The Beach Boys

~ Group


The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. They emerged at the vanguard of the "California Sound", performing original surf songs that gained international popularity for their distinct vocal harmonies and lyrics exploring a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. Influenced by jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and doo-wop, Brian led the band in devising novel approaches to music production, arranging his compositions for studio orchestras, and experimenting with several genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic and baroque.

The group began as a garage band managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, with Brian's creative ambitions and sophisticated songwriting abilities dominating the group's musical direction. After 1964, their albums took a different stylistic path that featured more personal lyrics, multi-layered sounds, and recording experiments. In 1966, the Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single vaunted the group to the top level of rock innovators and established the band as symbols of the nascent counterculture era. Following the dissolution of Smile, Brian gradually ceded control to the rest of the band, reducing his input because of mental health and substance abuse issues. Though the more democratic incarnation of the Beach Boys recorded a string of albums in various music styles that garnered international critical success, the group struggled to reclaim their commercial momentum in America. Since the 1980s, much-publicized legal wrangling over royalties, songwriting credits and use of the band's name transpired.

Dennis drowned in 1983 and Carl died of lung cancer in 1998. After Carl's death, many live configurations of the band fronted by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continued to tour into the 2000s while other members pursued solo projects. For the band's 50th anniversary, the surviving co-founders briefly reunited for a new studio album and world tour.

The Beach Boys are regarded as the most iconic American band and one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely influential bands of all time, while AllMusic stated that their "unerring ability... made them America's first, best rock band." The group had over eighty songs chart worldwide, thirty-six of them US Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band), four reaching number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Beach Boys have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time and are listed at number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". They have received one Grammy Award for The Smile Sessions (2011). The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love and Jardine were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1962 Surfin’ Safari 4
1963 Surfin’ USA 7
1963 Surfer Girl 6
1963 Little Deuce Coupe 7
1964 Shut Down, Volume 2 7
1964 All Summer Long 8
1964 The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album 6
1965 The Beach Boys Today! 4 9
1965 Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) 10
1965 Beach Boys’ Party! 10
1966 Pet Sounds 4.6 29
1967 Smiley Smile 3 10
1967 Wild Honey 4 3
1968 Friends 4
1969 20/20 4
1970 Sunflower 3.5 5
1971 Surf's Up 4 3
1972 Carl and the Passions: “So Tough” 3
1973 Holland 3
1976 15 Big Ones 2
1977 Love You 2
1978 M.I.U. Album 3
1979 L.A. (Light Album) 3
1980 Keepin' the Summer Alive 2
1985 The Beach Boys 1
1988 Surfin' 1
1989 Still Cruisin' 1
1992 Summer in Paradise 3
1993 Beach Boys Christmas 1
1995 Spirit of Hawaii 1
1996 Stars & Stripes, Volume 1 1
2012 That's Why God Made the Radio 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1966 The Best of the Beach Boys, Volume 1 1
1966 Best Of The Beach Boys 1
1968 Stack-o-Tracks 2
1970 Good Vibrations 1
1974 Endless Summer 5 11
1974 All-Time Greatest Hits 1
1974 The Beach Boys Best 40 Greatest Hits 1
1976 20 Golden Greats 3
1976 Little Deuce Coupe 1
1981 Ten Years of Harmony 2
1983 Beach Boys Rarities 1
1983 The Very Best Of 1
1983 The Very Best Of (Volume 2) 1
1985 Surfin' Safari 1
1985 The Beach Boys Best 1
1985 The Very Best of Beach Boys 2 1
1986 Made in U.S.A. 5 4
1986 Golden Hits 2 1

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