They’re known as one of America’s most iconic bands and have inspired many a generation with their soothing Californian sound and catchy tunes. To have never heard of The Beach Boys should be a crime. If you don’t know, get to know! 

This year marks 60 years since they first made a splash with their single Surfin USA which is now just one of the hundreds of songs that have transformed them into true legends. 

What started out as an amalgamation of The Wilson family’s heavenly harmonies soon propelled them to fame as a key contender in the rock ‘n’ roll era. 

Having gone on to release 29 studio albums and selling a whopping 100 million records, there is no denying that their unwavering talent has had an immense influence on the world of modern music.

We’re sharing with you our top reasons why the band will go down in history for producing some of the greatest melodies of the 20th Century. They might be on the penultimate pages of their songbook, but their legacy will forever live on.

Making waves

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Whilst their name suggests they are a bunch of cool surfer dudes, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst their drummer Dennis Wilson was an avid surf god, the other band members never actually hit the waves. In fact, the band’s own founder Brian Wilson is admittedly terrified of open water. 

Though they may not have literally been Surfin USA, their music hit the shores across the globe. Whether by the coast or in the city, their classic jams epitomized summertime vibes and thrilled us all with their breezy brilliance.

They instantly had the world’s ears pricking, achieving three Number One chart toppers throughout the 60s. Who knew at that point that it was only the beginning of America’s longest-standing pop rock band?!

Whilst their original name The Pendletones matched their clothing style at the time, it didn’t quite encapsulate the image they were going for. It wasn’t until just before the release of their first single that Russ Regan of Era Records suggested an alternative identity that would place an additional unique stamp on their sound. They may have wanted to remain faithful to their foundations but in hindsight, it’s fair to say that they definitely made the right choice.

Shaping the 60s

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Their rise to fame in the 1960s came hand in hand with a battle against The Beatles. Together, they created musical mayhem with their uplifting tones and charming chords. The Beach Boys successfully beat them to the punch with the release of their first album Surfer Girl in 1963. 

Their masterwork continued to set the bar high with the notorious release of Pet Sounds. This combination of progressive pioneering and technical triumph sparked a new fire for The Beatles who attempted to emulate its success with their own album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

The ambitious group later attempted to turn more frowns upside down with their secretive project Smile. No less than 60 unreleased songs remain unheard from the making of this album. Maybe someday these hidden sounds will be uncovered.

Known for initiating the idea of ‘California rock’ and ‘sunshine pop’, we’re thanking our lucky stars that the songs that did make it out on the radio waves have continued to be played and shared worldwide. Let’s keep the beat alive. 

A stroke of musical genius

The Beach Boys brought us sensational songs unlike any other. From introducing surf rock symphonies to delivering distinctive vocals, their extraordinary talents are beyond measure. 

The pop rock band experimented with sound at every stage, turning their rhythmic intentions into something spectacular. How Brian Wilson formed such incredible lyrical synergy whilst being deaf in one ear is rather miraculous and confirms that he is, without a doubt, a virtuoso.

They wrote chart-topping hit God Only Knows in under 45 minutes. They went back to basics on the Pet Sounds album by using Coca-Cola cans and Plastic bottles as percussion instruments. Their inventive influence gave us all the Good Vibrations and had everyone eagerly anticipating what was coming next. 

Challenging the norm

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Just like their choice methods of progressive production, The Beach Boys were ever one to deviate away from societal norms.

Their passion for keeping their creations personalized was further confirmed through little touches like designing their own album cover for The Wild Honey which used images of bees and flowers from the stained glass window in Brian Wilson’s house. This, along with taking on the first ever Beach Girl in the 1970s with short-term bandmember, Tennille, demonstrated their desire to stand out against the crowd.

You would think that the rebellious and headstrong musicians were fully in control of their direction. However, the freedom they had in their compositions was counteracted by the way their father and manager governed their day-to-day lives. To maintain their pristine image, the American legends had to pay $100 if they were caught swearing and were constantly reminded to act the part in the public eye.

It appears that they know more than most that the best things in life don’t come easy.

Never getting old

They first achieved recognition whilst still in their early 20s. 60 years on we’re still captivated by those iconic sounds that evoke feelings of sun-kissed skin and sand between our toes. 

Their heydays of being the most popular pop rock band in America became overshadowed by the death of band member Carl Wilson who tragically passed in 1998. 

From that point on, the gossip we heard on the grapevine of ongoing feuds between band members confirmed that there was trouble behind the smiles. Nevertheless, the group pushed any past conflicts aside for their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour back in 2012 and have been touring ever since. 

Though they may have adopted new members for performances and will never be able to top bestselling hits like I Get Around and Wouldn’t It Be Nice, we agree that they should never be classed as ‘Oldies’. True legends never die.