Heroes and Villains

The Beach Boys

About Heroes and Villains

"Heroes and Villains" is a song written and produced by Brian Wilson with words by Van Dyke Parks, recorded by the American rock band the Beach Boys. Envisioned as a three-minute music comedy, it was the follow-up single to the group's "Good Vibrations" (1966) and intended as the centerpiece to the unfinished album Smile. After the album was shelved, the song was rearranged and issued as a single in July 1967 with "You're Welcome" as the B-side. It charted at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two months later, it was placed as the opening track to the studio album Smiley Smile. Parks said that he modeled the lyrics after "El Paso" (1959) and denied a popular theory claiming that "Heroes and Villains" was a song about the Vietnam War. Though the lyrics are distinctly Western with some allusions to the American Indian genocides, then-wife Marilyn Wilson said that Brian meant the "heroes" and "villains" to represent those in his life. Like "Good Vibrations", "Heroes and Villains" was produced using the same unorthodox method of recording a surplus of interchangeable musical sections at multiple Hollywood recording studios. Only during its final production stages would the song then be reduced and assembled into a coherent structure. This proved difficult for Wilson, who grew increasingly frustrated with the virtually limitless number of possible song edits. Bandmate Al Jardine later expressed dissatisfaction with the final composite, calling it "a pale facsimile" of Wilson's original vision, and believed that he had "underproduced" the song at the last minute. Jimi Hendrix dismissed the single as a "psychedelic barbershop quartet". 


Year:
1986
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I've been in this town so long that back in the city
I've been taken for lost and gone
And unknown for a long long time

Fell in love years ago
With an innocent girl
From the Spanish and Indian home
Home of the heroes and villains

Once at night Catillian squared the fight
And she was right in the rain of the bullets that eventually
Brought her down
But she's still dancing in the night
Unafraid of what a dude'll do in a town full of heroes and
Villains

Heroes and villains
Just see what you've done

Heroes and villains
Just see what you've done

Stand or fall I know there
Shall be peace in the valley
And it's all an affair
Of my life with the heroes and villains

My children were raised
You know they suddenly rise
They started slow long ago
Head to toe healthy wealthy and wise

I've been in this town so long
So long to the city
I'm fit with the stuff
To ride in the rough
And sunny down snuff I'm alright
By the heroes and

Heroes and villains
Just see what you've done

Heroes and villains
Just see what you've done

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The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, the Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid 1960s, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. The primarily Wilson-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single (both released in 1966) featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that wa… more »

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Written by: BRIAN WILSON, VAN DYKE PARKS

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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