cover of book

Why the Beach Boys Matter
by Tom Smucker
University of Texas Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-1-4773-1876-8 | Paper: 978-1-4773-1872-0
Library of Congress Classification ML421.B38S68 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.421660922


Of all the white American pop music groups that hit the charts before the Beatles, only the Beach Boys continued to thrive throughout the British Invasion to survive into the 1970s and beyond. The Beach Boys helped define both sides of the era we broadly call the sixties, split between their early surf, car, and summer pop and their later hippie, counterculture, and ambitious rock. No other group can claim the Ronettes and the Four Seasons as early 1960s rivals; the Mamas and the Papas and Crosby, Stills and Nash as later 1960s rivals; and the Beatles and the Temptations as decade-spanning counterparts.

This is the first book to take an honest look at the themes running through the Beach Boys’ art and career as a whole and to examine where they sit inside our culture and politics—and why they still grab our attention.

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