1966 was a watershed year for the Beach Boys with the release of the album – Pet Sounds – that’s often referred to as Brian Wilson’s masterpiece.
“Good Vibrations” was recorded with the Los Angeles-based musicians known as the Wrecking Crew across several sessions at four Hollywood studios between February and September 1966. The song was released on October 10 and hit #1 on December 10.
Related: Meet the Wrecking Crew
The Beach Boys and Capitol/UMe celebrated the golden milestone with the worldwide release of “Good Vibrations” 50th Anniversary edition, a 12-inch sunburst vinyl EP on October 7, 2016. (It’s available here.)
Per the announcement: “’Good Vibrations’ was a revelation upon its release, wowing musicians, critics and music fans and rocketing to the top of singles charts around the world. A crown jewel of popular music, ‘Good Vibrations’ has been called a ‘pocket symphony’, with its still-innovative production, lush, layered arrangements and range of instruments, including the world’s most celebrated use of the theremin.”
Carl Wilson, who died on February 6, 1998, from lung cancer, was the lead vocalist on the song. Mike Love is credited as co-lead vocalist. Have a listen…
The “Good Vibrations (50th Anniversary Edition) vinyl EP features the original 7” single version, an alternate studio take, an edit of the song with elements from various sessions, an instrumental, and a live version from a Honolulu rehearsal in August 1967 that was originally intended for the lost album Lei’d in Hawaii, plus the single’s B-side, “Let’s Go Away For Awhile.” A pull-out lithograph of the single’s original Japanese cover art, with its “Good Vibration” title typo intact, is included in the EP package, which features the original 1966 U.S. single cover art on its front.
Related: The song has its own website
In June, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary edition was released worldwide in several configurations, including a 4CD/Blu-ray Audio collectors edition presented in a hardbound book, featuring the remastered original album in stereo and mono, plus hi res stereo, mono, instrumental, and 5.1 surround mixes, session outtakes, alternate mixes, and previously unreleased live recordings; a 2CD and digital deluxe edition pairing the remastered album in stereo and mono with highlights from the collectors edition’s additional tracks; and remastered, 180-gram LP editions of the album in mono and stereo with faithfully replicated original artwork.
Brian Wilson talked to Best Classic Bands about 1966. For him, Pet Sounds represents part of a continuum, the latest development in his evolution as an artist. By the time the album was released he was deeply involved in perfecting his next masterpiece, “Good Vibrations,” which he’d hoped to include on the album but continued to fine-tune for months. “I decided to experiment with a new kind of music,” Wilson says today about Pet Sounds. “I was young and creative and we really did good. I’m glad that people still like the album. It makes me proud.”
The Beach Boys are on tour with dates all over the world. Click here for tickets. If your date is sold-out, click here to access our re-sale partner, Ticket Network. Brian Wilson continues his Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary tour. Click here for tickets. If sold-out, click here.
The Beach Boys hold Billboard’s record as the top-selling American band for albums and singles, and they are also the American group with the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits (36). “Good Vibrations” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame® in 1994.
The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and are recipients of The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
The Beach Boys: “Good Vibrations” (50th Anniversary Edition) [sunburst vinyl EP]
1. Good Vibrations (original 45 rpm single version)
2. Good Vibrations (various sessions)
3. Good Vibrations (alternate take)
1. Good Vibrations (instrumental)
2. Good Vibrations (live concert rehearsal: August 25, 1967)
3. Let’s Go Away For Awhile (original B-side)