OOPSing Beach Boys Songs

by Sean Courtney


The following is a list of Beach Boys tracks that are noticeably affected by OOPS, or "out-of-phase stereo." The descriptions explain what sounds are TAKEN OUT when OOPS is applied.

So...how do I do OOPS??? One way is to listen through headphones and pull the plug out slightly till the sound drops to about half-level. You'll notice first that the sound turns to mono--but keep listening and you'll hear the real differences! [Note: The headphones method takes a STEADY hand!] The other way is to play back the music on a system where each speaker is connected by two wires, a (+) and (-) wire. To get OOPS, take ONE speaker, and take a wire and plug it into one of the (+) ports, and plug the other wire into the other (+) port. All sounds mixed in the middle of the stereo will be cancelled out! [Note: Sometimes you'll have to adjust the balance a little bit to get the full effect. Songs marked with a "*" indicate this.] If you wanna get the resulting sound on TAPE, I'll tell you in the next paragraph how I did it--but it takes a LOT of patience, so if you don't have patience, skip it! And it requires TWO stereo systems of some kind and a guitar amplifier!

What I did was take an old pair of headphones and pull the wires off the connections in the cans [that is, the parts that cover your ears]. By trial-and-error, I found the wires that would work for an OOPS set-up, and I did the same thing with the speaker set-up--I plugged those wires into the (+) ports on my boom box. And I plugged the headphones plug into my Fender amp [input, of course], and had an 1/8-inch-to-RCA adaptor connected to the amp output. I connected a Y-shaped splitter to the adaptor--the single end, of course, to the adaptor, and the other two ends went into the left/right inputs on my Soundesign. Bingo! The sound comes out of my Soundesign system via the "auxilliary" port, and now I can put a tape in and record the sound so I don't have to keep screwing with the setup when I wanna hear an OOPSed song! [Note: You may hear some buzzing from the amp, but if you're lucky, it'll be barely noticeable. Plus, the music will drown it out!]

Now, for some abbreviations and stuff:

TTGA -- means from the _Time To Get Alone_ bootleg
* -- you'll have to adjust the balance for the full effect
1973 -- from the album _The Beach Boys In Concert_
LP -- in cases where the song has two versions, the LP version
GV -- from the _Good Vibrations_ box set
1990 -- 1990 remixes on the Caribou reissues

Included on this list are songs from all "standard" Beach Boys albums [including concert albums] except for _Still Cruisin'_ and _Summer In Paradise_. Also included in the list are, of course, outtakes from the _Good Vibrations_ box set and the _Time To Get Alone_ bootleg.

I didn't make note of any results from the solo albums, but I can tell you this much: Vocals cancel out when OOPSing Brian's two released solo albums [NOT counting _Orange Crate Art_...and if you OOPS "Still I Dream Of It" from _I Just Wasn't Made For These Times_, EVERYTHING cancels out--it's MONO!]. Hell, for that matter, they also cancel out on The Monkees' _Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd._, the Moody Blues' _Days Of Future Passed_ and The Who's _Tommy_. :) ]

Add Some Music To Your Day--Most percussion
Airplane--Mike's vocals
All Dressed Up For School--All vocals *
All I Wanna Do--All instruments except drums
All I Want To Do--Vocals
All This Is That--All vocals except Mike [soft] and Carl [loud]
Anna Lee, The Healer--All vocals

Baby Blue--Vocals *
Back Home--Lead vocal [to an extent]
Ballad Of Ole' [sic] Betsy--All instruments *
Be Here In The Morning--All vocals [to an extent], bass
Belles Of Paris--Lead vocals *
Be True To Your School (LP)--All instruments except triangle *
Better Get Back In Bed--Some narration
Blueberry Hill--Saxophones, most vocals
Bluebirds Over The Mountain (LP)--Lead vocal
Boogie Woodie--Drums [to a degree], guitars [inc. bass]
Busy Doin' Nothin'--Vocals [to an extent], guitars, cymbals

Cabinessence--All instruments
California Calling--Lead vocal
California Girls (1973)--Lead vocal
California Saga/Big Sur--Lead & harmony vocals
California Saga/California--Most vocals [Brian's stays]
California Saga/The Beaks Of Eagles--Lead & harmony vocals
Can't Wait Too Long (GV)--Most vocals, rhythm guitar
Car Crazy Cutie--All instruments *
Caroline, No (1973)--Vocals *
A Casual Look--All lead and harmony vocals
Catch A Wave--All instruments
Celebrate The News--All instruments except drums, guitar & Theremin
Chapel Of Love--Lead & harmony vocals
Cherry, Cherry Coupe--All instruments *
Come Go With Me (1978)--All vocals, drums
Come Go With Me (1990)--Most vocals
Cool, Cool Water (1970 LP)--All instruments except piano [first part only]
Cool, Cool Water (GV)--Piano, finger-snapping, some backing vocals
Cotton Fields (LP)--All vocals
Cuddle Up--Vocals
Custom Machine--All instruments *

Dance, Dance, Dance (demo)--All vocals
Diamond Head--Steel guitar
Ding Dang--Vocals
Don't Back Down (LP)--All instruments *
Don't Back Down (outtake)--Drums, most non-Brian vocals *
Don't Go Near The Water--Bass, Al's vocals
Don't Worry, Baby--All non-Al vocals
Do You Remember?--All vocals
Drive-In--All instruments [to a degree]

Endless Harmony (1990)--Bass, Carl's vocals
Everyone's In Love With You--Lead vocal

Fairy Tale Music--"Better Get Back In Bed" and "I'm The Pied Piper" vocals
Farmer's Daughter--Lead vocal
Feel Flows--Guitar
Finders Keepers--Background vocals
Forever (1970)--Lead vocals, bass, piano
Friends--All vocals
Fun, Fun, Fun (studio)--All instruments [to an extent] except lead guitar
Fun, Fun, Fun (1973)--All vocals
Funky Pretty (1972)--All lead vocals, bass, drums
Funky Pretty (1973)--Vocals

Ganz Allein--All instruments *
Getcha Back--Mike's vocals, most instruments
Girls On The Beach--All instruments
Good Time--Vocals
Good Vibrations (1973)--Organ, most backing vocals
Got To Know The Woman--Mike & Dennis's vocals, percussion, bass

Had To Phone Ya--Lead vocals
Hawaii (1963)--All instruments
He Come Down--Vocals
H.E.L.P. Is On The Way--All vocals
Help Me, Rhonda (1973)--Lead vocal
Help Me, Ronda (TTGA)--All instruments [to an extent]
Here She Comes--Bass, vocals
Heroes And Villains (1967 Hawaii concert)--All vocals
Heroes And Villains (1973)--Vocals
Hey Little Tomboy--All lead vocals
Hold On Dear Brother--All vocals
Honkin' Down The Highway--Lead vocals [to an extent]
Hushabye (LP)--All instruments

I Can Hear Music--Lead & harmony vocals, most instruments
I Do--All instruments [to a degree]
I Do Love You--Lead vocal
I'll Bet He's Nice--Some synths, all lead vocals
I'm So Lonely--Lead vocals [to an extent], drums
I'm So Young (outtake)--All instruments
I'm The Pied Piper--Some narration
I'm The Pied Piper (II)--Some vocals, some narration
In My Room (studio)--All instruments *
In The Parkin' Lot--All instruments except lead guitar
In The Still Of The Night--Brian & Dennis's vocals, piano
It's About Time--Carl's vocals
It's Just A Matter Of Time--Most instruments, Brian's vocals
It's OK--Lead vocals
It's Over Now--Vocals *
I Wanna Pick You Up--Most vocals

Johnny Carson--All lead vocals in verses *
Just Once In My Life--All vocals

Keep An Eye On Summer--Some backing vocals, all instruments except guitar
Kona Coast--Drums, all lead vocals

Land Ahoy--Vocals
Leaving This Town (1972)--Vocals, bass
Leaving This Town (1973)--All vocals
Let's Put Our Hearts Together--Lead vocals
Let The Wind Blow (1973)--Vocals
Let Us Go On This Way--Drums, lead vocal [to an extent]
Little Bird--All vocals
Little Deuce Coupe (1963)--All instruments
Little Honda (both studio versions)--All vocals
The Little Old Lady From Pasadena--Lead vocal *
Live In London (entire album)--All vocals, including emcee intro
Livin' With A Heartache--Lead vocal
Louie, Louie--All instruments
Love Is A Woman--All vocals except Mike and Al

Magic Transistor Radio--Some narration
Male Ego--Lead vocals, drums
Marcella (1972)--Drums, lead vocals
Marcella (1973)--All vocals
Matchpoint Of Our Love--Lead vocals
Meant For You (1968)--All vocals *
Mona--All vocals
Mt. Vernon And Fairway - Theme--Some synth sounds
My Diane--Lead vocals, drums *

The Nearest Faraway Place--Most percussion, guitars [to an extent], bass
Never Learn Not To Love--Dennis's vocals
The Night Was So Young--Synths, lead vocals
No-Go Showboat--All vocals

Old Folks At Home/Ol' Man River--Vocals, guitars, bass
Only With You--Vocals, drums
Our Car Club--All instruments [to a degree]
Our Prayer (20/20)--1968 overdubs
Our Sweet Love--Carl's lead vocal [backing vocal stays], Brian's vocal

Palisades Park--Lead vocals [to an extent], Brian's background talking
Passing By--Vocals and harmonica [to an extent], organ, electric piano
Passing Friend--Drums, lead vocal
Peggy Sue (1990)--All background vocals, the echo on Al's voice
Pitter Patter--Lead vocals, drums *
Pom, Pom Play Girl--Most Instruments, Mike Love's bass vocal [heh heh!]

Radio King Dom--Some narration, some vocals, some synth sounds
Rock And Roll Music (LP)--Lead vocal
Roller Skating Child--Vocals, drums, synths *

Sail On, Sailor (1972 and 1973 versions)--Vocals
San Miguel--Vocals *
Santa Ana Winds--Al's intro narration
School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell) (1990)--Lead vocal
She Believes In Love Again--Most vocals
She's Got Rhythm--All vocals except Mike
Shut Down--All instruments except bass, sax & guitar solo
Sloop John B (1973)--Vocals
South Bay Surfer--Vocals
Slip On Through--Lead vocal
Solar System--Synths
Spirit Of America--All instruments
Steamboat--Lead vocals, bass
Still I Dream Of It (1976)--Vocals *
Student Demonstration Time--Lead vocal *
Surfer Girl (1963)--All instruments except lead guitar
Surfer Girl (1973)--Most vocals
The Surfer Moon--Vocals
Surfers Rule--All instruments
Surf's Up (1971)--Guitar, Brian's vocal (in some places)
Susie Cincinnati--Lead guitar
Sweet Sunday Kinda Love--Lead vocals *

Take A Load Off Your Feet--Some lead vocals *
Talk To Me--Lead vocals, except for the "Tallahasse Lassie" section
That Same Song--All vocals
This Car Of Mine--All instruments
This Whole World--Lead vocal
'Til I Die (1971)--Bass, Brian & Mike's vocals
Time To Get Alone--All instruments ex. vibes, drums & strings in last verse
TM Song--Argument, all instruments except vibes, organ and bongos
The Trader--Lead vocals, drums
Transcendental Meditation--Everything but brass
Two Can Play--Vocals, drums

Wake The World--All vocals
The Warmth Of The Sun (1964)--All instruments [to a degree] except bass
We Got Love (1973)--Lead vocals *
We'll Run Away--All vocals
Wendy--All vocals
When A Man Needs A Woman--All vocals
When Girls Get Together--1980 overdubs
Where I Belong--Lead vocals
Winds Of Change (1990)--Lead vocals *
Won'tcha Come Out Tonight--All lead & harmony vocals, bass *
Wouldn't It Be Nice--Mike's vocals

You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone--Lead vocals
Your Summer Dream--All instruments [to a degree]
You Still Believe In Me (1973)--Vocals

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