Listen to some of the best Beach Boys songs, along with the best of The Beatles, and you will understand how they paved the way for pop music to reign supreme in the 1960s.
However, unlike other pop artists of their time, the Boys were bold enough to take sonic experimentation to new heights, all the while making it catchier and still commercially accessible.
That being said, let’s have a look at seven of the best Beach Boys songs of all time!
Best Beach Boys Songs You Must Listen To Right NOW!
If you wish to listen to the Beach Boys greatest hits, then check out these seven best Beach Boys songs of all time!
7. California Girls (Summer Days and Summer Nights, 1965)
“I wish they all could be California girls!”
Who knew that an LSD trip could result in something so awesome?
California Girls is one of the best Beach Boys songs that was a huge hit amongst southern Americans because of its country accent.
While the song is literally about California Girls and all their cowboy-ish sexiness, it presents an unparalleled pop sophistication unheard of during the 1960s.
Here’s what singer Brian Wilson had to say:
“I sat down and started playing it, bum-buh deeda, bum-buh deeds. I did that for about an hour. I got these chords going. Then I got this melody. It came pretty fast after that. Everybody loves girls, right? That’s what I wanted from the song. And to mention all the parts of the country, that’s fun. People will like that.”
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6. Kokomo (Still Cruisin, 1989)
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take you to Bermuda. Bahama, come on, pretty mama. Key Largo, Montego, baby, why don’t we go?
Who knew that one of the worst Beach Boys albums could have a song starting with one of the most infectiously catchy lines of all time that just brightens up your day instantly?
Kokomo is one of the best Beach Boys songs because it’s a super chill song. Whenever I listen to it, I imagine myself sitting on an empty beach and just enjoying the view of the red sunset, sipping from a coconut with a straw hat on my head.
5. Don’t Worry Baby (Shut Down Volume 2, 1964)
“Don’t worry, baby. Everything will turn out alright.”
“Don’t Worry Baby” is by far one of the greatest Beach Boys songs because of its soothing melodies and harmonies.
This song established Brian Wilson as one of the most capable songwriters of his generation. With his tender vocals, he captures the essence of falling in love for the first time.
As I hear this song, I can feel my lover wrapping her arms around me, hugging me warmly and tightly, and assuring me, “everything will turn out all right,” by whispering these words in my ears.
4. Surf’s Up (The Smile Sessions, 2011)
“Surf’s up aboard a tidal wave. Come about hard and join.”
One of the top Beach Boys songs of all time, this song is simply beyond words. From its piano-heavy composition to Brian’s unique and tender sense of melodies, this song makes you feel like a new chapter of your life is starting as you leave all your pain and worries behind.
It’s a deep song that will resonate with every troubled soul out there, giving them hope that there is always something new and something new to look forward to in life, no matter how bad your day is.
Give it a listen, It will make you feel lighter.
3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice? (Pet Sounds, 1966)
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up in the morning when the day is new?”
Sometimes, all you need is your loved one beside you to make your worries go away.
Pet Songs (1966) is my personal favorite (and probably everyone’s favorite) Beach Boys album of all time, more so because this song is the album opener. This undoubtedly sets the mood for what’s about to come.
However, no matter how innocent and soothing this song might seem, its composition is pretty intricate. With lots of key changes (the first one being six seconds into the song) and tempo shifts, it’s a masterpiece in all regards, worthy of being hailed as one of the best Beach Boys songs of all time.
2. Good Vibrations (Single, 1966)
“I’m pickin’ up good vibrations, She’s giving me excitations.”
Often regarded by many as the top Beach Boys songs of all time, every Beach Boys playlist will feature this song. Good Vibrations is hands down one of the best songs Brain Wilson had spun out of his mind.
Considering the fact that it took him nearly a year to compose and record this song, I guess it was well worth the effort.
Who would have thought his innovative studio practices laced with avant-garde experimentation would sound so catchy and deceivingly simple?
With superbly well-executed instrumental sounds featuring instruments like the theremin, harpsichord, to even a cello – a pop single with so many vocal arrangements peaking at #1 never sounded this complex before.
1. God Only Knows (Pet Sounds, 1966)
“God only knows what I’d be without you.”
“God Only Knows,” along with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” proves that Pet Sounds is one of the most beautiful and intricate pop albums ever made. This song especially is so good that Paul McCartney of the Beatles considers this as one of his favorite songs of all time.
“God Only Knows” is hands down one of the best love songs ever made. Brain’s heavenly vocals, along with the brilliantly intricate performance of his band of session musicians, elevated this song to new heights.
I would dare say that this paved a revolution in the pop music scene unlike anything before. It’s such a commercially viable song with one of the most intricate compositions ever – a trend that inspired The Beatles’ magnum opus – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) – and everything else that followed.
Listening to these Beach Boys songs again definitely made me feel nostalgic. It reminded me of how my father used to play Beach Boys cassettes on his tape when I was a kid.
All of their songs will make you feel like a part of the 60s while giving you new song structures that are still considered innovative even by today’s standards.
Let me know in the comments what are your favorite Beach Boys songs of all time!