Hang on to Your Ego (3:03)

Cover of Pet Sounds

From Pet Sounds and 1 other release

“Hang On to Your Ego” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for the American pop band The Beach Boys. The song was originally going to be released on their classic 1966 album Pet Sounds. Mike Love however objected to the title of the song and some of the lyrics and insisted that it be changed. “I was aware that Brian was beginning to experiment with LSD and other psychedelics,” explained Love. “The prevailing drug jargon at the time had it that doses of LSD would shatter your ego, as if that were a positive thing… I wasn’t interested in taking acid or getting rid of my ego.” Jardine recalled that the decision to change the lyrics was ultimately Wilson’s. “Brian was very concerned. He wanted to know what we thought about it. To be honest, I don’t think we even knew what an ego was… Finally Brian decided, ‘Forget it. I’m changing the lyrics. There’s too much controversy.’” Terry Sachen, who co-wrote the revised lyrics to this song, was the Beach Boys’ road manager in 1966.

The song was then renamed to “I Know There’s an Answer” and it was released on Pet Sounds as the ninth track on the album. The lead vocal was sung by Mike Love and Alan Jardine with Brian Wilson singing lead on the choruses. The song was later covered by Frank Black on his eponymous 1993 album.

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Albums featuring this track (2)

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  • DreadfulYgg

    Hang On to Your Ego = I Know There's An Answer [8]

    21 Mar 8:13pm Reply
  • StrictlyStupid

    hell yes bari sax

    12 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Enigmatic_Smile

    Hang On to Your Ego > I Know There's An Answer

    11 Mar 2013 Reply
  • lukeischill

    Actually, while Mike Love did raise the issue of the drug references inherent in the song's lyrics, it was Brian's decision to change the name. It's not like it was this great source of tension (although of course their relationship was tense), Brian just decided he didn't want to even raise the issue if it was going to be controversial within the band. Long story short: stop complaining about changes in the lyrics to a song from 50 years ago that make it 'slightly' less-obviously about acid.

    22 Feb 2013 Reply
  • greenvillepa

    leggo my ego [3]

    31 Jan 2013 Reply
  • liquidnature

    leggo of my ego [2] lol

    2 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Bastard1

    In other news, Mike Love is Satan.

    7 Jun 2012 Reply
  • andrewirving

    <333333 yay!!

    21 May 2012 Reply
  • Lowbacca

    Love isn't Satan. He's just a hack entertainer who didn't have the foresight in the mid-Sixties to realise that pop music was going to become a serious art form. Picture the scene: it's 1966, you're Mike Love, you're still in your superstar teen idol heyday and you've just come home from a world tour, singing medleys of your much-loved surfing 'n' hot rod hits for thousands of screaming chicks. And then, on the sidelines, there's your cousin Brian. Brian the leader. Brian the genius. And he's sitting at a piano in his indoor sand pit, munching his way through sheets of acid like it's rice paper and composing paeans to his favourite vegetables. Wouldn't you panic? [2] THIS. awesome. :D

    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • pablo323

    I Know There's An Answer > Hang On to Your Ego [2]

    16 Mar 2012 Reply
  • naotas_forehead

    I can't believe one of my favorite lines ever written, IKTAA's chorus, came as the result of Mike Love censoring a drug reference in a song. Huh.

    14 Mar 2012 Reply
  • naotas_forehead

    I Know There's An Answer >>> Hang On to Your Ego

    14 Mar 2012 Reply
  • AKarmaPoliceman

    Hang On to Your Ego > I Know There's An Answer [2]

    7 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Balletrocker

    Why did they change the chorus? I thought it was I Know There's an Answer, i have it on vinyl.

    7 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Distron

    Temporary loss of ego, but it came back !

    29 Sep 2011 Reply
  • scalamalx

    leggo of my ego

    25 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Cox_of_Seagulls

    Hang On to Your Ego > I Know There's An Answer

    26 Jun 2011 Reply
  • scalamalx

    there it went....

    26 May 2011 Reply
  • SomeOtherGirl76

    Ha! Just realized everyone is hating on Mike LOVE and I previously posted about how much I LOVE this song, band, cover, etc....

    10 May 2011 Reply
  • sodr2

    IKTAA is much better. [2]

    2 May 2011 Reply
  • All 68 shouts

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