Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1966

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

At a time when pop music tracks were knocked off in less than an hour, Brian Wilson, the mastermind behind the Beach Boys‘ intricate harmonies and rule-bending arrangements, was spending a lifetime crafting his next single release. With Pet Sounds already in the can, Brian devoted his time to Good Vibrations with lyrics that harkened back to his mother’s comments about vibrations that were felt, yet not seen. Over a period of six months in four different studios Brian worked on the complex backing track for Good Vibrations. Prominent in the mix was the eerie 1950’s science fiction sound of a theremin, an electronic instrument “played” by changing the position of one’s hands relative to two metal rods. Near the end of the recording process, Brian’s cousin Mike Love finished the lyrics, then brother Carl Wilson laid down the lead vocal. On December 10th, 1966, Good Vibrations became the California boys third #1 single, and Brian’s crowning achievement on 45.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Brian Wilson

Lyrics Written by:

  • Brian Wilson
  • Mike Love