All I Want to Do

Does a Beach Boys song include the sounds of sex in the studio?

Claim:   A song by the Beach Boys includes the recorded sounds of in-studio sex.


Status:   Undetermined.

Origins:   The world of urban legendry encompasses several tales about strange goings-on taking place in recording studios, with evidence of these activities supposedly captured on

CD

tape and left in the finished product. These rumors include everything from murder to sex — the former represented by the legend that a woman was killed in the studio during the making of the Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster” (her dying screams audible in the song’s background); the latter represented by the claim that Donna Summer’s ode to the orgasm, “Love to Love You Baby,” includes the sounds of the songstress’ actually climaxing.

I recently came across another example of the “sex in the studio” genre, this one concerning the song “All I Want to Do,” written and produced by Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson and released on the group’s 1969 album, 20/20. The song’s lyrics certainly leave little to the imagination:



Well I don’t care where you want to go
Just so you go with me
And I don’t care what you want to do
But make sure you do it with me

All I want to do with you
Well I just make some love to you

Come on baby
(Baby come on come on)
Come on baby
(Baby come on come on)
I said baby
(Baby come on come on)

I just want to do it to you
All night long


(This tune is not to be confused with the similarly-named “All I Wanna Do,” a completely different song which appeared on a subsequent Beach Boys album.)

As I was working my way through a book that chronicles the day-to-day activities of the Beach Boys between 1961 and 1976, I came across the following entry for 12 November 1968, which indicated that the lyrics weren’t the only suggestive feature of “All I Want to Do”:



The group work on ‘All I Want to Do,’ in particular the song’s tag. For this, Dennis enlists the help of a female friend who is recorded having sexual intercourse with the drummer in the studio. This ‘sound effect’ is layered onto the fade-out of the song’s final mix, and is just about audible on the released version.

Being the curious sort, I dug out the liner notes to the CD version of 20/20, and while scanning the section about “All I Want to Do” I spotted the following statement: “Production Note: Turn up the volume on the fade for a brief X-rated surprise.”

Since I had now been doubly-challenged, I popped the 20/20 disc into a CD player, put on some headphones, and fast-forwarded through the “All I Want to Do” track to its fade-out. Sure enough, at the song’s end I could clearly hear the sounds of a woman in the throes of passion, moaning orgasmically and calling out “Oh, boy.”
(We have created an MP3 excerpt of the song’s fade-out for readers who want to give it a listen for themselves.)

Of course, that these sounds appear in the recording doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the result of some in-studio nookie — they might very well have been the product of some playful acting in front of a microphone, which is why we’ve left the status of this one as “undetermined.”

In a curious coincidence, the 20/20 album veered perilously close to incorporating both sex and murder within its grooves. Besides the aforementioned “All I Want to Do,” the LP also included another Dennis Wilson effort, “Never Learn Not to Love,” which was actually a slightly reworded version of a song penned by the notorious Charles Manson. Manson and his entourage had crashed at Wilson’s house for several months in 1968, and the Beach Boys drummer recorded one of his songs (originally entitled “Cease to Exist”) a year before the Tate-LaBianca slayings sealed the infamy of Manson and his “family.”

Last updated:   25 October 2004

 



  Sources Sources:

    Badman, Keith.   The Beach Boys: The Definitive Diary of America’s Greatest Band.

    San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2004.   ISBN 0-87930-818-4   (p. 230).


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