The term “lean” is used in the music industry to describe a song that has little to no instrumentals and relies on vocals alone. It’s also known as “acapella,” which means “in the manner of the chapel.”
The first use of the term in popular music dates back to 1959, when Bill Haley & His Comets released the song “Lean Jean” on the album Rock Around With Bill Haley. The song was intended as a parody of rockabilly, which was played by musicians who wore tight jeans and leather jackets.
A few years later, The Beach Boys released their own version of this style of music called “Surfin’ Safari.” The song was heavily influenced by surf culture, which became popular with American teenagers during this time period. Many other artists followed suit and created similar songs that were meant to enhance surfing experiences for listeners.
Last modified: November 15, 2022