With today being the first day of summer and acclaimed musical genius, Brian Wilson’s 70th Birthday , what a more appropriate time to take a look at Wilson’s famous band’s top 5 albums. Wilson, his brothers Dennis and Carl, Cousin Mike Love, and school friend Al Jardine formed The Beach Boys over 50 years ago and in doing so created timeless music filled with fun, sun, girls, and surf. The wave they created shows no sign of waning, in fact just this year, The Beach Boys have reunited for their 50th Anniversary to sold-out shows and critical acclaim. The band’s music has provided a cultural bedrock and has left such an indelible mark that they are known as and simply referred to as “America’s Band”. Here is a list of their top 5 albums:
1. “Endless Summer” (1974)
This greatest hits album sparked the resurgence of The Beach Boys popularity and helped turn them from has-beens to legends. A #1 album in 1974, it contains all their greatest hits (at the time) and the songs they are best known for.
Key Tracks: “California Girls”, “Good Vibrations”, “Surfin’ USA”
2. “Pet Sounds” (1966)
This legendary album is found on many “Greatest Albums of All Time” lists, usually in the #1 or #2 spot. This album showed that the band was more than just a surf group but were actually artists on the level of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Key Tracks: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “God Only Knows”, “Sloop John B”
3. “Sunflower” (1970)
While Pet Sounds is considered Brian Wilson’s masterpiece, this album is considered the band’s masterpiece. With Brian retreating from the band, music industry, and the world at the time; this album shows the band picking up the slack left by the oldest Wilson. This album showed that the other Boys could definitely make amazing music in their own right even with the long shadow cast by older brother Bri.
Key Tracks: “Forever”, “This Whole World”, “Cool, Cool Water”
4. “The Beach Boys Love You” (1977)
This is the album that has long divided the group’s fans. It may be a “love it or hate it” type of album but one that all will agree is the most unique Beach Boys album ever made, before or since. In fact, no other album by any group sounds quite like this. It shows Brian Wilson returning with full force, back writing and producing all the material.
Key Tracks: “Roller Skating Child”, “Honkin’ Down the Highway”, “The Night Was So Young”
5. “That’s Why God Made the Radio” (2012)
This is the band’s most recent album. It is the band’s first album since 1992 and the first with Brian Wilson since 1985. Again, it shows Brother Bri returning with full force, back writing and producing all but one track. The album debuted at #3 on The Billboard Top 200, showing that age hasn’t diminished the group’s talent nor their popularity.
Key Tracks: “That’s Why God Made The Radio”, “Isn’t It Time”, “From There to Back Again”
So take a listen to a band, who’s music has defined popular culture and provided many with an endless Summer. Surf’s up!!