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The Beach Boys

Hawthorne, Los Angeles CA, United States (1961 – present)

The Beach Boys are an American pop and rock band, widely considered one of the most influential groups of the ‘60s. Known as “America’s Band”, they are easily recognized by their complex vocal harmonies. Initially recording music that focused on Californian youth culture, halfway through the decade they shifted their attention towards melancholy orchestral pop, and continued to experiment with other genres. With the release of 1974’s Endless Summer they became a more popular touring act, playing their greatest hits. They have recorded 36 Billboard Top 40 hits (including four number-one singles), have had over 100 million sales, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961, the original group comprised singer-musician-composer Brian Wilson, his brothers Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friends Al Jardine and David Marks. South African musicians Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar played and sang with the band on three key albums during the early 1970s. Many changes in both musical style and personnel have occurred in their sometimes-stormy career: Brian Wilson’s mental illness, drug addiction and eventual withdrawal from the group; the deaths of Dennis Wilson in 1983 and Carl Wilson in 1998; and continuing legal battles among surviving members of the 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 friend Al Jardine. Emerging at the vanguard of the "California Sound", the band's early music gained international popularity for their distinct vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting 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 to experiment with several genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic and baroque while devising novel approaches to music production and arranging. While initially managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, Brian's creative ambitions and sophisticated songwriting abilities dominated the group's musical direction.

Released in 1966, the Pet Sounds album and the "Good Vibrations" single featured an intricate and multi-layered sound that represented a departure from the simple surf rock of the Beach Boys' early years. Soon after, Brian gradually ceded control to the rest of the band, reducing his input due to mental health and substance abuse issues. Though the more democratic incarnation of the Beach Boys recorded a string of albums in various musical 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 often touted "America's Band", and 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 United States 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". The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love and Jardine were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Wilsons are brothers. Mike Love is their cousin and Al Jardine was Brian Wilson's classmate.
Brian Wilson was the creative force. He was tormented by drug problems and a difficult childhood. He lost most of the hearing in his right ear when his father hit him with a wooden plank. By 1965, he stopped touring with the band and focused on writing and producing their songs. He was replaced on tour by Glen Campbell, who played on their Pet Sounds album as well as "Good Vibrations."
In 1968, Dennis Wilson became friends with Charles Manson, who thought of himself as a songwriter. Wilson let Manson and his followers stay at his place and paid most of their expenses. When it became clear Manson was not of sound mind, Dennis was afraid to evict him, so he just let the lease end on the house and never came back to it. Manson and his "family" went on a notorious murder spree in 1969. Before he killed anyone, the Beach Boys recorded one of Manson's songs - "Learn Not To Love."
Dennis Wilson died in 1983 when he drowned while swimming near his boat in California. US president Ronald Reagan gave special permission so his body could be buried at sea.
They became the first major American rock group to play in a Communist country when they performed in Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Along with Chynna Phillips, Brian Wilson's daughters Wendie and Carnie formed the popular early '90s group Wilson Phillips. Brian and Carnie were estranged for many years, but reconciled in 1995.
Carl Wilson died of lung cancer in 1998.
At one point when he was depressed, Brian Wilson weighed over 300 pounds.
Brian Wilson stopped touring with the band because he hated performing, but he also hated to fly. Much of the travel on their early tours was by bus.


Barbara Ann
Be True To Your School
California Girls
Dance, Dance, Dance
Don't Worry Baby
Fun, Fun, Fun
Good Vibrations
Help Me, Rhonda
I Get Around
In My Room
Little Deuce Coupe
Surfer Girl
Surfin' Safari
Surfin' USA
The Warmth Of The Sun
When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
Wouldn't It Be Nice

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