The Beach Boys

Barbara Ann

Song Review by

This infectious exercise in doo wop became a two-time hit during the early '60s and has since become an enduring favorite for pop fans everywhere. It was written by Chuck Fassert, a member of a vocal pop outfit called the Regents. Lyrically, "Barbara Ann" is simple stuff, merely a hormonal ode to the charms of the titular girl. However, the song's catchy melody makes it something special: It starts with a stuttered pronunciation of the title name that forms the backbone of the song as it moves along at a jaunty, singalong pace. The song's harmonic charms made it a Top 20 hit for the Regents in 1961, but "Barbara Ann" gained even greater success when the Beach Boys covered it as part of their Party album. The song's doo wop style made it a natural for this album's live-in-the-studio format, and the group attacked with a go-for-broke gusto rarely seen in their more formal studio recordings: they fluffed lyrics, rushed the melody, and frequently broke into laughter during the song, but these quirks only enhanced the song's singalong charm. It became an unexpected number one hit for the Beach Boys, making it an instant standard for vocal harmony groups and a singalong favorite worthy of "Louie Louie" at frat parties.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1967 Capitol
No Image 1973 Axis / Capitol
Spirit of America 1975 DCC Compact Classics 3:10
20 Golden Greats 1976 Capitol
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:03
No Image 1983 EMI Music Distribution
No Image 1983 EMI Music Distribution
No Image 1985 Pioneer
Made in U.S.A. 1986 Capitol 0:00
No Image 1987 Capitol
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 2 1987
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:02
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: The Beach Boys - 1962-1967 1988 2:07
Beach Boys' Party!/Stack-O-Tracks 1990 Capitol / EMI Records 3:27
Surf's Up [Compilation] 1990
The Absolute Best, Vol. 2 1991 Capitol / EMI Records / Capitol Compact Disc 0:00
Frat Rock! 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 2:06
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of the Beach Boys 1993 Capitol / EMI Records 2:04
Greatest Hits [Hollywood] 1994 Hollywood / IMG 0:00
All-Time Greatest Beach Party Hits 1994 Madacy Distribution / CEMA Special Markets
Ultimate Party Album 1994
Various Artists
Greatest Surfing Songs! [Capitol Special Markets] 1997 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 2:08
Frat Rock! 3 Pac 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:06
Dutch Singles Collection 1998 EMI Music Distribution 2:07
A Child's Celebration of Dance Music 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:04
Capitol Years 1999 EMI Music Distribution 2:06
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1999 Capitol 2:08
Original Gold [2 CD Set] 1999 Original Gold (Netherlands) 2:04
No Image 1999 Disky 2:04
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 2 & 3 2000
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:03
California Dreamin' 2001 Disky 2:04
Hawthorne, CA 2001 Capitol 3:08
The Very Best of the Beach Boys 2001 Capitol 2:06
A Year in Your Life: 1966, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 2:06
The Beach Boys and Other Summer Favorites 2002 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:06
Best of the Beach Boys [Collectables] 2003 Collectables 2:06
Girls! Girls! Girls!: A Yearbook of Dream Dates 2003
Various Artists
Ace 2:39
Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys 2003 Capitol / EMI Records 2:13
Great Surfin' Songs 2003 Platinum Disc 2:08
Great Surfin' Songs [3CD] 2003 Platinum Disc 2:08
Rock On 1966 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:06
Their Greatest Hits 2004 Fuel 2000 2:06
Best of the Beach Boys: 10 Best Series 2005 Capitol / EMI Records 2:06
Platinum Collection: Sounds of Summer Edition 2005 EMI Music Distribution 2:12
Hits of the Beach Boys 2007 EMI 0:00
60s Beat Party 2008
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:04
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 2:11
Fifty Big Ones: Greatest Hits 2012 Capitol / EMI 2:13
Made in California 2013 Capitol / Universal 2:13
1967: LIVE Sunshine 2017 Capitol / Universal 3:35
1967: Sunshine Tomorrow 2 - The Studio Sessions 2017 Capitol / Universal 1:57
20 Jahre Antenne Brandenburg: Oldies & Schlager
Various Artists
EMI / Mixed Repertoire 2:11
Chart Show: Die Erfolgreichsten Song Girls Aller Zeiten
Various Artists
Greatest Hits: The Danish Collection Capitol
The Very Best of the Beach Boys: Fun, Fun, Fun EMI 2:12