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Music / The Beach Boys

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The Beach Boys in 1966. From left to right:
Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love (top),
Bruce Johnston (bottom), Al Jardine, Brian Wilson.

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America's pre-eminent pop/rock band of The '60s, The Beach Boys are often regarded as the nearest U.S. rival to The Beatles in that decade, both commercially and artistically. And contrary to what one might expect, they have one of the longest, oddest, and most fascinating stories of any band in rock history.

Murry Wilson, a Hawthorne, California factory foreman who also dabbled in songwriting, had three sons: Brian, Carl and Dennis. The Wilson boys sang together throughout their childhood, often joined by their cousin Mike Love, the son of Murry's sister. They occasionally played at school functions under various names such as Kenny and the Cadets, Carl and the Passions (later the title of one of their albums), and the Pendletones (after the Pendleton flannel shirts popular among SoCal surfers).

They got their actual start basically out of the Wilson family house, over Labor Day weekend in 1961; Murry and his wife Audree went on a trip to Mexico, and while they were gone, the band recorded their first song, "Surfin'" (included on the album Surfin' Safari in 1962), in the music room (converted from the garage). After that hit the local radio and was a small national hit, they signed to Capitol Records in 1962 and quickly climbed the charts as the premier Surf Rock band in the nation, playing a big role in popularizing the Southern California culture throughout the country. The band's well-honed harmonies made them stand out musically, while Brian established himself as a songwriter who specialized in memorable, imaginative melodies, and Murry, a tenacious man with a knack for promotion, acted as their manager.

However, by the end of 1964 the stress of composing, producing, and performing, as well as the competition from The Beatles, led Brian to suffer a nervous breakdown and retire from touring. At around the same time, Murry's domineering personality and questionable business sense started to get out of control, so the band (i.e. his own sons) fired him. While the rest of the group toured (with first Glen Campbell and then Bruce Johnston taking Brian's place), Brian stayed at home writing music and utilizing the studio talents of The Wrecking Crew, leading to more advanced-sounding albums such as The Beach Boys Today! and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!).

This eventually led to what some critics consider the greatest pop/rock album of all time: Pet Sounds, which brought a whole new depth to popular music, with advanced production techniques, complex instrumental arrangements, and powerful lyrics on such subjects as loneliness, youthful longing, self-isolation, and the loss of innocence. Paul McCartney has said that Pet Sounds was a major influence on The Beatles' own landmark album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. (Not coincidentally, if a critic doesn't call Pet Sounds the greatest pop/rock album in history, they likely think it's Sgt. Pepper).

From there, however, the story becomes a long, tragic string of misfortunes. After Pet Sounds was released, Brian Wilson intended to top it with a revolutionary new album called SMiLE. However, a series of increasingly destructive circumstancesnote  led to the album's cancellation in 1967. The band instead released Smiley Smile, which combined what the rest of the band felt were the stronger Smile tracks with some new, supposedly more commercial material (as opposed to the "weirder" Smile songs). That album was, as Carl Wilson later described it, "a bunt instead of a grand slam", and the band's popularity plummeted in the US (although they remained huge elsewhere, especially Europe).

During this time, Brian receded into the background, pushing the other members to begin composing songs in his absence. It was at this point that the band began to splinter into two different creative camps, with Carl and Dennis on one side, advocating more experimental music, and Mike and Al on the other, preferring to stick with the formula. Brian was the swing vote. Things eventually would come to a head when Mike obtained Brian's proxy vote, allowing him to outvote Carl and Dennis in all band-related matters. Meanwhile, in 1969 Murry Wilson, without the band's authorization, sold their entire song catalogue for the paltry, extremely undervalued sum of $750,000;note  Brian has since suggested that Murry forged his signature on the sales documents. Despite a run of artistically brilliant albums right up to their 1973 album Holland, and line-up changes (Bruce Johnston leaving in 1972, with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar of the Flames joining for a few years), they were considered passé in their home country. Brian was still in rough mental shape, and Murry's death from a heart attack at age 55 in 1973 was another blow to the group's morale.

Things started to look up in 1974 when Capitol Records released a Greatest Hits Album, Endless Summer, which not only eventually went triple platinum and restored the band's commercial fares in the US, but also propelled them back into cultural relevance. They decided to start recording again and attempted to lure Brian Wilson back into the studio with them. During this time, Brian was being subjected to therapy under the control of Dr. Eugene Landy. Through his unconventional therapy, he was able to make Brian slightly healthier and willing to work with the group again. He produced two albums, 15 Big Ones and Love You under this deal, and also re-appeared on stage with the band. But looking back, it's clear that Brian wasn't really well enough to do that sort of thing again, and he started slipping back into his former habits. Mike Love took over leadership of the band at this point, which many regard as the point at which the band started Jumping the Shark, though he wasn't really in charge in the studio until the late-1980s. By the end of 1978, Bruce Johnston was back in the fold permanently.

During the times Brian Wilson was for the most part out of the picture, the rest of the band generally wrote songs in his place. They each created very memorable, beautiful music, with Dennis Wilson releasing his solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977, which is now generally regarded as the best solo album to be released by a member of The Beach Boys. However, Dennis was also prone to alcoholism and self-destructive behavior, and he died in 1983, having drowned while diving into the water at the Marina del Rey to search for personal effects he had thrown into the water years before. At President Ronald Reagan's request, he became one of few civilians to be given a burial at sea.

The Beach Boys basically coasted along for the rest of the '80s and '90s, their only major blip on the radar being the 1988 hit "Kokomo". As Brian Wilson was at his worst (weighing over 325 pounds), he was subjected to Landy again in 1982, and for the next 10 years, Landy would not only treat Brian's illness in extreme and questionable ways, but also fully integrate himself into his business and musical affairs, isolate Brian from his friends and family, and leech thousands of dollars off of him for years. A court case in 1991 was successful in separating Brian from Landy's negative influence, with the court placing a restraining order against Landy. Brian recovered substantially, and in 1996, he was persuaded to briefly rejoin The Beach Boys as a producer. Though things started off well with brilliant songs like "Soul Searchin'" and "You're Still A Mystery", at the end they decided to create the ill-conceived Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, a patchy album of Beach Boys covers sung by country artists. Any chance of a reunion that actually counted for something was cut short by Carl Wilson's 1998 death from lung cancer.

For much of the rest of the time, the surviving Beach Boys splintered into three units: The Beach Boys, which is essentially Mike Love & Bruce Johnston, who tour with the official sanction of Brother Records Inc.; Brian Wilson, who tours with a band based around LA Power Pop combo Wondermints and continues to record excellent music with them, including, at long last, his dream project SMiLE in 2004; and Al Jardine, who left the splintered remains of the original group after Carl's death and now tours with his son and an assortment of former Beach Boys sidemen known as Al Jardine's Endless Summer Band.

In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the band's first album, Surfin' Safari, the unexpected happened: a full reunion of the surviving Beach Boys, featuring Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine and David Marks, took place for a 50th Anniversary world tour and the recording of a new studio album, That's Why God Made the Radio, co-written by Love and produced by a rejuvenated Brian Wilson. At the end of the tour, Brian, Al, Mike, Bruce and David went their separate ways again, with Al and David (as well as Blondie Chaplin) contributing to Brian's upcoming album and his recent solo tours.

Numerous artists have cited them as a major influence, including Animal Collective, The Ramones, Alice Cooper, Elton John, Weezer, The Bee Gees, Daft Punk, the Flaming Lips, basically the entire indie rock genre, and even The Beatles themselves.

Principal Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):

  • Bruce Johnston (born Benjamin Baldwin) - lead vocals, bass, piano, organ, celeste, moog bass, mandolin, keyboard (1965–72, 1978–)
  • Terence "Blondie" Chaplin - lead vocals, guitar, bass (1972–73)
  • Ricky Fataar - lead vocals, drums, guitar, flute (1972–74)
  • Al Jardine - lead vocals, guitar, bass, tambourine, sound effects, synthesizer, percussion, banjo, whistle (1961–62, 1963–98, 2011–12, 2014)
  • Mike Love - lead vocals, saxophone, percussion, tambourine, electro-theremin (1961–)
  • David Marks - guitar, backing and lead vocals (1962–63, 1997–99, 2011–12, 2014)
  • Brian Wilson - lead vocals, piano, keyboard, organ, bass, celeste, glockenspiel, harpsichord, marimba, timpani, dog whistle, train whistle, sound effects, Chamberlin, rocksichord, harmonium, snare drum, percussion, harmonica, drums, moog bass, arpeggiator, chimes, bells (1961–96, 2011–12)
  • Carl Wilson - lead vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, synthesizer, harpsichord, organ, drums, tambourine, percussion, harp (1961–81, 1982–98, died 1998)
  • Dennis Wilson - lead vocals, drums, percussion, guitar, tambourine, organ, piano, synthesizer, vibraphone (1961–83, died 1983)


    open/close all folders 

    Studio albums 

    Live albums 
  • 1964 - Beach Boys Concert
  • 1970 - Live in London note 
  • 1973 - The Beach Boys in Concert
  • 1976 - Beach Boys '69 note 
  • 2002 - Good Timin': Live at Knebworth, England 1980
  • 2006 - Songs from Here & Back note 
  • 2013 - Live - The 50th Anniversary Tour
  • 2014 - Live in Sacramento 1964

    Non-album singles 
  • 1961 - "Surfin'" note  / "Luau"
  • 1963 - "Little Saint Nick" note  / "The Lord's Prayer"
  • 1965 - "The Little Girl I Once Knew" / "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" note 
  • 1967 - "Heroes and Villains" note  / "You're Welcome"
  • 1969 - "Break Away" / "Celebrate the News"
  • 1974 - "Child of Winter" / "Susie Cincinnati" note 
  • 1979 - "It's a Beautiful Day" / "Sumahama" note 
  • 1981 - "The Beach Boys Medley" note  / "God Only Knows" note 
  • 1984 - "East Meets West" note  / "Rhapsody" note 
  • 1985 - "Getcha Back" note  / "Male Ego" note 
  • 1986 - "Rock 'n' Roll to the Rescue" / "Good Vibrations" note 
  • 1986 - "California Dreamin'" / "Lady Liberty" note 
  • 1987 - "Happy Endings" note  / "California Girls" note 
  • 1990 - "Problem Child" / "Problem Child" note 

    Cancelled albums 

I wish they all could be California Tropes...:

  • Aborted Arc: The title of Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 implies that there was supposed to be a volume 2. There never was.
  • Album Filler:
    • The band's early albums suffered from an over-abundance of this; American LPs in those days generally consisted of two or three popular singles surrounded by whatever other songs the band had lying around. It wasn't until The Beatles released Rubber Soul that Brian realized that albums should be cohesive units with well-crafted music from start to finish.
    • He was amazed and excited at an album that was "all good stuff!" To be fair, very few pop artists had even attempted such a thing at the time (1965). The Beatles had arguably already managed one with A Hard Day's Night, but the version of that album Brian would have been familiar with would have been the American soundtrack version containing only the film songs and some instrumental music.
    • Surfin' USA, quickly assembled over the titular single and its b-side "Shut Down" was a glaring example. With Brian having only written a handful of new tracks by the point Capitol demanded another album (only 3 months after "Surfin' Safari" was released), it resurrects "Lonely Sea" (a song recorded for "Surfin' Safari" but not deemed good enough) and contains a large amount of instrumental surf tunes (mainly covers, and something the band wouldn't do on other albums). Even the album cover was a blurred picture that its original photographer had initially deemed not good enough to appear in print.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Dennis Wilson was known affectionately as a "clubber". During a performance of "I Get Around" at the T.A.M.I. Show, Dennis even shattered a drumstick mid-song. However, beyond this reputation, his skills never really advanced beyond the level of playing basic beats, which meant that on their most famous albums, Brian had Dennis sidelined and hired veteran session drummers Hal Blaine and/or Jim Gordon to play the drums on the majority of the songs instead.
  • Answer Song: "Don't Worry Baby" was intended by Brian to be this to the Ronettes' "Be My Baby".
  • Artifact Title:
    • Shut Down Volume 2. The first Shut Down was not a Beach Boys album, but a multi-artist compilation of car-themed songs that Capitol had released the year before (although it did include the group's "409" and "Shut Down").
    • The band themselves are this too, given they weren't really "boys" by the late '60s, and definitely aren't now. For this reason, Brian Wilson once proposed in 1970 that they officially shorten their name to The Beach. The rest of the band rejected the idea on the grounds that it would confuse their audience.
    • The band name in general became this trope as the name "Beach Boys" reflected on their surf rock music and their post-Pet Sounds output didn't have much to do with beaches or surfing.
  • Artist and the Band: Early in their career, they had two side-projects bearing that kind of name: Kenny and the Cadets (a trio which had Al Jardine and Brian Wilson in its lineup) and the Carl Wilson-led Carl and the Passions, (whose name would be used as the title of the album of the same name).
    • In 1990, lead singer Mike Love toured as Mike Love Of The Beach Boys And The Endless Summer Beach Band, a backing band consisting of musicians who previously were touring members for The Beach Boys, including Adrian Baker.
  • Ascended Extra: Bruce Johnston quickly went from being a fill-in on tours to full-fledged band member. While he joined the group in 1965, pre-existing record-label contracts delayed his Promotion to Album Sleeves until 1967's Wild Honey.
  • Autotune: The band was subjected to this on Live - The 50th Anniversary Tour. It's especially noticeable on Brian's performance during "Heroes and Villains" where he sounds downright robotic. According to Bruce Johnston, the band had no idea that this was used until after the album was released.
  • Back for the Finale: David Marks, after leaving the band in the early 60s, re-joins in time for their final album, That's Why God Made the Radio.
  • Badass Boast: From "I Get Around":
    My buddies and me are getting real well known
    Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone
  • Band of Relatives: The band featured the three Wilson brothers and cousin Mike Love.
  • Baroque Pop: Among one of the trope codifiers. Particularly during the Pet Sounds and SMiLE era.
  • Basso Profundo: Mike Love has one of the most vibrant bass voices you'll ever hear in your life.
  • Big Eater: Brian Wilson ballooned to over 300 pounds during the nadir of his mental illness. Staying in bed all day didn't help either.
    • Carl was noticeably chubby for most of his life due to a love of both snacking and alcohol overindulgence. He weighed close to 300lbs in the 80s, after briefly trimming down in the 70s.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Brian Wilson and Mike Love (who are both over six feet tall) were always much taller than the rest of the band, particularly 5-foot-4 Al Jardine and 5-foot-5 Bruce Johnston. The late Carl and Dennis Wilson, however, were of average height.
  • Biopic: Currently three of them.
    • The first, Summer Dreams, is widely considered a cheap, exploitative inaccuracyfest that largely ignores the band itself to focus on the antics of Murry Wilson in its first half and Dennis Wilson afterwards (and conveniently, both men being dead meant they couldn't object to their portrayals). Arlen Dean Snyder's performance as Murry has been praised, but everyone else is dreadfully miscast. It also suffers from a soundtrack that features no actual Beach Boys recordings, with a soundalike band performing the actual Beach Boys songs, and a song that kind of sounds like Dennis' composition "Forever," but isn't. Also, David Marks, who briefly replaced Al Jardine in the early '60s, is not featured in that film.
    • The second, An American Family, is thought of as a big improvement, a high-budget two-parter that starts out promising but goes downhill in the second half. The latter film, conversely, glosses over Dennis' prodigious drug use and self-destructive lifestyle, apart from his association with Charles Manson.
    • A third movie entitled Love & Mercy, with Paul Dano and John Cusack as the younger and older forms of Brian. Unlike the last two, Mercy goes out of its way to be as accurate as possible, and has gotten great reviews, including approval from Brian himself, who said it was "very well done".
  • Break-Up Song: Among others, "The Warmth Of The Sun", "Wendy", "Caroline No".
  • Call-Back: "Do It Again" has two direct references to previous Beach Boys songs: "California Girls" and "The Lonely Sea".
  • Car Song: A staple of their early work, including an entire Filler album of car songs in 1963, Little Deuce Coupe.
  • Christmas Songs:
    • The Beach Boys' Christmas Album, released at the height of the band's popularity in 1964, was a huge success, featuring one side of original compositions (including the classic hit "Little Saint Nick") and a side of Christmas standards performed In the Style of Brian's idols The Four Freshmen (complete with orchestral backing by that group's arranger, Dick Reynolds). Probably the most popular "rock and roll" Christmas album not recorded by Elvis or Phil Spector.
    • Conversely, their intended 1977 Christmas LP was so incredibly bad that their label refused to release it. (Seriously... nothing says Christmas like a cover of "Seasons in the Sun", the classic one-hit-wonder about death by cancer. The album also featured possibly the worst lyric line of their career: "Melekalikimaka is 'Merry Christmas' in Hawaii talk-a") Several of its songs were re-worked for the following year's M.I.U. Album, however, and a few of the Christmas originals were eventually issued on the Ultimate Christmas compilation two decades later. As was typical in that era of their career, Dennis contributed a genuinely great song that rescued the project from total embarrassment, the haunting "Morning Christmas".
    • Not to mention the one-off 1974 single "Child of Winter (Christmas Song)", which was also included on the Ultimate Christmas compilation, a fun song featuring a Jonathan Winters-style spoken interlude by Brian.
    • Then there's Brian's 2005 solo effort, What I Really Want for Christmas, which among other things includes re-recordings of the band's "Little Saint Nick" and "The Man with All the Toys" and a title track co-written by Brian and erstwhile Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin.
    • Mike Love takes a crack at the genre with his 2018 Reason for the Season, which includes yet another "Little Saint Nick" remake as well as a cover of Hanson's "Finally It's Christmas" (with vocal support from the Hanson brothers themselves) and renditions of several holiday standards.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    "I thought Brian was a perfect gentleman, apart from buttering his head and trying to put it between two slices of bread."
    • He also wrote some of his greatest songs in an indoor sandbox with a grand piano in the middle. The 'sandbox' quickly became a litter pan for his dogs, Banana and Louie.
    • He let his studio band wear fire helmets and nearly lit up a studio for inspiration. When a nearby house burned down, he was convinced he channelled some "bad vibrations".
  • Concept Album:
    • While most of the band's early work concerns the great themes of Surfing, Cars and Girls, Surfer Girl in particular could be considered a concept album, as seven of its 12 songs are about surfing. Five of them even have "Surfer" in the title.
    • Little Deuce Coupe was definitely a concept album, even if by today's standards it would be considered a compilation. Almost all the tracks are about cars, specifically hot rods. Some of the songs on the album were recorded especially for it, and to get it out faster they included some older ones about cars on it as well. The essay on the back basically admits that the band were cashing in on a trend.
    • SMiLE was meant to be a concept album based around a number of ideas, including Americana, progression of maturity, and the Earthly elements. Brian's 2004 remake and the band's 2011 release of it both neatly divide these ideas into three clear 'movements.'
    • Pet Sounds is often considered a concept album as well, although it's not clear whether Brian intended it as one.
    • Surf's Up has an underlying current of dealing with depression, as best exemplified in "Long Promised Road" and "Til I Die". It also has a broad theme of Growing Up Sucks, with the title track and "Disney Girls" being poetic meditations on the topic, and even "Student Demonstration Time" loosely counts.
  • Concert Film: They are prominently featured in all-star 1964 concert film T.A.M.I. Show, which was one of the last times Brian Wilson performed live with the band before his breakdown.
  • Cool Shades: David Marks is very rarely seen without a pair of sunglasses. Regardless of the time of day.
  • Cover Album: Beach Boys' Party!, recorded and released very quickly in order to buy Brian Wilson more time to create Pet Sounds. Stars and Stripes is technically one also.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: "Then I Kissed Her", a Perspective Flip cover of The Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me".
  • Cover Version: They've done a great many of these over the years. Oddly enough, given Brian Wilson's status as one of pop music's great songwriters, several of their hit singles were covers:
    • "Do You Wanna Dance?" (originally by Bobby Freeman)
    • "Barbara Ann" (originally by The Regents)
    • "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" (originally by Ersel Hickey)
    • "I Can Hear Music" (originally by The Ronettes)
    • "Rock and Roll Music" (originally by Chuck Berry)
    • "Come Go with Me" (originally by The Del-Vikings)
    • "California Dreamin'" (originally by The Mamas & the Papas)
    • It wasn't a hit, but for a while in The '70s they performed a live version of Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee", as a tongue-in-cheek Self-Parody of their clean-cut image.
  • Dark Reprise: The versions of "Wonderful" and "Wind Chimes" on SMILE have upbeat lush arrangements whereas the ones on Smiley Smile are slowed down, minimalist and extremely creepy.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • After the SMiLE sessions ground to a halt, Brian Wilson's role in the band diminished significantly, though he did manage to pitch in a few great songs on each album (many of them leftover SMiLE songs, in fact). His mental illness certainly didn't help.
    • Mike Love's role in the band greatly diminished after Pet Sounds. Although he still sung lead every once in a while, it was mostly Carl who took up lead vocals from after Pet Sounds. Love did have a more prominent role from the M.I.U. Album and onward, though.
    • Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine were also sidelined as musicians in contrast to Carl, who was the only one to regularly play with the Wrecking Crew on the band's post-1964 recordings.
  • Determinator: To some extent, Mike Love, for his abject refusal to stop touring or let the Beach Boys name die (for better or worse).
    • The band itself, for sticking together during ordeals that most lesser bands would've broken up like angry lovers over.
    • Carl Wilson for continuing to sing even though he was dying of lung cancer on their 1997 tour.
  • Distaff Counterpart: The two groups featuring Brian's wife Marilyn Rovell and her sister Diane: The Honeys and American Spring. Brian acted as their producer, and their sound was an analogue to the contemporary Beach Boys material. The Honeys (a trio with the Rovells' cousin Ginger Blake) were in line with the surf-and-cars Beach Boys of The '60s, and American Spring echoed the more sophisticated pop of the guys' material in The '70s. In The '80s Blake rejoined the others and the reunited Honeys recorded two albums of slick, slightly New Wave Music-tinged songs that were roughly in line with "Getcha Back"-era Beach Boys. Neither group had much success, but have cult followings among Beach Boys fans.
  • Drive-In Theater: "Drive-In".
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Compared to the all-conquering popularity of Brian, Mike has largely been seen as a commercial-minded stifle to Brian's more artistic leanings with his reported telling of Brian not to "fuck with the formula" during Pet Sounds' making (which he has denied) being the most famous example, with a successful lawsuit in the 90s for retroactive co-writing credit on many Beach Boys hits making little difference. The fact that he licensed the Beach Boys name and perpetually keeps touring playing the hits, while excluding Brian and Al, doesn't help either.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: SMiLE finally becoming a reality as a Brian Wilson solo album in 2004, and then being released as a Beach Boys album in 2011.
  • Epic Rocking: While SMiLE has song divisions, they're more or less arbitrary; it's essentially comprised of three movements that run for anywhere from ten to twenty minutes each. "Good Vibrations" is sometimes considered separate from the three aforementioned movements, since the music almost but not quite fades out before it starts; if that's the case, then the longest movement on the album is sixteen minutes instead.
    • The disco rendition of Here Comes The Night off the L.A. (Light Album) clocks in at almost 11 minutes and is easily the longest song the band has ever recorded.
    • The California Saga from the Holland album is divided in three songs, but its entire length is 10 minutes and 9 seconds.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Very nearly every transition on SMiLE. There are really only two gaps on the album (between "Cabin Essence" and "Wonderful" and then between "Surf's Up" and "I'm in Great Shape" or "I Wanna Be Around", depending on the version), with "In Blue Hawaii"/"Love to Say Dada" almost fading out before "Good Vibrations" starts.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The Beach Boys Today! version of "Help Me Rhonda" did this at least three times. Little wonder it was the reworked Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) version which hit #1 rather than this one.
    • Also "Heroes and Villains", which had so many false endings that one British DJ called it "the disc-jockeys' nightmare".
    • Additionally, "The Little Girl I Once Knew" has sudden stops and patches of silence between its verses, which limited its radio play and kept it from being a bigger hit.
  • Fanservice: The music video for "Kokomo" features many shots of attractive young women in bikinis. And the cover for Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) features Mike Love in swimshorts, which the female fans of the time probably squeed over.
  • Football Fight Song: "Be True To Your School" is sort of a generic take on school pride, complete with The Honeys doing cheers and references to high school sports (including football).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
    • Brian (Supine) - modest, shy, passive-aggressive and easy-going
    • Mike (Choleric) - sociable, arrogant, materialistic and short-tempered
    • Dennis (Sanguine) - rebellious, stubborn, insecure and volatile
    • Carl (Phlegmatic) - moody, sensitive, diplomatic, and humble
    • Al (Melancholic) – reserved, passive-aggressive, compliant and stoic
  • Free Handed Performer: Mike's stage performances are a slight subversion of the trope. Early in the band's career, he provided (very limited) saxophone input on songs such as "Ten Little Indians" and "Shut Down" and would later play a simplified version of the theremin while performing "Good Vibrations" on stage. Following the mid-seventies, he would go back to being the regular tambourine-shaking lead singer (and he still does, 60 years in his career).
  • Garfunkel: Surprisingly averted; every band member bar David Marks had something to contribute in terms of writing. Even the widely reviled Mike Love wrote a good majority of the band's lyrics, and Al Jardine, widely regarded as a hanger on, was instrumental in the creation of "Sloop John B". Not to mention both of them wrote some of the best material on the band's 1973 opus Holland.
  • Genre-Busting: SMiLE defies pigeon-holing. Not only does the whole thing sound nothing like any music that came before or after, each individual song sounds wildly different from the one that came before it.
    • Just to give an idea of this variety, the first three subsections (talking about songs in SMiLE doesn't really demonstrate its cyclical and interconnected nature) of its first movement (and that comprise only the first seven minutes of the album) are:
      • "Our Prayer", a hymn / prayer sung in the style of classical music choirs;
      • "Gee", a cover of a doo-wop song by The Crows;
      • "Heroes And Villains", a nearly indescribable mix of faux-opera, symphonic arrangements, Gershwin, Spector, Americana folk , comedy songs, doo-wop, scatting and many others contextualized in an old-timey cowboys and indians setting.
  • Gentle Giant: Brian Wilson's friggin' tall, somewhere between 6'2 and 6'3.

  • Greatest Hits Album: The band's music has been packaged and repackaged many times over the years. Endless Summer from 1974, coming at the tail end of the band's glory days, was the first compilation of note. Of collections currently available, the most comprehensive single disc set is probably Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys. However, if you've got a little more money to spend, the four-disc box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys from 1993 or the six-disc Made In California from 2013 are treasure troves of wonderful music.
  • Green Aesop: "Don't Go Near The Water" and "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" from Surf's Up.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Besides surfer girls, perhaps the boys' early girl of choice. "Little Girl (You're My Miss America)" in particular is about being in love with a girl of this description.
  • Handicapped Badass/Deaf Composer: Brian, aside from his mental illness, was deaf in one ear, due to the ear fluid running out (sources differ as to how; one nefarious rumour involves Murry hitting Brian as a baby). He went on to produce and arrange the band's music having only one functional ear. For this reason, along with Brian's admiration of Phil Spector, a number of Beach Boys albums were originally released in mono only.
  • Having a Gay Old Time: The "thongs" in "All Summer Long" refer to casual sandals (usually called flip-flops nowadays), not lingerie or bikini bottoms. The slang remains in common usage in Australia, however.
    • References to a "woody" (as in the bridge to "Surfer Girl") referred to a souped up station wagon with wood panelling, as seen on the Surfin' Safari album cover, where surfers drove to the beach carrying their surfboards.
    • "When she makes love to me" in "Don't Worry Baby".
    • "Remember when you spilled Coke all over your blouse" from "All Summer Long" takes on a different dimension if you're familiar with the drug problems all three Wilson brothers had over the years.
  • He's Back!: "Brian's Back" from the Endless Harmony soundtrack was written in response to Brian returning to the public eye in 1977. This also applies to David Marks when he made his return to the band as a touring guitarist in 1998 over thirty years after he originally left the band.
  • Homage: Brian wanted to pay tribute to artists such as Frank Sinatra while making the album "Adult/child". unfortunately, the project was shelved and Frank didn't think much of Brian's songs.
  • Homesickness Hymn: "Sloop John B." is a cover of an old Bahamian folk song "The John B. Sails". It details the narrator's sailing misadventures, punctuated by his pleas to the Captain to let him go home.
  • Hymn to Music: "Add Some Music To Your Day", "That Same Song"
  • I Am the Band: Brian was this until the SMiLE era, while Mike Love has had this role since roughly 1978.
  • In Name Only: The unit calling itself The Beach Boys through most of The Noughties until 2011. Despite often being advertised with an out-of-date band photo (including Brian and the deceased Carl), only Mike Love and Bruce Johnston appeared from the original band. They reunited with Brian and Al briefly for their 50th anniversary, only for Love and Johnston to kick them out again shortly afterwards.
    • According to The Other Wiki, Summer In Paradise had minimum contributions (mostly or entirely vocal) from Carl Wilson or Al Jardine (and, of course, none at all by Brian Wilson, who was in litigation to remove himself from Dr. Eugene Landy's services). The album was entirely driven by Mike Love, Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher on an early version of Pro Tools digital recording software, and the bass and drums were entirely synthesized.
    • Pet Sounds is considered by fans to be a Brian Wilson solo album all but in-name only due to the other members contributing very little to the actual album outside of vocals (due to the fact that they were on tour for most of the album's recording sessions) with session musicians taking the Boys' place for the most part. Contributions from the other Boys include Mike Love co-writing "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "I'm Waiting for the Day" and "I Know There's An Answer" note , the Boys playing their instruments on "That's Not Me", and "Sloop John B" being included on the album at Al Jardine's suggestion. Because Pet Sounds is one of the most critically aclaimed pop albums of all time, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
      • This also applies to the Beach Boys 1968 album Friends which Brian referred to as his second "solo album" in a 1976 interview.
      • The intended followup album, SMiLE, was this trope to an even greater extent than Pet Sounds. Outside of vocals, there was virtually no involvement from the other Beach Boys, except for Mike Love writing the lyrics to "Good Vibrations".
  • In the Style of:
    • "Girl Don't Tell Me" sounds very much like The Beatles' song "Ticket to Ride." It's likely that the former, which was recorded on April 30, 1965, was influenced by the latter, which had been released on April 9 of that year.
    • "You're So Good to Me" sounds a lot like a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song.
    • "Finders Keepers" also sounds a lot like the Four Seasons — the contrast between Brian's falsetto and Mike's bass voice is very similar to the contrast used in many of the Four Seasons' hits.
    • "Surfin' U.S.A." came so close to a Chuck Berry tune (specifically, "Sweet Little Sixteen") that Chuck sued the Boys.
    • As mentioned above, the second half of their 1964 Christmas album is done in the style of The Four Freshmen.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Mike Love has taken to introducing "Be True To Your School" with one of these at concerts in recent years. Examples here.
  • Instrumentals: "Summer Means New Love", "Let's Go Away for Awhile", "Pet Sounds", "Fall Breaks and Back to Winter", "Diamond Head", "The Nearest Faraway Place", etc.
    • Not to mention the cover versions of various surf-rock instrumentals on their first couple albums. One of interest is their cover of "Moon Dawg" on the Surfin' Safari album. The original version, recorded by the Gamblers, was produced by Nick Venet, the same who produced the early Beach Boys albums, which probably influenced the song's inclusion on the album. Coincidentally, the pianist for the Gamblers happened to be one Bruce Johnston...
  • Intercourse with You: "All I Want To Do". Granted, it is a Dennis Wilson song:
    Well, I don't care where you wanna go
    Just so you go with me
    And I don't care what you wanna do
    But make sure you do it with me
    All I wanna do with you
    Well, I just wanna make-a some love to you
  • Irony:
    • Sad irony, but still... The only founding member of the band who could actually surf was the one who drowned.
    • For a band called The Beach Boys, whose public image is largely based around surfing, the band really didn't sing about surfing that much. Out of the 60 or so songs they released in the '60s as singles, only five of them mentioned surfing at all. This means that only about 8% of their most well-known singles had anything to do with surfing.
  • Large Ham: Ever seen Mike Love at one of their live shows?
  • Last Chorus Slow-Down: "Wouldn't It Be Nice?".
  • The Leader: For the band's most successful period, it was Brian Wilson, but when he went into seclusion after his personal demons became a problem, Mike Love took the helm and it's stayed that way ever since.
    • Carl Wilson was legally the band's leader from the period after Brian withdrew until his death in 1998. Contracts specified that promoters hired "Carl Wilson and Other Musicians" meaning he was the legal personification of the band.
  • Long Runner: One of the longest-running bands, having been formed in 1961 and still going into the present day. The trope also applies to Mike Love, who's stayed with the band right from the start all the way to the present day. In fact, he may be the longest serving member of any band, period.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • Most of the songs on Pet Sounds are euphoric, beautiful songs about loneliness, self-isolation, paranoia, and heartbreak.
    • "Heroes and Villains" is a catchy and tuneful song... about gang warfare, particularly the protagonist's wife's accidental death in same.
  • Mad Artist: Charles Manson: cult leader, serial murder, political insurgent, and writer of the Beach Boys' song "Never Learn Not To Love." The band was rattled when Manson threatened to murder Dennis Wilson for changing a line in the song's lyrics, and even more so when evidence of Manson's gruesome crimes later came to light.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: In his prime, Brian Wilson could basically make his voice do whatever he wanted. His vocal range was so huge that he could've very well ditched his band mates and recorded all the vocal parts himself if he wanted. Here's some proof.
    • Carl Wilson wasn't limited either. He could go freely from an airy tenor/falsetto to a resonant baritone, even in his later years.
  • May–December Romance: To put it delicately. Brian Wilson met and married his first wife Marilyn when he was 20 and she was 14, and Dennis Wilson married a girl roughly the same age when he was close to his 40's. The fact that said girl, Shawn Love Wilson, was his cousin Mike Love's illegitimate daughter doesn't help.
    • Carl married his first wife Annie Hinsche when she was 16, although there was only a three year age difference between them.
  • Mythology Gag: Used a few times with the names of the band's albums:
    • 20/20 partially gets its name due to being the 20th overall album the band had released for Capitol at that point, as well as being the final album the band would release for them before their departure for Reprise Records.
    • Carl and the Passions – "So Tough" partially gets its name from one of the bands Carl Wilson had formed in school prior to The Beach Boys
    • 15 Big Ones, while partially a reference to the number of songs on the album, was also a reference to how many years the band had been together by that point.
    • The very first incarnation of what became the Sunflower album allegedly bore the tongue-in-cheek title of The Fading Rock Group Revival.
  • Never Bareheaded: Mike Love began wearing hats almost constantly around the start of the 70s when his hair recession became far too obvious to ignore. He still wears them all the time today.
  • New Sound Album: Carl and the Passions – "So Tough". Does not sound like The Beach Boys at all.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: One of the biggest aversions in pop music. Brian Wilson was the bassist during live performances, but was hands down the best songwriter and was indispensable to the group. Also averted with Bruce Johnston who essentially became Brian's replacement on bass and piano. He's obviously not as famous as Brian, but has always been well liked by the fans.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • "Surf's Up" - Whatever the song's about, it sure as hell ain't surfin'. note 
    • Why does their discography contain an album called Shut Down Volume 2, but no Shut Down Volume 1? Because the original Shut Down wasn't a Beach Boys album at all, but a various artists compilation... Albeit one that included some Beach Boys songs.
    • 15 Big Ones does indeed contain 15 tracks, but it's a regular studio album, not a Greatest Hits Album like the phrase "Big Ones" would suggest.
  • Once an Episode: The group recorded so much for Sunflower that they decided to include an outtake as an extra on the majority of their albums afterwards: "Take A Load Off Your Feet" (Surf's Up)", "Susie Cincinnati" (15 Big Ones), "Good Time" (Love You), "H.E.L.P. Is On The Way" and "Games Two Can Play" (the unreleased Adult Child album), "When Girls Get Together" (Keepin' The Summer Alive) and "San Miguel" (Ten Years Of Harmony).
  • Power Trio: Brian Wilson being the id, Mike Love being the superego, and Carl Wilson (more often than not) being the ego.
    • Dennis would be the band's overall id given his uncontrollable nature.
  • Protest Song: Mostly averted with The Beach Boys as they have rarely tackled on political subjects when you take into account more than two hundred songs about summer, cars, surfing, women, or love. This is mostly due to Mike Love who was strictly against unclean lyrics (as demonstrated by his discontentment towards the original drug-related lyrics of Pet Sounds' "I Know there's an Answer") which could also include political ones.
    • Van Dyke Parks was quite the disruptive element when it comes to the political lyricism on SMiLE. Whether it is about the abstract criticism of the American myth or Van Dyke belonging to the hippie counterculture, his short tenure as Brian Wilson's songwriting buddy left a mark (and the same could be said about his disagreement with Mike Love over the lyrics of "Cabinessence").
    • Some might say they reached a political peak when Jack Rieley was their manager. He encouraged them to stray away from what the band was singing since the sixties and co-wrote on some songs off albums such as Surf's Up and Holland (making the band one of the first major pop acts to sing about ecology, for example). During that same era, the inclusion of Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar (who both came from South Africa which still had Apartheid legislation back then) as official band members was also shown as proof that The Beach Boys weren't a bunch of out-of-trend white dudes.
    • "Student Demonstration Time" has been seen as the most political song by The Beach Boys, with its lyrics referencing various student protests, including the Kent State shootings which happened when the song's lyrics were written by Mike Love. Without entirely condemning a side, the song mostly serves as a warning to people who shouldn't go out when a riot's happening, or else they might get killed. This song also split the band as the Wilson brothers, all supportive of the protest movements against the Vietnam War, had to be convinced that Love was not openly condemning them and even years later, Carl openly disowned it.
    • Dennis Wilson's "Carry Me Home" was a morose song about a dying soldier that he told people was just his pent up anger and opposition to the Vietnam War.
    • When it comes to the later work of The Beach Boys, Summer in Paradise (especially its Title Track) can be seen as the last effort by the band to advocate for ecology.
  • Progressive Instrumentation: "Little Deuce Coupe" was often performed live with such an intro, with Mike Love name-checking his bandmates as they join in: "First we start with Dennis on the drums... then Al with the rhythm guitar... then Carl with the lead guitar... then Brian fills the instruments in with the bass... when we've got the instruments together, we step up to the mikes and it comes out something like this..."
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • "Roll Plymouth Rock", from the SMiLE project. Its original working title ("Do You Dig Worms?") may be an even better example.
    • Their proposed 1967 album of live tracks recorded in Hawaiʻi crossed this with Double Entendre in its working title, Lei'd in Hawaii, though it's doubtful that Capitol would've agreed to go along with that title had the band not abandoned the album.
  • Race Fetish: Or Region Fetish, anyway; "California Girls" is all about "the girls from state X are attractive in this way, while the girls from state Y are attractive in that way instead".
  • Radio Friendliness: Subverted on one occasion. While an enormous chunk of The Beach Boys' discography is comprised of songs shorter than 3 minutes (a lot of them being even shorter than 2 minutes), one of their non-album singles, "The Little Girl I Once Knew" was dreaded by radio stations for the fact that it had a short moment of silence (which could imply dead air to the audience tuning in), despite it being shorter than 3 minutes.
    • Another case of The Beach Boys having a disagreement with radio stations was during the release of "Add Some Music to your Day", which was rejected by disc jockeys, one of them even arguing that he didn't care about "how great the Beach Boys are and how great Brian is."
  • Re Release The Song: While Brian had a meltdown and couldn't finish Smile in 1967, Capitol Records re-released "Good Vibrations" in an attempt to keep the hype fresh.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: A lot of the facts about the Beach Boys's history are so out-there that one might not believe them if they were told. For example:
    • The fact that Dennis Wilson was once friends with Charles Manson, allowed him to live in (and destroy) his home and possessions, and finally recorded a song that Manson wrote (Manson refused a writer's credit, opting instead for a large cash payment and a motorcycle).
    • The fact that Brian Wilson once owned a health food store called The Radiant Radish.
    • The fact that country music star Glen Campbell started off playing session guitar for their records, as well as briefly taking Brian's place on tour.
    • The fact that Paul McCartney himself walked in on a SMiLE session and contributed the sound of him chomping on celery.
    • The fact that Dennis Wilson co-wrote the song "You Are So Beautiful" at a party with Billy Preston, but never took credit for it.
  • Record Producer: By the time of the group's third album, 1963's Surfer Girl, Brian was in command of the studio sessions, and by '65, he had mastered the lavish, Phil Spector-type production technique that defined their classic sound.
    • Bruce Johnston once described him producing as a cross between Sergei Rachmaninoff and George S. Patton.
    • Even on their first two albums, the nominal producer, Nick Venet, has been open about the fact that his role was pretty much just to tell the engineer to do what Brian Wilson wanted.
  • Revolving Door Band: The only consistent member of The Beach Boys has been Mike Love, having been a member throughout their entire history. Bruce Johnston would come second, being a member from 1965 to 1972, and again from 1978 onwards. The longest running core line-ups would be Mike and Bruce from 1999 to 2011 and 2012 onwards, and the classic Brian/Dennis/Carl/Mike/Al/Bruce line-up of 1965-1972 and 1978-1983.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "Spirit of America", about Craig Breedlove and his turbojet car Spirit of America setting the land speed record in August 1963 (a record he'd break several more times in the years afterwards).
  • Sarcastic Title: "Surf's Up" was given its name to jokingly contrast it with the Surf Rock material the band had long moved past by that point.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Brian Wilson did this on a couple of Pet Sounds songs ("I'm Waiting For The Day" and "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"), when the rest of the band wasn't up to par.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their 1985 album.
  • Serious Business: Their very first song opened with the declaration "Surfin' is the only life, the only way for me."
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: Dennis Wilson, full tilt.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "Be True to Your School", the narrator boasts that he's "got a letterman's sweater with a letter in front".
  • She Is All Grown Up: "The Little Girl I Once Knew".
  • Single Stanza Song: "Whistle In". Supposedly based on an idea that occurred to Brian that kept on repeating in his head:
    Remember the day, day / remember the night, night / all day long / Whistle in
  • Sibling Rivalry: More like cousin rivalry with Mike Love and Dennis Wilson, since both were competing for the greater female fanbase.
  • Sixth Ranger: Bruce Johnston, officially. Though David Marks also qualifies.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Really, the entire story of Brian Wilson vs. Mike Love can be boiled down to this, as Brian's desire to create moving, spiritual music clashed with Mike's attitude of "don't fuck with the formula". note 
  • Solo Side Project: Dennis Wilson was the first of the classic 6-man line-up to release a solo album, with the lost classic Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977, which is still held in high regard. He attempted to create a second solo album, called Bambu, but as Dennis's personal life was going downhill, the album was never completed by the time he drowned in 1983. Two songs from the album were included on the 1979 Beach Boys album, L. A. (Light Album).
    • Brian, Carl and Mike have each also released solo albums while still being in the band. Brian with his self-titled debut album, Carl with his self-titled debut and Youngblood and Mike with Looking Back With Love.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Variation: Mike Love's nasal growl alternating with Brian Wilson's soaring falsetto.
  • Special Guest: Dean Torrance (of Jan and Dean fame) contributed lead vocals for "Barbara Ann" on the Beach Boys' Party!! album.
    • Before that, Brian Wilson contributed harmony vocals to the Jan and Dean record "Surf City" (which he wrote).
  • Step Up to the Microphone: David Marks never sang lead on a Beach Boys song (aside from a duet on "Summertime Blues" with Carl), but he sang lead live on "Getcha Back" and songs such as "Hawaii" and "Don't Back Down" (All originally sung by Mike).
    • The band's then-manager Jack Rieley recounted that he was "tricked" by Brian into singing "A Day In The Life Of A Tree" (Brian demanded Jack help him convey the appropriate feeling, and spontaneously informed him after a take that he had done the final lead vocal), with Van Dyke Parks providing backing vocals and accordion. In fact, Al Jardine is the only actual Beach Boy providing backing vocals on the song.
    • Blondie Chaplin sings lead on "Sail On Sailor", among other songs.
  • Stop and Go: "The Little Girl I Once Knew" did this not once but twice, which almost certainly hurt the song's performance on the singles chart. Radio programmers were loath to play it due to its moments of dead air.
  • Surfer Dude: Practically invented this trope, but ironically, nobody in the band except Dennis and Bruce actually surfed.
  • Surf Rock: Probably the artist most associated with the sub-genre — even though their sound is more Chuck Berry/Phil Spector meets The Four Freshmen than Dick Dale. Not to mention less than 10 percent of their entire discography being surf music.
  • Surprise Incest: Dennis never knew his wife Shawn Marie Love was his cousin Mike's illegitimate daughter.
  • The Svengali: Murry Wilson to start with, and also as detailed above, Eugene Landy, Brian Wilson's therapist from the 70's to the late 80's.
  • Take That!: A number of early songs were this towards Murry Wilson's domineering attitude, such as "Don't Back Down", "When I Grow Up To Be a Man" and "I'm Bugged At My Old Man". In particular, "When I Grow Up" is about how despite being a grown man and earning success, Brian was treated like he was still a kid by his father.
  • Temporary Substitute: In January 1965, Glen Campbell filled in for Brian when he dropped out of a tour due to a nervous breakdown, playing bass guitar and singing falsetto harmonies. He was then replaced by new member Bruce Johnston.
  • Theremin: "Good Vibrations" very famously uses one. Not quite, it's an Electrotheremin, easier to control.
  • The "The" Title Confusion: While the band is always referred to with a "the" these days, their first two singles, "Surfin'"/"Luau" and "Surfin' Safari"/"409", identified the band as simply "Beach Boys". Strangely enough, while the third single, "Ten Little Indians"/"Country Fair", used "The Beach Boys", the fourth single, "Surfin' U.S.A."/"Little Deuce Coupe", went back to "Beach Boys". Subsequent singles and all albums used "The Beach Boys".
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Wild Honey reflected a back-to-basics approach after the downfall of SMiLE. It's been said that Wild Honey was one of the first deliberate invocations of this trope by a major band, before Let It Be or Beggars Banquet.
  • 12-Bar Blues: Believe it or not, some of their early songs. "409" and "Little Honda" both have verse structures based on this.
  • Vapor Ware: SMiLE, one of the earliest examples. Which Brian Wilson re-recorded and released it in 2004, it became one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of that decade.
  • Vocal Evolution: More like "vocal devolution" in the case of Dennis Wilson. While still a capable vocalist in the 1970s despite his smoking, drinking, and drugging, he was pretty much croaking out his words as he spoke to the crowd and sang "You Are So Beautiful" at the band's Fourth of July concert in 1983, just a few months before his drowning death. Dennis had also had several throat operations for benign tumors on his vocal chords which didn't help matters.
    • Cigarettes and drugs also took a massive toll on Brian's vocal cords. By the late-70s, the voice that people knew from their most popular 60s hits was basically unrecognizable.
    • Mike Love's voice has weathered the storm that is aging a little better than Brian's, though considering his singing style was never as strenuous or taxing as Brian's that's not too surprising.
    • Bruce Johnston's voice has gone largely unchanged for the most part except that it now sounds a little deeper and less nasally. This actually works to his advantage whenever he sings "Disney Girls (1957)", as his voice now sounds much more soothing, giving a very lullaby-esque feeling to it.
    • Al Jardine somehow sounds even better in his seventies than he did as a young man. The gravelly tone that he had in his voice on songs like "Help Me, Rhonda" has been replaced with a clean, soaring baritone. Here's a recent performance of "Sloop John B" to give you an idea of how good he still sounds.
    • Carl Wilson had a good singing voice that was destroyed by the lung cancer that killed him. He required oxygen, couldn't sing while standing, and his voice had no carrying power in his last appearances.
  • Word Salad Lyrics:
    • Van Dyke Parks, on the SMiLE album. At one point, Mike Love asked him what the line "columnated ruins domino" meant, and Parks got annoyed at having to repeatedly explain things.
    • Also Jack Rieley, the band's manager who co-wrote several tracks on Surf's Up. Here's a sample from "Feel Flows":
      Encasing all embracing wreath of repose
      Engulfs all the senses
      Imposing, unclosing thoughts that compose
      Retire the fences
      Whether wholly heartened life fades away
      Whether harps heal the memory
      Whether wholly heartened life fades away
      Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
      Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
  • Younger Than He Looks: Despite only being in his twenties during the band's most successful period, Mike Love had a receding hairline and a much more mature face than the baby-faced Wilson brothers. As such, he looked much older than he actually was (hell, in some pictures he looked like he could've been the Wilson brothers' uncle rather than their cousin). When he grew his beard out in the late '60s, he could've passed for a man in his early to mid-fifties. Once he lost the beard in the '80s, though, he actually looked much younger and has barely aged at all since then.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Beach Boys


Finally Been Kissed

After waiting her whole life, Josie gets a full-blown Hollywood Kiss, with soft lights, 360 camera shot, and the Beach Boys playing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HollywoodKiss

Media sources: