Starting in Hawthorne, California the Beach Boys was formed originally by: Brian, Dennis, Carl Wilson, cousin’s Mike Love and Al Jardine. Known for their vocal harmonies and adolescent oriented themes, the Beach Boys were dubbed the sound of California.
The Beach Boys A California Sound
Last night at the Morristown Performing Arts Center, Mike Love and eight other musicians took the stage for almost three hours performing 38 songs. At almost 80 years old Mike Love is still able to carry that patented Beach Boys sound. Opening with ” Do it Again,” it felt like the 70s all over again.
Able to sustain their fan base even during the British Invasion, it was 1966 “Pet Sounds,” where the Beatles, Paul McCartney told the band that we have to improve to compete with the Beach Boys.
The mid 70s found a cult following of the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson who was the band’s composer, arranger and producer had ceded control to the rest of the band. Even though at this point in time the band still drew large audiences for their concerts with its ” oldies” act.
In 1983, Dennis Wilson drowned and Brian became estranged from the band. I’m 1998, Carl died and Mike Love was granted legal permission to tour under the groups name. In 2010, the band got back together for the band’s 50th anniversary.
The Beach Boys are one of the most critically acclaimed band’s of all time, selling over 100 million records worldwide. Between the 1960’s and 2015, the group had 36 songs in the US top 40. The most of any American band. 4 topped the Billboard Top 100. In 2004, they were rated number 12 on Rolling Stone’s list of greatest artists of all time. In 1988, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
When I think of great American bands I think of the Eagles, Chicago and the Beach Boys. All three have a plethora of hits and all three are tight in their arrangements and orchestrations. Last night the Beach Boys put on a rapid fire first act, followed by some slower Do Wop songs like “Did I Imagine it All.” Mike Love honored George Harrison with “Here Comes The Sun” and ” Brother Pieces.” All night long Love was self depreciating, funny and reflective.
Opening the second act with the Mama’s and the Papas ” California Dreaming” was a slower gut felt version by Love. Following with ” Wish They All Could be California Girls” was a great choice. Ending with “Kokomo,” “Barbara Ann” and “Fun Fun Fun,” made me realize just how many great song’s this group wrote and how much fun it was to grow up to the Beach Boys. Where many band’s in the 60s and 70s were raunchy, the Beach Boys sound was more about innocence and the pure American lifestyle and it was great to have that back again, if only for awhile.