Fifty years ago, The Beach Boys began their journey in an all the fun-in-the-sun innocence of the early sixties California dream.
But in 1966 came “Pet Sounds” and the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers changed the landscape forever. The Beach Boys came together in 1961. They had two wonderful assets in their favour: a natural group harmony and – in the form of Brian – a genius for songwriting and arranging. This recipe would result in over 20 Top 40 songs in the space of four years, with the likes of Surfin U.S.A conjuring up a seemingly endless California summer.
Had The Beach Boys carried on the same vein, its legacy would have been as an incredibly successful surf rock band. But Brian had other ideas. Dylan and The Beatles were already redefining what to expect from a great rock album – and Brian wanted to explore what he was capable of. Featuring lush soundscapes and hints of psychedelia in timeless tracks such as Wouldn’t It Be Nice and God Only Knows, Pet Sounds would prove to be his masterpiece.
Clashes and personal difficulties would follow, but the images of The Beach Boys are of a band whose influence on songwriting and production spans more than half a century.