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Beach Boys Still Surfing Sounds After Half Century (watch!)

Beach Boys Still Surfing Sounds After Half Century (watch!) 1

The original Beach Boys, circa 1962

Brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson joined with cousin Mike Love and a classmate Al Jardine a half a century ago to create the Beach Boys and popularized what was then known as the California surf sound.

The group has endured its ups and downs since then, including the death of Dennis in 1983 and Carl from brain cancer in 1998, but the band proved it’s still relevant last night (May 8) in concert at New York’s Beacon Theater.

It was the first time the Beach Boys have played together on stage with Brian Wilson since 1996.

The band will release its new studio album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, on June 5 on Capitol/EMI, their record label since 1962. Talk about staying power. The album will feature 11 new songs, including the title song.

During the band’s heyday, musical genius Brian wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including “Surfin’ USA”, “Surfer Girl,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Be True to Your School,” “In My Room,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “California Girls.”

Their songs were marked by stunning musicality and powerful, soaring harmonies. The band and the surf scene were eclipsed in the mid-1960s by the British Invasion of groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Animals and a slew of others with roots in R&B.

But not before the Beach Boys produced Pet Sounds, considered the best rock and roll album ever made. Even the Beatles credited Pet Sounds with inspiring them to produce their own masterpiece Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In last night’s concert, the surviving Beach Boys, all in their 60s and 70s, with a backing band of veteran musicians, played more than 40 songs to a sold out crowd. They included classics plus the title track off their new album. They also performed the tune on Jimmy Fallon. (See Below)

“It was a show of youthful exuberance and inspiration battling the effects of time,” wrote music critic Jon Pareles for The New York Times.

Check out a song from the show below and the Beach Boys on Fallon.

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