“Kokomo” is a song recorded by the American rock band The Beach Boys. Released on July 18, 1988 – with “Tutti Frutti” (performed by Little Richard) on the B-side – it was featured as a soundtrack single for the movie “Cocktail,” starring Tom Cruise. The song was written by John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Mike Love, and Terry Melcher.. While the song is often associated with The Beach Boys, it should be noted that it was recorded during a period when the band was experiencing lineup changes and internal tensions. As a result, the recording features only two members of the original Beach Boys lineup: Mike Love and Al Jardine.
Kokomo” was a significant commercial success. Upon its release in 1988, the song quickly climbed the charts and achieved widespread popularity. It reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, becoming The Beach Boys’ first and only song to accomplish that feat since “Good Vibrations” in 1966. It also achieved success internationally, reaching the top ten in several countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It received widespread radio airplay and became a staple of pop music during that time. The song’s inclusion in the film “Cocktail,” which was a box office success, contributed to its commercial triumph. The exposure from the movie helped increase its popularity and reach a broader audience.
The video for “Kokomo” was filmed at the then-recently opened Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida. In 2011, NME ranked the video as the 17th worst of all time.
“Kokomo” is a tropical pop song that showcases a departure from the band’s earlier surf rock and psychedelic sound. It was written by John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Mike Love, and Terry Melcher. The lyrics of the song describe a fictional place called Kokomo, where people go to get away from the stresses of life and enjoy a carefree, idyllic lifestyle.The song’s melody is catchy and upbeat, featuring prominent Caribbean-influenced instrumentation, including steel drums and marimbas. The vocal harmonies, a trademark of The Beach Boys, are also present in the song, although they were mainly performed by session musicians rather than the band’s original members.
Despite the changes in the band’s lineup and the departure from their classic sound, “Kokomo” became a massive hit for The Beach Boys. It reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it their first and only number one single in the United States since “Good Vibrations” in 1966. The song’s success can be attributed in part to its inclusion in the popular film “Cocktail” and its radio-friendly, summery vibe.
“Kokomo” remains one of The Beach Boys’ most recognizable songs and is often associated with sunny beaches, vacations, and a relaxed atmosphere. It has become a staple of the band’s live performances and continues to be enjoyed by fans of both The Beach Boys and nostalgic pop music.