The Beach Boys are an American rock band that was formed in 1961 and initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, the band signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance.
By the mid-1960s, leader Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. In 1966, the band's Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that was different from the simple surf rock of their early years.
However, Brian would soon lose control of the band due to his mental health and substance abuse. This led to the cancellation of the anticipated follow up to Pet Sounds, Smile. Although they released a number of highly artistic albums, with different line-ups, the group never managed to reclaim its mid-1960s peak when they challenged The Beatles in terms of commercial and critical appeal.
Since the 1980s, there has been much legal-wrangling among the group members over royalties, songwriting credits, and use of the band's name. Following the release of studio album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1 in 1996, a number of versions of the band, each fronted by a surviving member of the original quintet. A full-scale reunion including Brian toured in 2012.
The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band". The group has had 36 United States Top 40 hits and 56 Hot 100 hits, including four number-one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach Boys at number 12 on their 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time," the highest ranking for an American Rock & Roll band. Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
In June 2012, their 29th studio album, That's Why God Made the Radio, was released to celebrate their 50th anniversary reunion.