Remembering The Beach Boys’ Glorious ‘Good Vibrations’ Live on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1968

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Submitted by karajayne on Thu, 06/23/2022 - 05:50

Remembering The Beach Boys’ Glorious ‘Good Vibrations’ Live on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1968

Posted 23 Jun 2022
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The Beach Boys and Ed Sullivan. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

The Beach Boys revolutionized the recording of pop music when they released Good Vibrations in 1966. The song turned the studio into an instrument and, while other artists and producers of note, like the Beatles and Phil Spector, had experimented with complex studio productions with varied multi-instrumentation, none had taken it to the lavish heights of the symphonic Good Vibrations.

Brian Wilson both wrote and produced the trailblazing track, subverting the standard pop formula with complex soundscapes and episodic structure to craft one of the era’s most important works. It was also one the most expensive to create. Recording sessions at four different Hollywood recording studio over the course of eight months, employing a host of session musicians - notably members of LA’s famous Wrecking Crew session band - to record layer upon layer of interchangeable music fragments and experimenting with novel instruments, like a jaw harp and electro-theremin, made it the most expensive song recorded to date when it was released in 1966. 

And perhaps even more impressive was how flawlessly The Beach Boys could recreate the lush arrangement live. Check out their glorious live performance on Good Vibrations live on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1968 for a masterclass in melodic harmonies! 

The Beach Boys | ‘Good Vibrations’ [The Ed Sullivan Show, 1968]

Good Vibrations may have taken more time and money than any single to have come before it, but the song’s success would prove the effort more than worthwhile.  Good Vibrations received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Group performance in 1966 and, in 1994, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was a driving force in psychedelic and progressive rock that would define the decade coming and is, arguably, still one of the most pop’s most ornate masterpieces of all time.

READ MORE: WATCH ELTON JOHN, BARRY GIBB, CAROLE KING, BOB DYLAN AND MORE WISH BEACH BOY'S BRIAN WILSON A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

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