Beach Boys!

Brian Wilson! Carl Wilson! Dennis Wilson! Al Jardine! Err, John Stamos?

And Mike Love too, I guess…

8. I GET AROUND

I can’t get around how square the video to this song is.

It’s like 1964, the Beatles are tearing shit up in A Hard Day’s Night, getting high and publishing books of poetry; whilst the Beach Boys are singing about avoiding the ‘bad guys’ and finding places where the ‘kids are hip’, while looking like a team of call centre staff on the set of a morning TV show. Still, great song. So great, Mike Love took nearly 30 years to decide he wrote it.

7. DO IT AGAIN

I don’t know why the Beach Boys didn’t do a whole album with this weirdo electro-rock’n’roll sound.

Probably Mike Love. Anyone whose looks deteriorate at twice the normal rate, yet keeps that voice, just has to be evil.

6. DARLIN’

This video was the first hit when I searched Google – if you thought the Beach Boys couldn’t look any less cool after the two above, I give you the 1980s.

I guess Carl Wilson’s beard and suit are pretty rockin’. Bar the song, everything else in this clip though belongs to stay somewhat obscured by the dodgy VHS tracking.

5. GOD ONLY KNOWS

The ‘official’ greatest Beach Boys song, ever since it was anointed as such by Paul McCartney.

Not sure what the point of having them mime in the video is – it’s not like any of them actually played on the record.

4. HEROES & VILLAINS

I didn’t get much into the Beach Boys’ post-Pet Sounds stuff until picking up Brian Wilson’s solo version of Smile in 2004 or thereabouts. I actually prefer the version of Heroes and Villains on that album, though it could have been improved with some studio magic transplanting Brian of 1966’s voice through time.

But this is a Beach Boys list, so there’s their version – it’s pretty much the same, Brian’s backing band Wondermints are that good.

3. GOOD VIBRATIONS

The other ‘official’ greatest Beach Boys song. But I wouldn’t be much of an internet list-maker if I put either of them at number one now, would I?

There’s not really much I can add that the world hasn’t already said about this song, so instead enjoy some footage of the band whose names you know, and the real band who actually recorded the song, putting it all together.

2. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE

A song with a first line only a young person could write.

There are few songs in the world where the lyrics and music mesh so well – it’s almost as if the words themselves defined the melody. Or the other way around. I realise at this point it sounds as if I’ve smoked more pot than Brian Wilson, so I’ll move on to number one…

1. CALIFORNIA GIRLS

What did you think it would be? Kokomo?

It took 44 takes to record apparently, and was worth every swearword the band probably uttered Brian Wilson’s way.

If you are reading this post on Tumblr or a tablet/phone, and some of the videos or the Spotify playlist aren’t showing, try viewing it on your browser at this link.

And if you like what you’re reading and seeing here, kindly consider checking out the author’s own attempt at a music career – koshrecords.net.

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