The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations

“Good Vibrations” was never my favorite Beach Boys song.  Its taken me years of casual indifference before I really warmed up to it, and it was only when I found the song’s proverbial sunny side.  For years I was turned off by the songs aggressive psychedelic atmosphere.  I was always slightly afraid of the dark and foreboding atmosphere going on, but one day I caught the song somewhere, and it just hit me.  This is just a gentle song about falling in love, like practically every Beach Boys song.  Brian Wilson’s innocent teenage heart, his best songwriting weapon, is in full effect here through a myriad of electro-theremins.  “Good Vibrations” was set to be the dynamic first single of Smile, Brian Wilson’s answer to Sgt. Pepper.  Unfortunately it would take Brian 40 years or so to finish Smile, a reflection of the intense pressure Brian subjected himself to in the 60s.  Luckily Brian successfully over came his demons, came out of his shell, and received all the love he was deserved when his legacy got resurrected in the late 90s.  Anyway, I think this is a good point to cap my two week odyssey into the sounds of Southern California, and begin the slow sad goodbye to the summer of love.

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