Today: May 23, 2024

The Beach Boys by The Beach Boys | Book Review

It’s a good time to be a Beach Boys fan. Not only is an all-new definitive documentary on the band’s legacy hitting Disney+ this May, but their story is also being told in their own words for the first time in a beautiful new book – the aptly titled The Beach Boys by The Beach Boys. As much an autobiography of the band as it is a loving tribute to an era, this hearty tome is an absolute must for fans.

‘There’s love in the music and people can relate to the love, regardless of whether you’re 2 years old or 92 years old. For me, music is about love. Love is the message I want to share. I hope people feel that in my music. That makes the hard work worth it.’ – Brian Wilson

Over the last 60+ years, The Beach Boys’ story has been chronicled in countless films, books, podcasts, and more – but this gorgeous hardback marks their first official book. The result is a poignant and honest reflection on all aspects of their storied history, with unprecedented access to the band and their label’s archives. Even the most diehard fans will find things in here they’ve never seen or heard before, and that is remarkable considering the sheer amount of media that has celebrated and documented the band over the years.The amount of images and ephemera is quite staggering, and the book pulls from an enormous number of sources. It has clearly been an immense labour of love to put together, and we fans will reap the benefits for many years to come.

‘We were just having fun and it developed into something else. It’s funny. We were really an accident – but a good accident. And our first record seemed to be enough for us. We sure didn’t think we’d be recording into the next century.’ – Al Jardine

Structured chronologically, the book presents an enthralling narrative of the group’s journey and enormous successes. Late members Carl and Dennis Wilson’s words are included throughout, too, bringing them back to life to share in the storytelling alongside the other members. Also included are thoughts and recollections from those inspired by The Beach Boys over the last six decades – everyone from Bob Dylan to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke stop by to share in the anecdotes. It’s a wonderful, celebratory book and you can feel the warmth of the sun from every single page.

‘I think it’s the heart that you put into what you’re doing that’s important. Each member of the Beach Boys puts their whole heart and soul’ – Dennis Wilson

Meticulously compiled and packed with stunning archival materials, this is an absolute treasure trove for fans – and also a surprisingly poignant celebration of not just the band but the bygone era in which they captured the hearts of millions worldwide. The world may never have another Beach Boys, but their legacy is immeasurable and they can still be heard in every ray of sunshine. Their story has had its share of darkness – tortured mastermind Brian Wilson in particular certainly has more than his fair share of demons, expertly chronicled in biopic Love & Mercy – but this book spends far more time basking in the warm glow of the California sun and those beautiful, timeless songs.

This is a truly essential book for music fans that reminds us why The Beach Boys have secured their place in music history. God only knows what we’d be without them.

THE BEACH BOYS BY THE BEACH BOYS is available now from Genesis Publications with an RRP of £50.00

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