Beach Boys Co-Founder Brian Wilson Once Revealed His Songwriting Process

The Beach Boys released songs “I Get Around,” “Help Me, Rhonda” and “God Only Knows” — all of which were written, in part, by Brian Wilson. Here’s what we know about this Beach Boys founding member and his songwriting process.

Brian Wilson is a songwriter and founding member of the Beach Boys

Musician Brian Wilson, founding member of the Beach Boys, performs on stage at the Kia Forum | Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Along with brothers Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, Brian Wilson appeared as a founding member of the Beach Boys. He lent his voice to songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo”.

Wilson is also credited as one of the band’s primary songwriters, with Beach Boy Fandom crediting this artist with writing dozens of Top 40 songs. This includes “Surf City”, “I Get Around” and “Help Me , Rhonda”.

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Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson Reveals His Songwriting Process – “I’ll Play Chords and Play…Forever”

With several years of experience as a songwriter, Wilson shared that his process involves playing “forever.” During an interview with Rolling Stone, Wilson said, “I’ll play chords and play, play, play and play forever, and all of a sudden the melody comes.”

“One of the things about The Beach Boys’ music – and probably because Brian is a Gemini – is that everything is different from the last one,” Love noted in the same interview. “It’s not just a copy of an old single. That was the beauty of the Beach Boys’ catalog – the diversity: different lead singers, different tempos, different keys, different arrangements and chord progressions. »

“No one was more masterful at chord progressions than Brian – and harmonies,” he added. “We were students of the Four Freshman. They are quite complex, but we mixed them with rock & roll.

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Brian Wilson named his favorite songs he wrote with the Beach Boys

Even years after the Beach Boys split, Wilson reflected on his time as an artist with the chart-topping surf-rock band. Additionally, he detailed his songwriting process during a music video for Long promised road.

“[You] start with a background track, then you do the background vocals, then you do the tracks,” Wilson said. The documentary discussed Wilson’s experience before and after his stint with the Beach Boys, as well as his production experience.

According to Esquire, Wilson even listed some of his favorite Beach Boys songs. This includes tracks he wrote, like “In My Room”, “Surf’s Up” and “God Only Knows”. He mentioned that “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” was a “social statement”, listing it among his favorite songs he wrote.

“I felt like I didn’t belong, that my ideas were ahead of the times,” Wilson said. “But it’s nice to know how much people love and respect what I did back then and I’m in a better place now than I was when I was younger.”

Beach Boys music is available on most major streaming platforms.

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