The Beach Boys Songs Ranked

The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group’s original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. The band drew on the music of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound, and with Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader, they often incorporated classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, and are ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Their influence spans musical genres and movements such as psychedelia, power pop, progressive rock, punk, alternative, and lo-fi. The core quintet of the three Wilsons, Love, and Jardine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Here are all of The Beach Boys’ songs ranked.

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20. Forever (Sunflower, 1970)

“This song has to be the greatest love song ever written. Mesmerizing vocals by Dennis Wilson and a very godly harmony vocals in this song. Even Brian Wilson admits that this son has the best harmony in all of the Beach Boys songs.’

19. Darlin’ (Made In California, 2013)

“I absolutely love this song, it is one of my all time best beach boys song. What this songs means to me, and this is only my opinion, is that the narrator has found the perfect girl who loves him and he loves her, he has only just found her, so is trying to find a way to ask her out/show her how much he loves her. I love this song as it is so positive and I can really relate to the narrator as I have felt this way very recently as well.”

18. Barbara Ann (Party!, 1965)

“Dean is on the song because he and Jan were involved with a record called “You really know how to hurt a guy” which Dean hated. so Jan told him to leave the studio. so he headed to studio B where the Beach Boys were drinking all night and had no idea what to do next. You can hear that on the Party version which is a minute longer and without the fade out. And in my opinion the better version. I never have understood why stations won’t play it now.”

17. All I Wanna Do (Sunflower, 1970)

“All I Wanna Do”, all lathered up in hazy synths and shimmering voices–one of many Beach Boys accompaniments well-suited to staring out a window. But then Mike comes in with a lead only he could deliver, cutting through the daze just enough to say he loves you while remaining gentle enough to prevent the fog from dissipating.”

See more: The Beach Boys Albums Ranked

16. Surfer Girl (Surfer Girl, 1963)

“A pure classic. listened to it over and over during my tween years in Santa Cruz. Got my first kiss from my “girlfriend” at the Friday night dance.”

15. You Still Believe In Me (Pet Sounds, 1966)

“Excellent vocals, especially in the outro, a psychedelic journey, this has to be one of the greats. The trouble is, pet sounds created so many epic songs.”

14. Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys Today!, 1965)

“Help Me Rhonda” may have been a simplistic song but it sure was catchy. It remains one of The Beach Boys defining performances. It was a rare Al Jardine lead vocal that propelled the up-rempo song along. Wilson filled in the background with tight harmonies that just washed over you.”

13. Heroes and Villains (Smiley Smile, 1967)

“It sounds great and it’s a perfect song, but doesn’t seem as experimental as some of the other stuff. Just a great song. It’s different from all the others. It has a little something that makes it more than a song. It’s an experience.’

12. Surfin’ Safari (Surfin’ Safari, 1962)

“Living in the mountains of Pa. surfing had no meaning to me except maybe for some instrumentals that came from the west coast which I loved. Surfin Safari is almost as cool, not quite but almost. They let loose on this short play and go for it with all they are worth. Lots of folks knock this recording but unless you were around and at least thirteen your reviews are worthless. This tune could be heard blaring out of cars driven by teenagers all that year.’

11. Don’t Worry Baby (Shut Down, 1964)

“Don’t Worry Baby” is a multi-harmonized classic. I read Brian Wilson’s autobiography and the track was inspired by how his wife would deal with his insecurities set his mind at rest, giving it an extra poignancy. Beautiful”

10. Sloop John B. (Pet Sounds, 1966)

“Lyrics crafted off an American Folk song, but if we are being fair minimal of the Beach Boys music remains pertinent in terms of lyric meaning. The tune and construction a far more important “

9. Fun, Fun, Fun (Shut Down, 1964)

“The first Beach Boys single of ’64 is also their best yet, thanks in no small part to–believe it or not–Mr. Love. He successfully taps into the teenage narration Chuck Berry made iconic (redeeming another knockoff intro), which sets up a sweeping refrain fit for church.”

8. Surf’s Up (Surf’s Up, 1971)

“What a majestic track, “Surf’s Up” is The Beach Boys’ last true classic song. It helps when the vocal is one of the best of all time, when those high notes are hit it’s truly a thing of beauty. I didn’t get this song on first listen, but when I did get it, I realized that “Surf’s Up” is one of the greatest songs of all time.”

7. Kokomo (Cocktail, 1988)

“With a pure pride and joy. I know every last word to every single song. This mean I am committed to really decide a good song. This song, and many others on this list are AMAZING! However, this one frosts the cake by far. Its light and upbeat and it really gets your imagination go wild!”

See more: The Raspberries Albums Ranked

6. Surfin’ U.S.A. (Surfin’ U.S.A., 1963)

“Surfin'” USA,” with an assist from Chuck Berry in the writing department, was The Beach Boys break-out hit. Released during early 1963, it reached number three on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles chart during its 17 week stay. It was an rocking, up-tempo rock/pop tune that remains one of their signature songs.”

5. I Get Around (Beach Boys Concert, 1964)

“”I Get Around” is assertive, even arrogant, in its depiction of a golden age of teenagerhood that was happening RIGHT NOW, with the magic Avalon of California laid out before them — they drive cars! they pick up girls! they are admired by all and sundry! All accompanied by a vocal arrangement that is the virtual lead instrument on the record.”

4. California Girls (Summer Days, 1965)

“One of the greatest songs of all time, especially since I live in California and near the beach where they truly are the best honeys in the world. So happy, upbeat, and just overall an amazing song and just so happens to be my most favorite song of all time.”

3. Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Pet Sounds, 1966)

“Those opening chimes at the beginning…that wistful bit of melancholy you feel as you listen to it…THE perfect song on a day in late August as summer is ending watching a beautiful girl walking along the beach with a bit of autumn chill creeping in!”

2. God Only Knows (Pet Sounds, 1966)

“One of the most beautiful songs of all time. Good Vibrations are nice but God Only Knows truly touches the heart. The purity of these verses leaves love and memories that matter. Perfection is accomplished in this song”

1. Good Vibrations (The Beach Boys, 1966)

“True to its reputation, “Good Vibrations” abounds with delightful details almost beyond number. Personally, I’m tickled by the verses, as ghostly organ and guitar summon cavernous foyers before ducking back into a whirling chorus swell. Same goes for the cello break near the end–heavy stuff.”