Everything But The Brian XVII: Disney Girls (1957)

Bruce Johnston’s best known song may be I Write The Songs, but his best known Beach Boys effort is Disney Girls (1957), a song that still features in the Beach Boys setlists, including the 2012 reunion tour. A highlight of the well-rated Surf’s Up album, the song hearkens back to a “innocent”age of perfect love and family. With a great melody, and classic Beach Boys harmonies, this is certainly in the top tier of “non-Brian” Beach Boys songs.

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  1. Thomas J Thieme says:

    I had a lot more sympathy for Johnston before he revealed himself to be such a conservative, racist, political reactionary. The inclusion of “Disney Girls” on “Surf’s Up” was a regressive swerve to the right amidst songs that looked to a future where the environment, speaking out against injustice and abstract expression were a priority. At the time, I thought it gave the band depth and diversity. I still like the song. But now I see it was just put there as a momentary diversion, wedged into a set list designed to sell records to left wingers. Its composer was contemptuous of what the rest of his band was putting out at the time. Bruce’s longing for the past was not just a stereotype laid out by Ozzie and Harriet. He wanted to go back not just to innocence but ignorance. No wonder he left when Blondie and Ricky came on board. And when he did come back, he contributed nothing but slickness and vapidity. Does he still apologize in concert every night for “I Write the Songs”? He should.

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