World of Chig   


“She’s giving me excitations”

#29 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys

[226] Writers: Brian Wilson & Mike Love. Producer: Brian Wilson
03 Nov 66 – 13 weeks on chart – 2 weeks at #1 from 17 Nov 66

This was the first of two #1s by the Beach Boys – the other was ‘Do It Again’ in 1968. ‘Good Vibrations’ took six months to complete, using four studios, 17 sessions and $50,000; a record at the time. Brian Wilson was mainly working on the track by himself, adding layer after layer of harmony before his brother Carl finally supplied the lead vocal on top. The track famously uses a Moog-theremin to make the high pitched noises. They’re rarely seen in public these days, but John Otway used one to great effect on last week’s Top Of The Pops.

While Brian Wilson worked on the song, the other Beach Boys were slowly being alienated by Brian’s perfectionism, and this was the beginning of the end of their golden period, after the classic ‘Pet Sounds’ album, as Brian’s drug use and personal problems began to get in the way. He’s still going though, and Mike saw him in concert recently.

It’s probably no coincidence that Mike had ‘Good Vibrations’ as his #4 tune;
“Too young to be aware of it when it was actually Number One, this is a record which I grew to love over time in my early to mid-teens. Its melodic swoopings and soarings, the painstaking intricacies of its arrangement, its sense of vaulting ambition and its overriding sense of "anything is possible" joyfulness all contribute to its almost universally acknowledged classic status. If you had to pick just one pop song to illustrate just how great the medium can be, this would be a perfect choice.”

Roy had it at #5 too;
“Not wanting to sound all dull and musicalogical, but possibly the most innovative and groundbreaking chart topper there is. The production concept was years ahead of its time, it's got a theremin in it, but on top of that it's just a great tune. Achingly good.”

It was also David’s #8;
“I guess Brian Wilson just wasn't made for his times. Forget Sgt. Pepper, this was really pushing available recording techniques to their limit. No wonder he went mad.”

Jump to the next song.
Jump to the previous song.

· link