric guitar introduction of the original version of the song was based on Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, which was released in 1958.

Recording

The song was recorded on January 1, 1964 at Western Recorders. The instrumental track was released on the 2001 archival release Hawthorne, CA. The song features Mike Love on lead vocals

Single release

The "Fun, Fun, Fun" single backed with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" was released in the United States in February 1964. The single peaked at the number 5 spot on the Billboard chart.

In the United Kingdom the single was released in March 1964 through Capitol Records. However, the single failed to chart. In Australia, the single peaked at the number 6 position, which was the band's highest charting single in Australia at that time. In West Germany, the single became their first single to chart in the country when it peaked at the number 49 position.

In February 1996, the Status Quo version of the song, featuring The Beach Boys, was released under Polygram Records as a single in the United Kingdom. The single, featuring another artist on the B-side, peaked at the number 24 position on the charts.

Album and alternate releases

The song was first released on an album in the United States in March 1964 on the band's Shut Down Volume 2 album. In the United Kingdom the album was released in July 1964 and it was only the band's second album to be issued in the U.K. (as opposed to the fifth album in the U.S.) The song was also released in Britain on the Fun, Fun, Fun EP which included both "Fun, Fun, Fun" & "In My Room" on the A-side and "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" on the B-side. The EP charted at the number 19 position.

The song was covered in 1996 by the then-current lineups of The Beach Boys and Status Quo (see Don't Stop), with a new verse written for the song. The Beach Boys sang mainly backing vocals, with Status Quo's Francis Rossi performing the lead vocal for the entire song, except the new verse, which was sung by Mike Love. The instrumental track was released on the 2001 album Hawthorne, CA.

The song is also regularly released on many of the band's greatest hits albums including the 1974 chart topping compilation Endless Summer; the 1986 compilation Made in U.S.A.; the 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys; the 1999 compilation The Greatest Hits - Volume 1: 20 Good Vibrations and the 2003 compilation Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys

Live versions

After the song was released it immediately became a regular in The Beach Boys live set. In the early years when it was released it was sometimes used as the band's concert opener. However, in the mid-70's it regularly became the band's concert closer. Several live renditions of the song have been officially released on various Beach Boys releases. It was first released on their first live album Beach Boys Concert in 1964 as the opening track. It was later released on their 1973 live album The Beach Boys in Concert as the album closer. A concert from Anaheim Stadium on July 3, 1976 which featured the song was filmed and produced by Lorne Michaels for a Beach Boys television special which first aired in the United States in August, 1976. The TV special was later released on video and DVD as Good Vibrations Tour. In 1980, a live rendition was recorded, though not released until 2002 on the Good Timin': Live at Knebworth England 1980 live album. Footage from the concert was also released on video and DVD format. The band also performed a live version of the song at the NBC Television Studios in Burbank, California which was filmed on March 14, 1964. Footage of the concert was later released on the DVD The Lost Concert.

Cover versions

Both the Boomerangs and Brendan Bower & His Royal Show Band Waterford covered the song in 1965. Dino, Desi, & Billy covered the song a year later. A year on from that The Surfriders covered the song. During a concert at the Fillmore in 1970, New Riders of the Purple Sage performed a shortened rendition of the song. In 1976 Adam Surf & The Pebble Beach Band covered the song. Papa Doo Run Run covered the song on their 1985 album California Project. In 1986, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts covered the song. In 1994 both Cathedral City Project and Trygve Thue covered the song. More recently John B. & The Surfin´ Safaris covered the song on their 2002 album A Tribute to the Beach Boys. Two french covers of the song have been released by Les Missiles in 1964 and Les Excentriques in 1965 under the title "Fume, Fume, Fume".

This song was performed by Brian Wilson and the ensemble that performed for An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson in 2001, which was later released on DVD.

Caleigh Peters, a pop rock musician, performed a cover of this song for the soundtrack of Herbie: Fully Loaded, a Walt Disney Pictures movie released in 2005.

Charts

Chart (1964) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 10
German Singles Chart 49
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5

References

See also

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