Beach Boys: Album Guide - Rolling Stone
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The Beach Boys: Album Guide

America’s longest-running band — from surf rock to studio symphonies and beyond

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys pose for a portrait in 1964. From left to right, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson.

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The Beach Boys are America’s most legendary rock & roll saga—and one of its most turbulent, with a twisted family history at the heart of it. The Wilson brothers were suburban California boys: Brian, the haunted pop genius hearing the harmonies in his head. Carl, the shy kid with the heavenly voice. Dennis, the wild-ass drummer who lived the cars-and-surf lifestyle Brian just sang about. Plus high school pal Al Jardine and a cousin of theirs named Mike Love, who prided himself on bringing the bad vibrations. They’ve spent over 50 years riding the wild surf — sometimes wiping out, often finding places nobody else could reach. Their hits are just the beginning — their catalog is full of timeless classics, gems buried on long-forgotten albums, crazed belly-flops. So here’s a map to the Beach Boys’ sprawl of a songbook.

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