The Beach Boys

By EW Staff
October 24, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
Beachboys: Michael Ochs

Chart Flashback: How does ”When I Grow Up to Be a Man” hold up today?

Hey! It’s the song that may have led to Brian Wilson’s nervous breakdown — and this tiny trifle of sweet harmonies, boyish charm, and harpsichord can now be a part of your personal collection! (Oh, dang. If you click through that link to the store, you’ll see it’s sold out. Shucks. But ”Sloop John B” is still available!) Anyway. Cute song. Oddly prescient in some way, if you think about it: This fluffy number about how the things you liked as a kid might not be your bag when you’re older is the beginning of the end of the Beach Boys’ happy-fun-surfy time, and the beginning of the road toward Pet Sounds, which, as everyone knows, is The Most Visionary Album of All Time Ever (especially when mashed up with other stuff). And sure, this is no ”Help Me Rhonda,” and it’s certainly no ”Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” but it’ll do in a pinch. Don’t like the counting, though. The counting is weird. B-