3 Eternal Songs by The Beach Boys that Have Stood the Test of Time

When you think of classic rock bands that employ harmony to attract their fans like flies to honey, clearly one group quickly comes to mind—the Southern California-born family band known as The Beach Boys, of course. That collection of performers provided blissful vocal melodies that went on to influence music for the next several decades, including that of The Beatles.

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And along the way, the iconic surf rock group, which was founded in 1961, wrote, recorded, and released many songs that have stood the test of time. Indeed, from your parents to your biggest self-described “music nerd” friends, The Beach Boys’ songs are included in most catalogs. Here below, we wanted to explore three timeless tracks from the fellas. Indeed, these are three eternal classic rock songs from The Beach Boys.

[RELATED: The Beach Boys Says That Without John Lennon and Paul McCartney Their Classic 1966 Album “Could Have Failed”]

“I Get Around” from All Summer Long (1964)

When The Beach Boys became known for their lush instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and that they seemed to bring summer wherever they went, it became harder to stay under the radar. And that’s what this song is all about. Lead singer Brian Wilson talks about getting noticed and approached wherever he went—yet in the ultimate catch-22, he had to go new places to see what the hip new trends were. On this summery song, which has since been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Wilson sings,

I’m gettin’ bugged driving up and down the same old strip
I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip

My buddies and me are gettin’ real well known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

“Good Vibrations” from Smiley Smile (1967)

While this song was released in the fall of 1966 as a standalone single, it was originally meant for the still-unfinished album Smile, which was the be the followup to the band’s iconic 1966 summer LP Pet Sounds. Later, “Good Vibrations” was released on the more subdued 1967 LP Smiley Smile. But however it was shared, the song remains a classic. Not only does it boast the band’s signature harmonies and breezy notes, but musically it imbues more depth and psychology, too. It’s almost subversive, as it plays with the idea of cosmic vibrations. Since its release, it’s been used in countless movies and television shows, including in a great scene in the film Vanilla Sky. In the song, frontman Brian Wilson sings,

I-I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
She’s giving me the excitations

“God Only Knows” from Pet Sounds (1966)

One of the best love songs ever written, this song from The Beach Boys’ classic 1966 album Pet Sounds helped influence The Beatles’ beloved 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Indeed, you can really hear it in the opening horns. This song professes a sublime love, a divine love. One that only God can describe accurately. What a concept! And on the song, Wilson sings,

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d be without you

If you should ever leave me
Well, life would still go on, believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me?

God only knows what I’d be without you

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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