Break Away

Break Away single

  • US Release: June 16, 1969
  • UK Release: June 1969
  • Chart High: US #63; UK #6
  • Backed With: 
  • Celebrate The News

Break Away Sessions
March 31st 1969, Los Angeles, CA

After the release of 20/20, Murry Wilson calls on his eldest son and tells him that the group needs his help. Murry desperately wants to write a great hit with Brian, who agrees. Thus is born the marvelous “Break Away”, written in just an hour. By now the group probably know that this is likely to be their last single for Capitol Records, as they are about to leave the label. Eager to leave on a high not, Brian rises to the challenge and becomes involved in the song’s production.

Sessions begin today with the group working on the song’s basic instrumental track of guitars, drums and bass. With that completed, backing vocals are overdubbed by the whole group, followed by Carl Wilson and Al Jardine taping guide lead vocals – Carl on the verses, Al on the chorus. Next, new backing vocals are recorded and a fresh set of lead vocals are double-tracked.

The single is released in June worldwide with the A Side song credited to Brian Wilson and “Reggie Dunbar”, the latter a pseudonym for Murry Wilson. Packed with superb vocals, melodies and vocal arrangements, “Break Away” is a worthy hit in the UK where it peaks at number 6, but in the US manages only a poor 63, a harsh and embarrassing outcome for such a marvelous single. 

Pictured: French Cover variant (Top) Spain variant (Bottom)