Brian Wilson – Caroline, No (1966)

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“Caroline, No” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, recorded during the Pet Sounds sessions. It was released as a solo Brian Wilson single in March 1966 in advance of the album’s release. The single was only a modest success, reaching number 32 in the US national chart and number 16 in Canada’s RPM chart. Later in the year it appeared on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, although Brian Wilson was the only member of the band to appear on the track. The song may have been inspired by a former girlfriend of lyricist Tony Asher, who had moved to New York and cut her hair. In high school, Wilson became obsessed with Carol Mountain, a classmate and unrequited love interest. The song was initially written as “Carol, I Know”. When spoken, however, Brian Wilson heard this as “Caroline, No.” After the confusion was resolved, the pair decided to keep the new title, feeling that it brought a poignant earnestness to the song’s sad melody. It was named at #214 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



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