The Beach Boys experimental extravaganza “Good Vibrations” peaks to No.1 in 1966

It still stands as one of Rock and Pop’s most revolutionary songs

The Beach Boys experimental extravaganza “Good Vibrations” peaks to No.1 in 1966

On November 17th 1966 The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” single reached No.1 at the UK charts. Released on October 10, 1966, the song, which was drastically different from the band’s early compositions took several takes to be completed and it was recorded in more than one studio, it contained drafts and pieces of unfinished music that were mixed all together giving birth to this Psychedelic Beach Boys masterpiece. Composed by Brian Wilson with words by Mike Love . “Good Vibrations” was envisioned for the unfinished album “Smile”, but instead appeared on the 1967 substitute LP “Smiley Smile”.The making of “Good Vibrations” was unprecedented for any kind of recording, with a total production cost estimated between $50,000 and $75,000 (equivalent to $370,000 and $550,000 in 2016). Building upon the multi-layered approach he had formulated with Pet Sounds, Wilson recorded short, interchangeable fragments of music with his bandmates and a host of session musicians at four different Hollywood studios from February to September 1966, which amounted to over 90 hours of tape. Pieces from these sessions were then cut-up into a nearly four-minute track with several disjunctive changes in its key, texture, instrumentation, and mood.The song heralded a wave of pop experimentation and the onset of psychedelic and progressive rock, and it helped develop the use of the recording studio as an instrument, revolutionizing rock music from live concert performances to studio productions which could only exist on record. Although it does not technically feature a theremin, it is frequently cited for having one, which revitalized interest and sales of theremins and synthesizers.The success of the single earned the Beach Boys a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Group performance in 1966 and it still stands as one of Rock and Pop’s most revolutionary songs.

Watch the 1966 music film for “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys

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