Bluebirds over the mountain

Bluebirds over the mountain single

  • US Release: November 29, 1968
  • UK Release: December 2, 1968
  • Chart High: US #61; UK #33
  • Backed With: 
  • Never Learn Not To Love

Bluebirds Sessions
November 14th 1968, new york, ny

“Bluebirds Over The Mountain” was originally written by Ersel Hickey, a long time favorite tune of Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Bruce had originally planned to release the song in 1967 as a solo single, and even got as far as recording a demo for it. Those plans never came to fruition so today The Beach Boys are in New York City working on this cut for a single release, and it will eventually appear on the 1969 album 20/20.

Working with Bruce’s demo from September 1967, The Beach Boys add vocals, instrumentation and a screaming lead guitar (by session man Ed Carter) to the tracking tape of “Bluebirds Over The Mountain”. The group through their Brother Music company purchase publishing rights in Ersel Hickey’s song. The recordings, carried out in Manhattan’s famed Bell Sound studio, mark Bruce’s debut as a Beach Boys producer. Stereo mixes are also made today at Capitol’s New York studio. With the sessions completed, the group flies back to Los Angeles.

Bruce, speaking to Disc & Music Echo says: “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” was kind of an accident. I was going to put it out as a solo record a year ago, then forgot about it. But Carl got interested and finished it with me. I did the arranging and we co-produced it. To be honest, our records are all very well, but I wanted us to be able to walk into London’s Revolution Club and see people dancing to one of our records instead of just listening, and this is a danceable record! It doesn’t signal any search for some new Beach Boys sound, It’s just a single, pure and simple.” 

Pictured: Italian variant using the artwork from the Friends album (Top) Dutch variant (Bottom)