Photo: GAB Archive / Getty Images

While everyone seems to agree that Pet Sounds is one of the most important albums ever made, the Beach Boys are still seen as something of a novelty. For many, all that lies beyond that landmark album is “Kokomo” and some Full House cameos. Of course, part of that has to do with Brian Wilson’s troubles, his departure from the band, and its dip into Hawaiian shirt kitsch, but the band’s influence encompasses more than just that one album.

YouTuber Polyphonic certainly feels that way, and his latest video finds him using “Good Vibrations” as a means to explore the band’s impact outside of Pet Sounds. Calling it a “masterpiece of songwriting and production” that “set the pace for a golden age of music,” Polyphonic draws upon an essay by Greg Panfile to dissect the song’s structure, bass line, and vocals.

Casual fans of the Beach Boys might also be surprised by the effort that went into the song, which apparently was recorded in four separate studios across a dozen sessions. The result was 90 hours of material on tape and the use of a dozen different instruments. Pretty insane for a pop song, right?


But, as Polyphonic shows, it’s so much more than that. There’s the counter melody created by the bass line, the way it soars through all seven degrees of its e flat minor scale, and its subversion of the traditional bridge. What’s most striking, however, is that the song remains so catchy in spite of its non-traditional structure. Because, if we’re being honest, the most “impressive” music is usually also the most boring.

[via Laughing Squid]