Hear The Beach Boys' Mike Love Cover the Ramones’ Rockaway Beach

Hear The Beach Boys' Mike Love Cover the Ramones’ Rockaway Beach

mike love, marky ramone
Marky Ramone joins Mike Love and The Beach Boys at The Paramount Theater, NY. May 30, 2019. Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Beach Boys’ Mike Love has just released a cover of the Ramones “Rockaway Beach”, giving the song a Beach Boys-style makeover for his upcoming solo album - and it’s a remarkably apt choice! Snarling punk has been replaced with big vocal harmonies, including a little Brian Wilson–style “ooh-ee-oooh” falsetto over the top that makes it sound like it could have easily been plucked from the band’s back catalogue.

“It felt so natural to sing it,” Love told Billboard of the cover. “It fits beautifully in the Beach Boys surfing song genre. Not only is it a great song, it’s also right in my vocal range. It’s almost as if it was designed for me to sing, and that’s why I am so eager to play it live.”

It may seem like an unlikely amalgamation but, despite the leather jackets and ripped jeans, the Ramones had a strong surf element to their sound, particularly prominent on their third album, Rocket To Russia (1977) where "Rockaway Beach" first appeared. Ed Stasium, the producer of the album, recalls that the Beach Boys were never far from the Ramones’ mind.

“Every one of the Ramones expressed their admiration for The Beach Boys on numerous occasions,” Stasium told Billboard. “When we recorded ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ in the spring of ’77, Johnny asked specifically if I could play a guitar bit that would reflect the ‘plonky’ guitar on the Beach Boys’ “Little Honda.” And when we recorded Bobby Freeman's 'Do You Wanna Dance?' for the Rocket to Russia LP, the Beach Boys version of the song served as a blueprint, especially for the backing vocals. And there is no doubt that ‘Rockaway Beach,’ from the same album, was deeply influenced by the Beach Boys.”

The track closes out the Love’s upcoming LP, 12 Sides of Summer, which will feature a mix of original songs and covers, including Dave Clark Five’s “Over and Over,” Abba’s “On and On and On,” the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto’s “Girl From Ipanema”, alongside three Beach Boys tracks Surfin’,” “Surfin’ Safari” and a version of “It’s OK” that features Hanson. The album is due out July 19th. 

Listen to Mike Love’s Rockaway Beach on Spotify:

Listen to Mike Love’s Rockaway Beach on Apple Music:

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