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The Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys contributed one of the most recognizable, successful and influential sounds of the 1960s. Known for their multi-part vocal harmonies, the band came out of the west Los Angeles suburbs and had 16 Top 40 hits just between 1962 and 1965, including “Surfin’ USA,” “I Get Around” and “Help Me Rhonda.” The group was a family affair, centering around Brian Wilson, his brothers Dennis and Carl, and their cousin Mike Love. 

Originally famed for singing about surfing, girls and cars, the Beach Boys would continue to develop. Their May 1966 album, Pet Sounds, though not a huge seller on its release, would become one of the most acclaimed albums in rock history. Paul McCartney cited Pet Sounds as an influence upon the Beatles’ 1967 masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  

The Beach Boys’ increasingly sophisticated harmonies and arrangements owed much to the fact that Brian Wilson quit touring at the end of 1964 in order to focus on their studio output. “Good Vibrations,” a #1 hit in the fall of 1966, had to be left off Pet Sounds because it took 10 months to finish recording. 

One of rock’s classic tortured geniuses, Brian Wilson came to be known as much for his drug-induced fragile psyche and erratic behavior as for his musical output. The group remained an in-demand touring act through the 1970s and, in spite of a history that some cite as a soap opera, they continue to tour every summer.

The Beach Boys on the Web 

The Official Site
Features news, biography, discography, photo gallery and message board. 

Beach Boys Fan Club Home Page
The official fan club site includes a hot line, studio information and tour dates. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Beach Boys were inducted in 1988. 

BrianWilson.com
Official site of Brian Wilson. 

Pet Blog – Pet Sounds at 40: An Appreciation
Blog devoted to “dialogue about the greatest popular album of the past forty years.” 

BeachBoys.com – the Complete Guide
Includes reviews of albums, books, films and rarities. 

Wolfgang’s Vault
Wolfgan’s Vault has two streamable Beach Boys shows, from 1971 and 1979. 

Quotes 

“My mother used to tell me about vibrations. I didn't really understand too much of what that meant when I was just a boy. To think that invisible feelings, invisible vibrations existed scared me to death.” – Brian Wilson 

“For me, making music has always been a very spiritual thing, and I think anybody who produces records has to feel that, at least a little bit. Producing a record…the idea of taking a song, envisioning the overall sound in my head and then bringing the arrangement to life in the studio…well, that gives me satisfaction like nothing else.” – Brian Wilson 

"My mom had to beat them to let me in the group. She said 'Come on, Brian, let him in or it'll break his heart! Mike and Brian went, 'Nah, we don't want him'. But then Brian softened up, gave me a hug, and said, 'Aww, what the hell.'" – Dennis Wilson 

"He is a master, musically. I am dumbfounded at him. I am in awe of him. I've grown up with him and watched him go through changes, and he is the most vulnerable human being I know. The depth of that guy...I mean...he changed the world with his influence. I'm devoting my life to Brian on a musical level, and the rest of the group feels the same way. When Brian plays something for us, we just gape. It gets very emotional." – Dennis Wilson