The Beach Boys' arrangement rocks more than the Mamas and The Papas first chartbuster and features Roger McGuinn on 12-string guitar, the instrument the former Byrd made famous in his own band. The Boys' single never became the classic the 1966 hit was but it's almost as good, proving a great song will succeed under any circumstances. Carl Wilson and Alan Jardine starred on lead vocals and the rest of the group added their always superlative harmonies.
"California Dreamin" peaked at # 8 on the Adult Contemporary chart but only reached #57 on Billboard's Hot 100 even though it was a thousand times better than the #1, Grammy nominated, "Kokomo," the hall-of-famers' last hit two years later.
The track was produced by Terry Melcher.
There are a couple of things to notice when you watch the excellent video. The sax playing preacher is one of the song's composers, Papa John Phillips, and the guitar player in the balcony is McGuinn. Ex-Mama, and former wife of Papa John, Michelle Phillips, makes an appearance too. She was co-composer of the song and was credited as Michelle Gilliam on her group's record.
The video and song are a perfect match.