The Beach Boys – Help Me, Rhonda

First Hit #1: May 29, 1965

I’ll start off by saying I’m not sure what’s in it for Rhonda. A tribute to rebound dating, here’s a song about a man with a recent breakup who is imploring a young Rhonda to help him move on. It’s an interesting sentiment, and put in a very catchy chorus, but the Rhonda in this situation would probably be inching towards the door at this point, just because the singer of the song clearly has more baggage than Heathrow.

But of course, if something could win over someone into jumping on the scraps of a failed relationship, it would be this song. I’ve mentioned it before, but the Beach Boys had basically cracked the code for the complicated pop song. This thing has about 100 different layers, leading to a surf guitar breakdown that could woo even the most suspicious young woman. There’s a lot going on here, but there’s nothing distracting, and the surface layer of a really good pop song is good enough for most people. It’s not unapproachable, all the pieces fit together in the end and everything has its place. It’s complexity that is designed to draw a wide audience in, rather than some bands who go complex to drive people away. It’s a song that is superficially good, but keeps delivering in order to give people who might not be interested in pure pop music something to be interested in.

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