Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs , they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. One of the first self-contained rock groups, the Beach Boys began as a garage band led by Brian and managed by the Wilsons' father Murry. In , the group gained national prominence with a string of top-ten singles reflecting a southern California youth culture of surfing , cars, and romance, dubbed the " California sound ". They were one of the few American rock bands to sustain their commercial standing during the British Invasion. From , they abandoned beachgoing themes for more personal lyrics and ambitious orchestrations. In , the Pet Sounds album and " Good Vibrations " single raised the group's prestige as rock innovators. After scrapping the unfinished album Smile in , Brian's contributions diminished due to his mental health issues. The group's commercial momentum faltered, and despite efforts to maintain an experimental sound, they were widely dismissed by the early rock music press. Carl took over as the band's musical leader until the late s, during which they carried out a series of successful international concert tours. Personal struggles, creative disagreements, and the overshadowing success of the band's greatest hits albums precipitated their transition into an oldies act.
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The Beach Boys , American rock group whose dulcet melodies and distinctive vocal mesh defined the s youthful idyll of sun-drenched southern California. The original members were Brian Wilson b. June 20, , Inglewood, California, U. December 4, , Inglewood—d. December 21, , Los Angeles, California—d. February 6, , Los Angeles , Michael Love b.