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About "Good Vibrations"

"Good Vibrations" is a song by the American rock band the Beach Boys that was composed by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love. It was released as a single on October 10, 1966 and was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping record charts in several countries including the United States and the United Kingdom. Characterized by its complex soundscapes, episodic structure and subversions of pop music formula, it was the most expensive single ever recorded. "Good Vibrations" later became widely acclaimed as one of the finest and most important works of the rock era.Also produced by Wilson, the title derived from his fascination with cosmic vibrations, as his mother would tell him as a child that dogs sometimes bark at people in response to their "bad vibrations". He used the concept to suggest extrasensory perception, while Love's lyrics were inspired by the nascent Flower Power movement. The song was written as it was recorded and in a similar fashion to other compositions from Wilson's Smile period. It was issued as a standalone single, backed with "Let's Go Away for Awhile", and was to be included on the never-finished album Smile. Instead, the track appeared on the September 1967 release Smiley Smile.

The making of "Good Vibrations" was unprecedented for any kind of recording. Building on his approach for Pet Sounds, Wilson recorded a surplus of short, interchangeable musical fragments with his bandmates and a host of session musicians at four different Hollywood studios from February to September 1966, a process reflected in the song's several dramatic shifts in key, texture, instrumentation and mood. Over 90 hours of tape was consumed in the sessions, with the total cost of production estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Band publicist Derek Taylor dubbed the unusual work a "pocket symphony". It helped develop the use of the studio as an instrument and heralded a wave of pop experimentation and the onset of psychedelic and progressive rock. The track featured a novel mix of instruments, including jaw harp and Electro-Theremin, and although the latter is not a true theremin, the song's success led to a renewed interest and sales of theremins and synthesizers.

"Good Vibrations" received a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Group performance in 1966 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994. The song was voted number one in Mojo's "Top 100 Records of All Time" and number six on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time", and it was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". In later years, the song has been cited as a forerunner to the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" (1967) and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975). A 1976 cover version by Todd Rundgren peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Beach Boys followed up "Good Vibrations" with another single pieced from sections, "Heroes and Villains" (1967), but it was less successful.

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