About the song

Ah, Kokomo (1988) by the legendary Beach Boys. Now that’s a song that brings back a wave of sunshine-soaked memories. Released in the heart of the vibrant 80s, Kokomo marked a significant return to the spotlight for this iconic American rock band.

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The Beach Boys, of course, were synonymous with the California surf scene of the 60s. Their music, with its infectious harmonies and tales of surfing, cars, and teenage romance, perfectly captured the carefree spirit of the era. Hits like “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “California Girls” cemented their place in music history.

However, by the late 70s and early 80s, the band faced internal struggles and their sound began to evolve. Founding member Brian Wilson, the creative mastermind behind many of their early hits, battled with mental health issues, impacting the band’s direction.

Then came Kokomo. Released as part of the soundtrack for the Tom Cruise film “Cocktail,” the song was a delightful surprise. It wasn’t a return to their pure surf rock roots, but it did capture a similar essence of summertime escapism.

Composed by an interesting quartet – Mike Love from the Beach Boys, Scott McKenzie (of “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” fame), Terry Melcher (a music producer), and John Phillips (founder of The Mamas & the Papas) – Kokomo offered a breezy, feel-good melody with a touch of 80s synth thrown in for good measure.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a fictional island paradise – a place called Kokomo, nestled somewhere off the Florida Keys. We hear about crystal-clear waters, swaying palm trees, and nights filled with starry skies. It’s a place to escape the worries of the world and simply relax in the company of a loved one.

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While some hardcore Beach Boys fans might argue that Kokomo lacked the depth and complexity of their earlier work, there’s no denying its infectious charm. The song’s simple, sing-along chorus and the Beach Boys’ signature harmonies, albeit not featuring Brian Wilson this time, were undeniable.

Kokomo became a massive hit, topping the charts in both the US and Australia. It was the band’s first No. 1 single in over two decades and a reminder of their enduring ability to create songs that capture the essence of summer and carefree living. Whether you’re a longtime Beach Boys aficionado or simply someone who appreciates a good pop tune with a tropical vibe, Kokomo is a song that will transport you to a place of pure summer bliss.

Video

Lyrics

“Kokomo”

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego
Baby why don’t we go
Jamaica

Off the Florida Keys
There’s a place called Kokomo
That’s where you wanna go
To get away from it all
Bodies in the sand
Tropical drink melting in your hand
We’ll be falling in love
To the rhythm of a steel drum band
Down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego
Baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We’ll get there fast
And then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we wanna go
Way down in Kokomo

Martinique, that Montserrat mystique

We’ll put out to sea
And we’ll perfect our chemistry
By and by we’ll defy
A little bit of gravity
Afternoon delight
Cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye
Give me a tropical contact high
Way down in Kokomo

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Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego
Baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We’ll get there fast
And then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we wanna go
Way down in Kokomo

Port au Prince, I wanna catch a glimpse

Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo
Now if you wanna go to get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego
Baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We’ll get there fast
And then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we wanna go
Way down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego
Baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to