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”, initially performing original surf songs that gained international popularity for their distinct vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. Rooted in 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 vaulted the group to the top level of rock innovators and established the band as symbols of the nascent counterculture era. Following Smile’s dissolution, Brian gradually ceded production and songwriting duties to the rest of the band, reducing his input because of mental health and substance abuse issues. The group’s public image subsequently faltered, and they struggled to reclaim their commercial momentum in America. The continued success of their greatest hits albums during the mid 1970s precipitated the band’s transition into an oldies act, a move that was denigrated by fans and critics. 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, all the current surviving members briefly reunited for a new studio album and world tour. Even though Wilson and Jardine do not perform with Love and Johnston’s band, they remain a part of the Beach Boys’ corporation, Brother Records Inc.

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.

Selected Discography

The Beach Boys

Caribou Records 1985

Tracks: Getcha Back, It's Gettin' Late, Crack At Your Love, Maybe I Don't Know, She Believes In Love Again, California Calling, Passing Friend, I'm So Lonely, Where I Belong, I Do Love You, It's Just A Matter Of Time & Male Ego.

Musicians on the Beach Boys album: Alan Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, John Alder, Graham Broad, Stuart Gordon, Judge Lander, Roy Hay, Steve Levine, Julian Lindsay, Kenneth McGregor, Terry Melcher, Gary Moore, Ian Ritchie, Ringo Starr & Stevie Wonder.

L.A. (Light Album)

Reprise Records 1979

Tracks: Good Timin', Lady Linda, Full Sail, Angel Come Home, Love Surrounds Me, Sumahama, Here Comes The Night, Baby Blue, Goin' South & Shortenin' Bread.

Musicians on the L.A. (Light Album): Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Michael Baird, Ed Carter, Joe Chemay, Bob Esty, Victor Feldman, Bobby Figueroa, Steve Forman, James William Guercio, Jimmy Lyons, Gary Malaber, Mike Maros, Carlos Munoz, Joel Peskin, Phil Shenale, Sterling Smith, Wah Wah Watson & Richie Zito.

M.I.U. Album

Reprise Records 1978

Tracks: She's Got Rhythm, Come Go With Me, Her Little Tomboy, Kona Coast, Peggy Sue, Wontcha Come Out Tonight ?, Sweet Sunday, Belles Of Paris, Pitter Patter, My Diane, Match Point Of Our Love & Winds Of Change.

Musicians on the M.I.U. album: Alan Jardine, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Michael Andreas, Ron Altbach, Lance Buller, Ed Carter, John Foos, Gary Griffin, Billy Hinsche, Charles Lloyd, Mike Kowalski, Charles McCarthy, Chris Midaugh, Rod Novak & Bob Williams.

Love You

Reprise Records 1977

Tracks: Let Us Go On This Way, Roller Skating Child, Mona, Johnny Carson, Good Time, Honkin' Down The Highway, Ding Dang, Solar System, Night Was So Young , I'll Bet He's Nice, Let's Put Our Hearts Together, I Wanna Pick You Up, Airplane & Love Is A Woman.

Musicians on the Love You album: Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and others.