Beach Boys

The Beach Boys were an enormously successful pop group of the 1960s, whose popularity has lasted into the twenty-first century. Originally formed in 1961 by brothers Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson with cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, the group's signature sound was close vocal harmony, strongly influenced by The Four Freshmen. David Marks appeared on their first five albums and was a member from 1962 to 1963.

At first their career was steered by the Wilsons' father Murry, who engineered their signing with Capitol Records. Their early material focused on the Californian youth lifestyle (e.g. "All Summer Long", "Fun, Fun, Fun"), cars ("Little Deuce Coupe") and, as often as not, Dennis's hobby of surfing (as heard on "Surfin'", "Surfin' Safari," and many others).

As the 1960s progressed the always introspective Brian began to withdraw from touring, concentrating on producing studio recordings of ever-increasing complexity. It was at this time that Bruce Johnston joined the group as a touring replacement for Brian. He later became an integral member. Brian's mastery of the recording studio culminated with Pet Sounds (1966), and a sequence of tracks (including "God Only Knows" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" on Pet Sounds, and "Good Vibrations", completed after Pet Sounds) whose meticulously layered and inventive instrumentation set a new standard for popular music, pushing The Beatles towards Sgt. Pepper. On top, the lyrics became intensely personal expressions of Brian...