Known for their surf tunes and feel-good sound, the Beach Boys have been making music since the 1960s. For more than five decades, this Hawthorne, California based band has been touring and recording hits that have graced airwaves across the globe.
Members have come and gone over the years, but The Beach Boys have managed to preserve their unique style and sound.
The original line-up included Dennis, Brian and Carl Wilson (brothers); cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine.
Brian, the band’s chief songwriter, took new approaches to pop music form and production, mixing 1950s rock and roll with jazz elements and R&B.
The Beach Boys began as a garage band, and performed music that celebrated California’s youth culture of cars, love and surfing. The band would eventually move on from its surf-style tunes to more complex and personal lyrics with multi-layered sounds.
The iconic single “Good Vibrations” earned The Beach Boys a position at the top level of rock innovators.
Other top hits from the band include “Kokomo,” “God Only Knows,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Surfin‘ U.S.A.,” “Barbara Ann,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Sloop John B,” and “Don’t Worry Baby.”
The dissolution of the band’s 1967 project Smile marked the beginning of a troubled time for the band. Brian delegated songwriting duties to other band members as he struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues. In time, the group’s image and music would falter with audiences.
The band would release a greatest hits album in the 1970s that is still successful.
Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983 and Carl Wilson died of lung cancer in 1998. Following Carl’s death, the band toured with new members and Mike Love and Bruce Johnston at the helm. Other members pursued solo careers.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, The Beach Boys released subsequent albums that deviated far from the band’s original sound. In 2012, they released a surprise album to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. The album marks a return to the band’s original sound and was well-received by critics.
Despite having a relatively short career, The Beach Boys remain as one of the mostcommercially successful, critically acclaimed and influential bands of all time. The band had 36 Top 40 hits in the U.S. and four number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. The band won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2001 and also won a Grammy for the Best Historical Album in 2013 for The Smile Sessions.