Beach Boys ~ Fun, Fun, Fun (1964)

These guys were all-around talents – solid instrumental licks, complex vocals, serious multi-tracking. In their sound, we all embraced the California myth.

These guys were solid on their instruments, and their vocals were amazingly complex — almost like barbershop quartet harmonies. The movie Love and Mercy portrays the relentless recording studio perfectionism of the group’s tormented “leader”, Brian Wilson. Their hit Good Vibrations may still be the most expensive (and, I would argue, most complex) pop tune ever released. Check out this link for the further backstory: 90 hours of tape over 17 dates costing (adjusted for inflation) +/- $475K in today’s dollars.

This archival footage from a supposedly “lost” concert in 1964 shows the group as tight, enthusiastic performers who can successfully replicate their carefully-crafted recording studio sound in front of a live, screaming crowd. Their clean-cut looks are as fresh and seductive as the California mythology they helped create. And get a load of the Mad Menstyle hair-dos and outfits among the audience members.