In the early years, their music had simple sounds that were as predictable as the tide but the lyrics and beats were catchy, memorable, and fun.
Songs like "Surfin' Safari", "409", and "I Get Around" are what put the Beach Boys on the map, but as the Beach Boy's songwriting skills developed so did the complexity of their music.
The complexity of the interaction among the band members also grew. Brian Wilson played a dominate role in the group. His inability to relinquish control to other members only intensified as the Beach Boys grew in popularity.
During the mid 60s, under Brian Wilson's lead, the Beach Boys began experimenting with a more psychedelic sound. Songs like "Good Vibrations", "God Only Knows", and "Caroline, No" gave the band more depth as artists, but the use of psychedelic drugs among the band members only added to their struggles as a group.
In the late 60s and early 70s Brian Wilson battled severe depression and substance abuse issues. The album "Sunflower" was released in 1970, and although the collection was a true collaborative effort and had some solid tunes, it crashed hard on the charts.
The band rallied in the 80s with the help of tribute songs by David Lee Roth and The Fat Boys, as well as with their own hit "Kokomo" in 1988.
Today internal bickering over writing credits, management, and creative direction still exist. Several law suits are pending and their unpredictable on-again, off-again relationship makes getting tickets to a Beach Boy's reunion concert unnecessary. Listening to their music however, when you're on vacation, when you need a pick me up, or simply when you just need a good sing-a-long, comes highly recommended.
A Sampling of the Beach Boys
Here's our pick of four awesome songs by the Beach Boys.