The Beach Boys — All Time Top Ten Songs

With the summer like weather we’ve been enjoying for the past week, our thoughts turned to days at the sea shore, top down cruising and riding the waves; in other words, beach, cars, surfing….

and the guys who grew up in sunny SO. CAL (Hawthorne) and brought us all the music that reflected the L.A. and O.C. lifestyle…[lastfm]THE BEACH BOYS[/lastfm] came to mind!

Brian, Carl, Dennis, Mike and Al sang about BEACH, CARS and SURFIN’ (and sometimes LOVE and GIRLS).

SO, we got in a beachy, carsy, surfy type of mood with all of the hot temps and sunny days in early November, as our thoughts drifted back to the 60’s, when the Beach Boys always seemed to have a great tune on the charts; the kind of tunes that you’d turn up on your car radio when they came on….cruising top down under the constant California sunshine.

All of a sudden, the urge struck us to find out just how the ALL-TIME Beach Boys TOP TEN stacked up……and….


1.  I Get Around — the boy’s first number one hit.  It stayed at the top of the charts for 2 weeks in mid 1964.  The “flip” side was “Don’t Worry Baby,” another great tune, but it only peaked at #24.  Mike Love got the idea for the song from an old Regents hit, “Barbara Ann,” using the “Ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbara Ann” vibe for the “Round, round, get around, I get around” part.

2.  Help Me, Rhonda — their 2nd #1 hit.  It topped the charts for a week in late spring of 1965.  This was the first Beach Boys single with guitarist Al Jardine handling lead vocals.

3.  Good Vibrations — from late 1966, this was their 3rd and final #1 hit of the decade. Recorded over a two month period, we hear differing amounts of money,  from 40K to 60K, funded the cost of producing this one.  Whatever the sum, it was an all-time record up to that point.

4.  Kokomo — spending a week at #1, it was written by Doris Day’s son, musician Terry Melcher, along with “Papa” [lastfm]John Phillips[/lastfm] ([lastfm]The Mamas and the Papas[/lastfm]), [lastfm]Scott McKenzie [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Mike Love[/lastfm].  It hit #1 this week in 1988 and was featured in the Tom Cruise movie, “Cocktail.”

5.  Barbara Ann —  this peaked at #2 in early 1966.  As we mentioned, this tune gave Mike Love the idea for “I Get Around,” so it was only natural that they’d “get around” to recording it too!  Surprise!  Dean of “[lastfm]Jan and Dean[/lastfm]” sang lead!!

6.  Surfin’ U.S.A. — based on [lastfm]Chuck Berry[/lastfm]’s hit, “Sweet Little Sixteen,” it was recorded as a tribute to him.  The tune was virtually the same, the lyrics different.  They “forgot” to get Chuck’s permission to “borrow” his tune, and, when Chuck found out, he wasn’t pleased.  The Beach Boys gave him most of the royalties and songwriting credit on the label to calm him down.

7.  California Girls — a #3 hit in the summer of 1965, [lastfm]Brian Wilson[/lastfm] and Mike Love penned the tune as a tribute to the gals of the Golden State.

8.  Sloop John B — the only “Pet Sounds” song in the Beach Boys Top Ten.  Two other great “Pet Sounds” tunes that got lots of  “Top 40” airplay, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows,” fell far short.  “Barbara Ann” ranks #5 and these songs are off the list???  Don’t blame us….go figure…

9.  Fun, Fun, Fun — with one of the longest instrumental intros of any Beach Boys song, it was also one of the catchiest.  Chuck Berry comes into play again, as the intro was heavily based on Chuck’s “Johnny B. Goode.”  The tune was written by Brian and Mike, and was based on a well-to-do “California Girl” from Palos Verdes that Dennis Wilson was dating.  This was the first Beach Boy hit after “Beatlemania” started in the ‘states and proved that, even though it was getting “uncool” to be an American act as opposed to being British, the Beach Boys had what it took to stay near the top of the charts almost as long as [lastfm]The Beatles[/lastfm].

10.  Be True To Your School — “When some loud braggart tries to put me down and says his school is great, I tell him right away, ‘Now what’s a matter buddy ain’t you heard of my school, it’s number one in the state???'” ….and #10 on the list.


One Comment

  1. rene garcia says:

    Listen to them all the time , my favorite group from my 1960 high school days, by the way worked in OC for a year of and on, couldn’t wait o get back to listen to KEarth 101, love your station and listen to you on the Web all the time
    Rene Garcia, San Antonio, Texas

  2. Laurie Ackerman says:

    Good Vibrations is the number one hit of The Beach Boys for me! I could play it over and over again!

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