Rock ‘n Roll and American Society (MMC1702) Week 10 Notes
The Beach Boys
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – 1988
- One of the most successful and longest running American Rock ‘n ‘Roll bands
- They are misunderstood by casual fans
- A candidate for the best Rock ‘n’ Roll band
- The Beach Boys put surf rock on the map
- It’s the story of Brian Wilson
o Brian Wilson was the gifted brain behind The Beach Boys o Wilson was close with his mother
His mother told him that “positive and good vibrations” would change the world We also discuss several other topics like What is vapor compression cycle?
o Murry Wilson was Brian’s father and the manager of The Beach Boys. He also tormented Brian
- Original members: 3 brothers (The Wilsons), 1 neighbor, 1 cousin - The Beach Boys “surf and turf”
- Brian Wilson – “Mr.Everything”
o Leader, songwriter, producer, singer,
- The Beach Boys did not invent surf rock but they were the ultimate representative of the genre
- Some examples of surf rock before them
o “Let’s Go Trippin’” – Dick Dale and His Del-Tones
o “Miserlou” – Dick Dale and His Del-Tones If you want to learn more check out What is dhaa?
o “Wipe Out” – The Surfaris
o “Pipeline” – The Chatays
- Surf rock was mostly instrumental before The Beach Boys - “Walk, Don’t Run” – The Ventures
o The first surf rock song(?)
o The Ventures did the “Theme from Hawaii Five-O” in the 1960s - Brian Wilson’s hero/mentor was Phil Spector. Wilson sought to build his own “wall of sound” for The Beach Boys.
The Beach Boys Phase 1 – Surf Rock Years (1962 – 1965) - America’s most popular band even after The Beatles arrived (They had #1 songs)
o “Surfin’ Safari” (1962) – The debut single on Capitol Records - The Beach Boys made California popular
- “Little Deuce Coupe” (1963)
o 2nd song
o About a car
- “Surfin’ USA” (1963)
o The band’s breakthrough song
- The Beach Boys had really good chemistry on stage
- “Surfer Girl” (1963) We also discuss several other topics like What is an example of dissociative personality disorder?
o Added in a little Vocal Group Rock ‘n’ Roll to Surf Rock - Al Jardine rejoined the band in 1963
- “Fun, Fun, Fun” (1964)
o Had influence from Chuck Berry
- The Beach Boys were on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1964 - The Beach Boys wrote their own music and played their own instruments
- “I Get Around” (1964)
o The first No. 1 single in the US
- “In My Room” (1964)
o First of the introspective songs – A signal of Brian Wilson’s stress and instability and Brian becoming a recluse
- “Don’t Worry Baby” (1964)
o A response song to “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes
o A perfect example of the “Wall of Sound” production style o Recorded at Gold Star Studio with The Wrecking Crew - “Help Me Rhonda” (1965) #1 We also discuss several other topics like When in the pressure/volume curve does systole begin?
- Brian’s early concept albums (1963-65)
- The Beach Boys was one of the first bands to do the concept album - Brian was so prolific that he gave songs to Jane and Dean o “Surf City” (1963) #1
- December 1964 – Brian started to lose it in the middle of a tour o Had a nervous breakdown on a flight
o Had anxiety attacks
- Brian decided to not continue his life on the road and stayed home and produce all the music in the studio We also discuss several other topics like What does basal metabolic rate tell you?
We also discuss several other topics like What are the 3 phases of the calvin cycle?
- Brian Wilson fired his dad, Murry Wilson, as the manager of the band - Around this time, The Beatles released their album Rubber Soul and Brian Wilson became more ambitious with producing music - “California Girls” (1963)
o First single after Brian Wilson quit touring
o Different sound but not too different from their previous music o The Wall of Sound is very present in this song
- Brian kept up the charade that he was a regular member of the group and was part of the TV performances
- Then The Beach Boys started touring without Brian – Glen Campbell took Brian’s place for about a year
- “Barbara Ann” (1965, #2)
o One of The Beach Boys’ most famous songs of the era
o Originally by The Regents in 1961
- Bruce Johnston was Brian’s stage replacement in the tours Phase 2 – Artistic Visionaries (1966 – 1972)
1966 – One of the most enduring and celebrated albums in rock ‘n’ roll history (#10 US, #2 UK) - Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys (Test Question)
- It was unexpected and shocking to the world
- This raised the stakes for everybody
- “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” (1966)
- Brian Wilson and Mike Love argued about the concept of the album and the direction of the music. The other Wilson brothers were concerned about the new music also
- The name, Pet Sounds, was inspired by the ending sounds of dogs and trains. The band went to the San Diego Zoo to take pictures with goats for the album cover
- “Sloop John B” (1996) #3
- What made Pet Sounds so unique in 1966?
o It was a gamble. Rarely had a successful artist had broken from pop music traditions.
o The album was moody, unconventional.
- “God Only Knows” (1963)
o The song is told from a Point of View of a person whose lover has died
- This album remains an album by which Rock ‘n’ Roll albums are judged. Ironically, though, it was The Beach Boys that helped solidify the single as the standard format of rock in the 60s.
- “Caroline, No” (1966)
o Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher
o About the loss of innocence
Capitol Records did not really like Pet Sounds so they told The Beach Boys to do something else.
- They came up with “Good Vibrations” in 1966
o The song was a teaser for the next LP by The Beach Boys
o The most dominant instrument was the electro-therman After a long association with Capitol, the band created their own record company, Brother Records.
Smile – The Beach Boys
- The most delayed album in Rock ‘n’ Roll history
- The supposed follow-up album to Pet Sounds
- Originally called Dumb Angel
- Dubbed “A Teenage Symphony to God”
- Rock’s most famous unreleased album. Until 2011, that is. - A lot of weirdness happened during the Smile sessions.
- Smile celebrated “The Elements”
o Brian made all the studio musicians wear fire helmets and inhale smoke while recording the “Fire” section.
- Brian hired Van Dyke Parks as a lyricist and Mike Love was not happy with the decision.
o Van Dyke Parks did drugs while writing lyrics and Mike Love called his lyrics “acid alliteration”
- The Elements – Air, Fire, Water, Earth
∙ The wordless invocation that opens the album
“Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”
∙ The bewitched piece of music
“I Love to Say Da-Da”
∙ They were The Beach Boys after all
∙ Paul McCartney is on bass
∙ A western epic with “doyn-doyn” backing vocals, all
about the growth of the rainforest
- The album was shelved after Van Dyke Parks was out of the picture and the recording sessions stopped. Brian became more of a recluse. 1967 – Smiley Smile was recorded and released in place of the much-touted Smile
- Had quickly-recorded songs and underproduction
- This album started the downfall of The Beach Boys
- “Heroes & Villains” – Only #1 hit from the album
- At this point, Brian became a total recluse
In 2004, Brian re-recorded and released his own version of Smile, which failed to crack the Top 20.
2011 – Smile is released in its original form
Phase 3 – The Wasted Years (1967 – 1973)
- The band had a rough ride for a while after Pet Sounds and “Good Vibrations”
- “Darlin” (1967)
- “Friends” (1968)
- Their music became more adult contemporary
- Mike Love was not part of the band at this time. He was actually part of the entourage of The Beatles when The Beatles went to India. - “Never Learn Not to Love” (1968)
o The original song was “Cease to Exist”
- “Do It Again” (1969) #20
o Last original Top 20 until 1988
- They released 3 albums which failed
- With the absence of Brian Wilson, baby brother Carl Wilson had more influence and becomes the leader of the band, on stage and in the studio
- “Surf’s Up” (1971)
o Written by Brian Wilson
o Intended for Smile, but didn’t make it
- “Sail On, Sailor” (1973)
Phase 4 – On The Rise Again (1974 – 1979)
- 1974 – Endless Summer was released
o A Greatest Hits package
o #1 – Triple Platinum
o This album brought Brian Wilson back to the band
- 15 Big Ones
o The first album Brian produced since Pet Sounds
- “Rock and Roll Music”
- Dennis Wilson – The only Beach Boy who actively surfed was the Beach Boy who drowned on December 26, 1983
- “Here Comes the Night” (1979) Top 40
o Disco song
Phase 5 – One Last Laugh (1980s)
- In the ‘80s, Brian performed frequently with the Beach Boys except on their biggest hit…
- “Kokomo” (1988) #1
o Written by Mike Love
o First #1 hit in 22 years and their biggest single ever
- Carl Wilson’s death from cancer in 1998 effectively ended “The Real” Beach Boys
- Brian had a successful solo career
o Feb 2004 – Brian performed Smile live (for the first time ever) o Orange Crate Art (1994)
Collaboration with Van Dyke Parks
- Mike Love had licensed the name The Beach Boys for touring (until 2011)
- They are currently back together, the remaining members - The daughters of Brian Wilson formed the group, Wilson Phillips o “Hold On” - #1 hit