Help Me, Rhonda

"Help Me, Rhonda" is a song by American rock band the Beach Boys from their 1965 albums The Beach Boys Today! (where it was spelled "Help Me, Ronda") and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). It was written by Brian Wilson, with additional lyrics by Mike Love. The lead vocal was sung by Al Jardine. The Summer Days version is a later recording with a different arrangement that was first issued as a single in April, one month after the release of Today!. It topped the Billboard Hot 100, making it their second number-one single following "I Get Around" (1964).

"Help Me, Ronda"
Song by the Beach Boys
from the album The Beach Boys Today!
PublishedFebruary 24, 1965 (1965-02-24) (Sea of Tunes)[1]
ReleasedMarch 8, 1965
RecordedJanuary 8, 1965
Length3:10
LabelCapitol
Composer(s)Brian Wilson
Lyricist(s)Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
Audio sample
"Help Me, Rhonda"
Beach Boys - Help Me, Rhonda.jpg
Single by the Beach Boys
from the album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
B-side"Kiss Me, Baby"
ReleasedApril 5, 1965
RecordedFebruary 24, 1965
Length2:46
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Do You Wanna Dance?"
(1965)
"Help Me, Rhonda"
(1965)
"California Girls"
(1965)
Audio sample

BackgroundEdit

"Help Me, Rhonda" was written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love.[2] The lyrics tell a story of a man who was attracted to a woman who then found another man; to aid the healing process, he begs a woman named Rhonda to help him get over her. According to songwriter Brian Wilson, "Rhonda" was not based on a real person.[3]

RecordingEdit

The vocal overdub session for the second version of this song was notable for resulting in a particularly heated confrontation between Wilson and his father Murry, who at the time had been dismissed as the group's manager for nearly a year but was still present in the studio on occasion. After Murry continually critiqued and ridiculed the group's singing throughout each take, Brian complained and got into a tense argument which ultimately led to a physical altercation over control of the soundboard. The unedited session tape has been extensively copied and shared among Beach Boys fans.[4][5]

ReceptionEdit

Upon release, Billboard described the single version as "an intriguing off-beat rouser" which "can't miss."[6] Cash Box described it as "a power-packed hard-driving romantic surfin’-rocker with an extremely infectious danceable back-beat."[7] Wilson later said of the song, "I would've made a better rhythm — it wasn't in the pocket."[8]

PersonnelEdit

Today! versionEdit

Per Craig Slowinski.[9]

The Beach Boys

Additional musicians and production staff

Summer Days versionEdit

Per Craig Slowinski.[10]

The Beach Boys

  • Al Jardine – lead vocals
  • Mike Love – harmony and backing vocals
  • Brian Wilson – harmony and backing vocals, upright piano, Hammond B-3 organ
  • Carl Wilson – harmony and backing vocals, 12-string guitar
  • Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals, tambourine

Additional musicians and production staff

List of later versionsEdit

  • 1970 – Roy Orbison, The Big O.
  • 1975 – Johnny Rivers, New Lovers And Old Friends (with an assist from Brian Wilson on back-up vocals); reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Library of Congress. Copyright Office. (1965). Catalog of Copyright Entries 3D Ser Vol 19 Pt 5. United States Copyright Office. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  2. ^ Slowinski, Craig (2007). "The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!" (PDF). Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Will, George F. (June 20, 2012). "The Beach Boys still get around". Washington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  4. ^ Greene, Bob (November 2, 1997). "The Secrets of the "Help Me, Rhonda" Tape". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "I'm a Genius, Too! The Murry Wilson Tapes".
  6. ^ "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. April 10, 1965. p. 48. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  7. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. April 10, 1965. p. 18. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  8. ^ "Brian Answer's Fans' Questions In Live Q&A". Brianwilson.com. January 29, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  9. ^ Slowinski, Craig (2007). "The Beach Boys- The Beach Boys Today!" (PDF). Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Slowinski, Craig. "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)". Retrieved April 8, 2019.