The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961, who gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of cars, surfing, and romance. 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 was initially composed of singer-musician-composer Brian Wilson, his brothers, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. This core quintet was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band", and Allmusic has stated that "the band's unerring ability... made them America's first, best rock band." The group has had thirty-six United States Top 40 hits (the most of any United States rock band) and fifty-six Hot 100 hits, including four number-one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach Boys as number 12 in 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 left to pursue a solo career. Currently, the surviving members of The Beach Boys continue to tour in three separate bands: "The Beach Boys Band" with Love, Bruce Johnston, and a rotation of backing musicians; Al Jardine's "Endless Summer Band" with Jardine, his sons, and several former Beach Boys backup musicians; and Brian Wilson with a 10-piece band including members of The Wondermints and Jeff Foskett, who toured with the Beach Boys in the 1980s and 1990s as a backing guitarist/singer
The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with Mike Love delivering a speech that assailed Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Diana Ross. The band was chosen for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2001, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Brian Wilson was inducted into the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November 2006. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the Beach Boys #12 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, .
In 2007, the Beach Boys were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
The group is frequently referred to when the topic of summertime songs comes up. About.com listed Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys, a 2003 compilation CD, as the greatest summertime hits CD.
Richard Daniel Roman's Latin pop summer classic "Vive El Verano" is dedicated to the Beach Boys.
Toni Tennille, of the duo Captain & Tennille, remains the only known "Beach Girl", having once sung with the Beach Boys while on tour.
The Wilsons' Hawthorne, California house, where the Wilson brothers grew up and the group began, was demolished in 1986 to make way for Interstate 105, the Century Freeway. A Beach Boys Historic Landmark (California Landmark #1041 at 3701 West 119th Street), dedicated on May 20, 2005, marks the location. The Beach Boys continue to tour, with a backing band accompanying original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. Other "honorary Beach Boys", such as John Stamos and former member David Marks also make guest appearances on their tours.
As of 2010[update], the remaining Beach Boys (Love and Johnston, minus Brian and Jardine) continue to tour.
A live version of Good Vibrations is be playable in the video game Rock Band 3.
The Beach Boys logo was created by artist Jim Evans, and was originally used on the "15 Big Ones" record sleeve.