Saying that The Beach Boys had a few hits during the height of their popularity is the understatement of the year. From the classic surf anthems like “Surfin’ USA” to the love ballads like “God Only Knows,” the depth and range of The Beach Boys’ songs made it much more than simply a group of musicians who like to sing about spending time in the California sunshine. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have a slew of top songs to their name; let’s take a look at 10 of the band’s best songs. Click on the links to check out videos of the songs, too.
This single, released in 1988, is an updated version of The Beach Boys’ classic sound. The band is still singing about sand and waves, but this time it’s in a tropical location. Released in 1988, this song still gets a lot of radio play these days. And yep, that’s John Stamos on the drums in the music video.
This song, penned by Brian Wilson, was inspired by Disney’s “When You Wish Upon A Star.” “Surfer Girl” was released in 1963 and invokes the waves on the beach with its melody.
While The Beach Boys sang plenty of of songs about life on the beach, they also sang a few songs about cars, with “Little Deuce Coupe” widely considered among the best.
The Beach Boys’ hallmark may have been songs about hanging out on the beach, but “God Only Knows” is a heartfelt classic that surpasses many of the band’s earlier hits. This song is from 1966’s Pet Sounds, considered by many to be the band’s best album.
Released in 1965, this song about fourth-choice Barbara Ann has a pop sound that makes it a fun song. This song is actually a cover and was originally recorded by The Regents.
Only The Beach Boys could make a song about cruising around town sound fun. It’s also a song about friends; after all, all of the singer’s buddies are single so they can spend Saturday nights cruising together.
This single, which hit near the top of the charts, is most memorable for its shout-out of the hot spots for surfing in the U.S. “Surfin’ USA” embodies The Beach Boy rhetoric: Surf now, surf later, and just surf.
This song about a high school student who ditches the library in favor of racing everyone up and down the street exemplifies what The Beach Boys do best. “Fun, Fun, Fun” has a memorable hook, a great story line and a pop sound that’s light and fun. It’s a car song, but it’s also about a high-spirited girl who just wants to spend the evening driving around.
This single, which is also from Pet Sounds, is a nice take on the theme of being too young to get married. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” has also been lauded for its complex musical arrangement, giving the song added complexity.
Although it graced the top of the charts and is considered by many to be one of the best songs of all time, “Good Vibrations” is at its heart a love song filled with vivid imagery.
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