The Beach Boys

Kiss Me, Baby

Composed by Brian Wilson / Mike Love

Song Review by

"Kiss Me, Baby" is one of the true wonders of one of the Beach Boys' finest albums, Today. By 1965, group leader Brian Wilson was getting tired of the fun-in-the-sun aesthetic that had come to dominate the sound of his group and, chiefly inspired by both the Beatles and the great Phil Spector, he moved to create dense, multi-layered confessional songs, with adult themes and exploring issues previously only developed by performers such as Bob Dylan. "Kiss Me Baby" is clearly a product of this new sophistication, which, although containing somewhat childish lyrics from Mike Love, contains a wonderful vocal arrangement, and a gorgeous, tuneful melody that Wilson seemed to knock off effortlessly during this period. In particular, the final coda ("Kiss a little bit/Fight a little bit/Kiss a little bit/Fight a little bit") is a huge leap for the Beach Boys, and the use of harmony was brought up to new levels. Undoubtedly one of the best songs on Today, it is also one of the hidden treasures of the group's entire catalog, although as with much of the group's output it does not lend itself to cover versions, and there have been no notable ones to comment upon.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Today! 1965 Capitol
No Image 1966 Capitol
Today!/Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) 1990 Sea of Tunes 2:44
Endless Harmony [Soundtrack] 1998 Capitol 2:43
Originals 1998 EMI-Capitol Entertainment Prop. / Capitol 2:30
Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 7 (1964): The Alternate "Beach Boys Today" Album, Vol. 1 1998 Sea of Tunes 4:09
Capitol Years 1999 EMI Music Distribution 2:35
Greatest Hits 1961-1965, Vol. 1 2000 Capitol/EMI Records
Hawthorne, CA 2001 Capitol 2:49
Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys 2003 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:43
The Warmth of the Sun 2006 Capitol/EMI Records 2:43
U.S. Singles Collection: The Capitol Years 1962-1965 2008 Capitol 2:42
Summer Love Songs 2009 Capitol 2:43
No Image 2009 Capitol 2:42
Made in California 2013 Capitol 2:44
blue highlight denotes editor's pick