Vocal Surf Rock
The song was written by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love. Evidently, the story is that Brian’s mother had explained to him when he was a child that dogs sometimes bark at people because they are responding to bad vibrations. Brian meditated on that. The result was “Good Vibrations,” which features vocal harmony from the Beach Boys, amazing production, and many instruments. Wilson is credited with using the recording studio as an instrument, and was one very expensive single to make. The sounds are layered and feature unusual instruments, including a jaw harp and an Electro-Theremin — not to mention the cello or the string bass that plays a bowed tremolo over the song’s chorus. On the track were Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson. Of course, there were the fabulous session musicians of The Wrecking Crew. In 1966, “Good Vibrations” went to #1 in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. It went to #2 in Canada, The Netherlands, and Norway, as well as to #3 in Sweden. It sold more than one million copies and earned an RIAA gold record.
The song is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. It’s also on the Mojo Top 100 Records of All Time list, Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.