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My World Fell Down: The oddest song The Beach Boys never recorded

Yesterday I was listening to a Glen Campbell greatest hits collection (The Capitol Years 65/77, the one compiled by St. Etienne’ s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, it’s excellent) and in the liner notes, it mentions that Campbell sang and played guitar on a Gary Usher-produced single called My World Fell Down, by Sagittarius, that was included on Jac Holzman and Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets collection, which I have, so I checked it out.

It’s odd that I had this song in my possession—and I’m sure that I’ve played the Nuggets box set at least four times all the way through—but never took much note of it. My World Fell Down is the closest thing we’ll ever get to Good Vibrations-era Beach Boys meets LSD-soaked psych rock. Sagittarius was basically a supergroup of session musicians. Aside from Campbell, who was in the Beach Boys himself briefly, the secondary vocalist on the track is Beach Boy Bruce Johnson. Gary Usher (a staff producer at Columbia who also “discovered” The Firesign Theater) had written several songs with Brian Wilson and included in the backing group were powerhouse session players Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye, who had both also recorded with the Beach Boys. If someone played this for you and told you it was an unreleased—and especially odd—Beach Boys song, you’d believe them, no problem.

Dig the musique concrète bridge section of carnival (bullfight?) noises and a slamming door. This part sounds like something straight off of Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Rolling Stones album that came out the same year, 1967.

Posted by Richard Metzger



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