The Beach Boys are an American rock
band. Formed in 1961, the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies
and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of cars and surfing. Brian Wilson's
growing creative ambitions later transformed them into a more artistically innovative
group that earned critical praise and influenced many later musicians.
The group initially comprised singer-musician-composer Brian Wilson, his brothers,
Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. This core quintet,
along with early member David Marks and later bandmate Bruce Johnston, were
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1988. The Beach
Boys have often been called "America's Band", and
Allmusic.com has stated that "the band's unerring ability... made them
America's first, best rock band."The group has had thirty-six U.S. Top
40 hits (the most of any U.S. rock band) and fifty-six Hot 100 hits, including
four number one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach
Boys as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According
to Billboard, in terms of singles and album sales, The Beach Boys are the No.
1-selling American band of all time.
Many changes in both musical styles and personnel have occurred during their
career, notably because of Brian Wilson's mental illness and drug use (leading
to his eventual withdrawal from the group) and the deaths of Dennis and Carl
Wilson in 1983 and 1998, respectively. Extensive legal battles between members
of the group have also played their part. After the death of Carl Wilson, founding
member Al Jardine was ousted by fellow-founding member Mike Love. As of 2008,
The Beach Boys continue to tour,
with a lineup of Love, Johnston and a backing band of new musicians. Love retained
the rights to the Beach Boys name
after a legal dispute. Al Jardine and Brian Wilson also continue to tour with
their own respective backing bands, as of 2008. All three groups continue to
play Beach Boys hits.