Gut Rumbles

November 08, 2009

Beach Boys II

Originally published August 21, 2004

I've always liked harmony singing. I've done it all my life and I always believed that a good band should have tight harmony, not just a lead singer. That's the main reason I like the very first Crosby, Stills and Nash album so much. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" is exquisite.

But I've listened to the Beach Boys sing "Good Vibrations" about a dozen times since yesterday and I don't believe I've ever heard better harmony. They were one of the first groups to learn about multi-tracking vocals in a studio and they did a damn fine job of it. Just sit and LISTEN to that song some time. They have seven different things going on at once in that song and it all blends perfectly.

They've got doo-whas and bop-bops and a strong bottom ("I'm picking up good vibrations, I'm feeling those exitations...") with falsetto high parts ("Doo-whee-OOO-OOO") planted all over it. GOT-DAM!!! That's good stuff. I'm sure that it was a lot of hard work to get it just right, but it paid off.

I'll bet they had a blast recording that song.

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