Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Had to Phone Ya

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A-side  "It's O.K."
Length  1:43
Format  Vinyl
Label  Brother/Reprise
Released  July 5, 1976 (album) August 30, 1976 (single)
Recorded  March 30, 1976, Brother Studios, California

"Had to Phone Ya" is a song written for the American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released on their 1976 album 15 Big Ones, and was the b-side to the single "It's O.K.".



Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote the song, with Diane Rovell also contributing. Diane was originally listed as a cowriter, but her name was removed from songwriting credits in subsequent releases. She is still listed as co-writer in the Broadcast Music, Inc. database.

Byron Preiss wrote of how it was written by Brian Wilson while his wife Marilyn was away in Europe. Brian spoke about the song in 1995:

All five members of the band take turns on lead vocals, with Mike Love handling the majority. Brian Wilson takes the closing segment, in which the key shifts from A to G. After an extended staccato vamp on a Gmaj7, the final section begins with an unusual chord sequence of Gmaj7, to B♭maj7, and E♭maj7, as Brian sings in a rough but passionate baritone, "Come on / Come on and answer the phone / Come on, come on!"

Lindsay Planer of Allmusic noted "Although the tune may sound uncomplicated, it is part of a larger sonic tapestry that combines the interaction of several simultaneous melodies." noting similarities to earlier Brian Wilson compositions "Good Vibrations" and "Love to Say Dada".


The Beach Boys' version of "Had to Phone Ya" was recorded on March 30, 1976, at Brother Studios in the middle of the primary sessions for 15 Big Ones. It was produced, arranged and conducted by Brian Wilson.

The instrumental track from was this session was made available on Made in California in 2013.


The Beach Boys
  • Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocal; acoustic grand piano
  • Carl Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Dennis Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; drums
  • Session musicians and production staff

    American Spring version

    "Had to Phone Ya" was originally recorded in 1973 by American Spring at Junior's Motel in Otho, Iowa. Their version was released as a bonus track for the CD reissue of the album Spring (1972).


    Had to Phone Ya Wikipedia

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