10 Best Songs by The Beach Boys | TheReviewGeek Recommends

You can’t think of summer without thinking of The Beach Boys. Their songs are iconic representations of fun in the sun, surfing, and cruising around with the top down. For over 50 years, The Beach Boys have produced hits that defined the California dream and shaped pop music as we know it.

As you head to the beach, throw on your favourite Beach Boys tracks for the perfect summer soundtrack. Their harmonies and lyrics about surfing and youthful freedom never get old. Whether you prefer the early surf rock sounds of the 1960s or the psychedelic pop of the 1970s, The Beach Boys produced some of the most memorable and recognizable songs of all time.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“California Girls”

This sunny 1965 track is quintessential Beach Boys. The melody instantly transports you to the California coast with its infectious “ba ba ba ba” hook and dreamy lyrics about the girls “walking real slow, taking their time.”

Brian Wilson’s intricate vocal arrangements shine, from the Cappella opening to layer upon layer of vocal harmonies. The “whistle solo”—yes, an actual whistling solo—epitomizes the song’s breezy, carefree vibe.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Good Vibrations”

This 1966 track is quintessential Beach Boys. The instantly recognizable intro, the intricate vocal harmonies, the psychedelic lyrics – “Good Vibrations” has it all.

When Brian Wilson conceived the song, he was determined to create something new and experimental. He spent over six months crafting and re-crafting segments of music, changing keys and tempos, before finally piecing it all together. The result was a musical patchwork that captivated listeners.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice”

The Beach Boys’ 1966 song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is the perfect soundtrack for a bright summer day. This upbeat classic instantly transports you to the beach with its catchy melody and lyrics that dream of young love.

The Beach Boys were known for their vocal harmonies, and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” features them prominently. The overlapping “ba ba ba ba”s in the intro are instantly recognizable. Brian Wilson’s falsetto lead vocals blend seamlessly with the band’s backing harmonies on the chorus “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older, then we wouldn’t have to wait so long?” These vocal stylings were groundbreaking for the time and have influenced countless other artists.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“God Only Knows”

Released in 1966, “God Only Knows” is arguably The Beach Boys’ most iconic ballad. Brian Wilson and Tony Asher penned this timeless love song, with lyrics pondering life without the one you love. The melody is as beautiful as the words, with intricate vocal harmonies and instrumentals.

This classic track from the Pet Sounds album features a stirring string section, subdued percussion, and dreamy, layered vocals. At just over two minutes long, the short but sweet tune makes a lasting impression. The poetic lyrics ponder deep reflections on love and relationships, like “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.”

Best Songs by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys’ 1988 hit “Kokomo” is one of their most well-known and iconic songs. This catchy tune instantly transports you to a tropical island paradise.

Listed at number 8 on Billboard’s 1988 year-end singles chart, “Kokomo” features The Beach Boys’ signature vocal harmonies and feel-good vibe. The melody is light and breezy, with steel drums and calypso rhythms that put you in a sunny, laid-back mood.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Baby Blue”

The Beach Boys’ 1966 song “Good Vibrations” is iconic, but “Baby Blue” is a hidden gem. Released in 1979, this melancholy ballad captures the feeling of lost love and longing for the past.

With its dreamy, layered vocals, “Baby Blue” showcases Brian Wilson’s signature harmonic style. The lyrics reminisce about a lost love, referring to her as “baby blue” – a poetic symbol for sadness and heartbreak. Wilson sings, “The sun may rise, the sun may set, but I won’t forget / The way you looked, the way we met, our baby blue.”

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“The Lonely Sea”

The Beach Boys were known for their fun, lighthearted songs. But “The Lonely Sea” from their 1963 album Surfin’ U.S.A. showed a more melancholy side.

This haunting ballad paints a picture of a turbulent sea at night. The lonely sea represents feelings of isolation and longing. Lines like “The lonely sea, the lonely sea/It cries for love, it cries for me” evoke a sense of solitude and heartache.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Disney Girls”

One of their most underrated yet iconic songs is “Disney Girls (1957)” from their 1971 album Surf’s Up. The lyrics were written by Bruce Johnston, who joined The Beach Boys as a touring replacement for Brian Wilson in 1965. Johnston paints an idyllic portrait of 1950s small-town Americana and the innocence of youth.

The “Disney girls” in the title refers to Annette Funicello and the Mouseketeers that symbolized wholesomeness. With its dreamy, wistful melody and lush harmonies, “Disney Girls” evokes nostalgia for simpler times and lost youth.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Wind Chimes”

“Wind Chimes” showcases a dreamier, more psychedelic side of the band. Released in 1966, this underrated track has a hazy, mellow vibe perfect for a lazy summer day.

The lyrics are simple but evocative, focusing on the soothing, calming effect of the wind and wind chimes. Phrases like “the wind blows, the chimes sing their song” and “the chimes lull me to sleep” create an overall sense of peace and contentment. The vocal harmonies, a hallmark of The Beach Boys’ sound, are on full display and mesh together beautifully.

Best Songs by The Beach Boys
“Little Honda”

Little Honda” is a fun song that bears the hallmark of The Beach Boys. This short, sweet 1964 tune captures the freedom of youth and summer in under two minutes.

It’s hard not to smile when you hear the revving engine and honking horn sounds that open this song. The lyrics celebrate the thrill of riding around town on a little Honda 50 motorbike with a girl named Wendy, without a care in the world.

There we have it, our list of best songs by The Beach Boys. What do you think about our picks? Let us know in the comments below:


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