The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid 1960s, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. The primarily Wilson-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single (both released in 1966) featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that was a far cry from the simple surf rock of The Beach Boys' early years.
However, Wilson would soon lose control of the band due to mental-health and substance-abuse issues. Subsequently, although it released a number of popular albums (in various musical styles, with different line-ups) in ensuing years, the group never managed to reclaim its mid-'60s peak when The Beach Boys briefly challenged The Beatles both in terms of commercial and critical appeal. Since the 1980s, there has been much legal-wrangling among the group members over royalties, songwriting credits, and use of the band's name. While The Beach Boys released their last studio album in 1996, a number of versions of the band, each fronted by a surviving member of the original quintet (Dennis and Carl Wilson died in 1983 and 1998, respectively), continue to tour.
The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band", and Allmusic has stated that "the band's unerring ability... made them America's first, best rock band." The group has had 36 United States Top 40 hits (the most by an American rock band) and 56 Hot 100 hits, including four number-one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach Boys at number 12 on their 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love and Jardine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
In the autumn of 1961, cousins Brian Wilson and Mike Love composed a song on surfing, titled "Surfin'" at the behest of Brian's younger sibling, Dennis Wilson. They quickly formed a band, bringing in youngest Wilson brother Carl on lead guitar and Brian's high school friend Al Jardine on rhythm guitar. Brian took up bass, Dennis the drums and Mike would be the frontman, while they all would harmonize vocals arranged by Brian. Released that December, produced by Hite & Dorinda Morgan, and backed by the rarest Beach Boys' B-side, "Luau", "Surfin'" made #75 in the US Top 100 in early 1962.
Father Murry Wilson became the band's manager. He submitted a professionally-recorded demo tape to Capitol Records that spring. The Beach Boys were signed and "Surfin' Safari" b/w "409" (from the April 1962 demo tape) was released as a single that June. Al Jardine left the band before the demo session, to be replaced by a friend of Carl's, David Marks, until the fall of 1963.
With both "Surfin' Safari" and "409" becoming hits (the former reaching US #14), Capitol Records approved a full album. Brian Wilson, who regularly collaborated with Mike Love and Gary Usher, contributed the songs that made up the bulk of the LP.
Surfin' Safari, despite the official credit to Nick Venet, was reportedly produced by Brian Wilson. The second single, "Ten Little Indians", was less successful, reaching only #49, with Brian feeling that "Chug-A-Lug" would have made a far better follow-up. Though Mike and Brian are the most prominent singers (as they would be throughout most of The Beach Boys' career), Dennis makes his first vocal appearance on "Little Girl (You're My Miss America)". ~SOURCE: Wikipedia
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