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Beach Boys Information

Forty nine years since the formation of America’s favorite surfer rock band, the Beach Boys are one of the most widely listened to bands in America, and accept that title by continuing to play fifteen years after releasing any new music. Started as an adolescent project between the Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, the Beach Boys are the single best-selling American band of all time. Their first single “Surfin” made the top 40 in 1961, and each hit thereafter in those early years was focused on the care-free lifestyle of teenagers in California. The Beach Boys cite Chuck Berry and the Beatles early career as very influential on their own.

After the first of a series of stress- and drug-related breakdowns in 1964, Brian Wilson withdrew from touring and was replaced first by singer-guitarist Glen Campbell, then by veteran surf singer-musician Johnston. Brian focused thereafter on the Beach Boys' studio output, surpassing all his role models with his band's masterwork, Pet Sounds (1966), what Rolling Stone named #2 on the list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and #1 according to NME, The Times and Mojo Magazine. Pet Sounds, a bittersweet collection of songs recalling the pangs of unrequited love and other coming-of-age trials, was mostly influenced by the widespread success of the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, which Brian Wilson notes challenged him to go to all extremes to come up with a great album. Brian soon eclipsed himself again with “Good Vibrations,” a startlingly brilliant “pocket symphony” that reached number one in the autumn of 1966. For the remainder of the decade, the Beach Boys issued records of increasing commercial and musical inconsistency. They signed with Warner Brothers in 1970 and when the Sunflower (1970) sold poorly, Brian began experimenting with drugs while the rest of the group produced several strong but modest-selling albums in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, Endless Summer, a greatest hits compilation, reached number one in the charts in 1974. In 1976 the commercially successful album, 15 Big Ones, signaled the reemergence of the still drug-plagued Brian Wilson. The Beach Boys was released in 1985, after Dennis Wilson drowned two years prior. In 1988 Wilson released a critically acclaimed self-titled solo album, the other Beach Boys had a number one hit with “Kokomo,” and the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the 1990s the Beach Boys continued to tour and record, with Love continuing his longtime role as the band's business mind. Carl, who was considered the group's artistic anchor during the turbulent 1970s and '80s, died of cancer in 1998. Later that year the Beach Boys released Endless Harmony, a rarities collection culled from an acclaimed television documentary on the group.

While Brian Wilson has most recently done tons of solo and compilation work, when he tours with the Beach Boys, he’s right back in his 1960’s element. Playing the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis and South Shore Music Tent in Cohasset, MA August 7th and 8th, the Beach Boys are schedule to play two months of concerts throughout the US and Europe, including several music festivals.