|First posted 10/22/2011; updated 4/16/2019.|
The Beach Boys
Writer(s): Mike Love/Brian Wilson (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 10/22/1966
Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 12 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: 3.0
Video Airplay *: 38.9
Streaming *: --
* in millions
At the time of its release, “Good Vibrations” was the most expensive single ever released BR1-215 with one claim putting the total recording cost as high as a million dollars. JA-66 The song was pieced together from hundreds of recording sessions NPR and more than seventy hours of tape CR-779 generated in four studios over seventh months time. RS500
The song is the “crowning achievement” RS500 for Brian Wilson, who has been called “rock and roll’s finest composer ever.” WI While still a Beach Boy in name, Wilson stayed home while the rest of the group toured. This freed him to go wild in the studio, most notably in using a theremin, which is a keyboard instrument best known for its use in soundtracks to horror films. HL-24 While the end result employed the vocal talents of the other Beach Boys, none of them actually played on the song. KL-127
As for the term “good vibrations,” Wilson told Rolling Stone that his mother had explained how dogs barked at some people, but not at others, “‘that a dog would pick up vibrations from some people that you can’t see, but you can feel. And the same thing happened with people.’” BR1-215
Wilson was convinced of the song’s good vibe, saying it would be better than the Righteous Brothers‘ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” RS500 Beach Boy Bruce Johnston was a little more nervous, saying, “’we’re either going to have the biggest hit in the world – or the Beach Boys’ career is over.’” HL-24 It turned out the public appreciated the song‘s vibe as well; it met with instant success, selling 400,000 in four days SJ-193 and becoming the group’s first million-seller TB-83 and third #1.
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