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The Beach Boys are some of the prime architects of the surf-rock craze. The Beach Boys first formed as a group in 1961, but it wasn't until 1966, that the group emerged as America's pre-eminent pop group. They were widely considered the only musical act able to challenge the incredible international success of the Beatles.
The Beach Boys screamed onto the scene in 1961 with "Surfin." At that time, the band was comprised of the three Wilson brothers (Brian, Dennis, and Carl), cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine and their vocal harmonies were almost otherworldly.
Front man Brian Wilson's studio wizardry was at its peak in the mid-'60s and the Beach Boys also proved to be one of the best-produced groups of the era. A prime example of this is the 1966 Pet Sounds album and the number one single "Good Vibrations."
Sadly, Brain Wilson lost himself in drugs and suffered a nervous breakdown after he heard Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Without Brian, the Beach Boys soldiered on into the 1970s and '80s, with Brian appearing rarely, if ever. Sunflower stands as the Beach Boys best album from the '70s. In the 80s, the Beach Boys found actor/drummer John Stamos and returned to the top of charts with "Kokomo."
The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
The Beach Boys were chosen for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 2001, the Beach Boys received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the Beach Boys #12 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In 2006, the major surviving Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks) reunited for a celebration of the 40th anniversary Pet Sounds and the double-platinum certification of their greatest hits compilation, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys.