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The Beach Boys — Good Vibrations
Album: single
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2518









Released: 1966
Length: 3:34
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I, I love the colorful clothes she wears
And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair
I hear the sound of a gentle word
On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

Im pickin up good vibrations
Shes giving me excitations
Im pickin up good vibrations
(oom bop bop good vibrations)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)

Close my eyes
Shes somehow closer now
Softly smile, I know she must be kind
When I look in her eyes
She goes with me to a blossom world

Im pickin up good vibrations
Shes giving me excitations
Im pickin up good vibrations
(oom bop bop good vibrations)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop excitations)

(ahhhhhhh)
(ah my my what elation)
I don't know where but she sends me there
(ah my my what a sensation)
(ah my my what elations)
(ah my my what)

Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations
A happenin with her
Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations
A happenin with her
Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations
A happenin

Ahhhhhhhh
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
(Im pickin up good vibrations)
Shes giving me excitations
(oom bop bop)
(excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
(oom bop bop)
Shes na na...

Na na na na na
Na na na
Na na na na na
Na na na
Do do do do do
Do do do
Do do do do do
Do do do
Comments (442)add comment
I remember exactly when I first heard this song on the radio, when it was released in 1966  -  I stopped doing my school homework and was transfixed by what I was hearing.  This was new, this was magical. It made me realise  that popular music could be more than just pleasant background noise - it could be a portal to a different level of consciousness. It still thrills me everytime I hear it. 10, of course.
Sadly, (or perhaps happily,) I often remember parodies better than originals. This conjures up a parody ad for "Why-Tell Records presents... Popeye Meets the Beach Boys!"


(Why-Tell being a parody of K-TEL.)
 Nextf wrote:
everyone seem to enjoy this song , except me .
 
Feel free to keep that to yourself...
this song is in a class by itself
it doesn't follow any standard template
which makes it one of the coolest I've heard
 mgtom wrote:
Geeze, 1966?  I was ......  well that was a long time ago.

How does anyone listen to this song without singing along?  This is what 10's are about!  
 
Indeed, though after Chopin I was only able to give this a 9 and in  1966, I was 10 years old, this has never gotten old for me. :-)
everyone seem to enjoy this song , except me .
Will be in California in a few weeks and will drive the Pacific Coast Highway and this song will be on my playlist. Quality and timeless.
even millenium is beautiful who likes this song...  2019 cold shower still best. :D
 old_shep wrote:
I seldom join this online trivia contest, but.....

When this song came out it listening to it transported to the listener to a magic realm vaguely known to the rest of the country only as "California".  Music was a bonding experience and drew listeners into new and exciting experiences.

It appears to me that music appreciation has devolved into some sick online version of American Idol where listeners do nothing but continually critic someone else's art to puff up their own egos.  In this scheme, critics count coup by pointing out some ever insignificant piece of arcane trivia to show they must be some sort of genius. 

Only because of the dedication of the station organizers does Radio Paradise exist,  despite this army of know nothings hiding behind anonymity.   Doesn't anyone appreciate anything here?

 You are absolutely right, but take heart in the fact that the whiners are a small minority and most listeners take the music as it comes, most we like, some we just let them pass.

Who knew this was the perfect song after a Chopin Nocturne?

Chapeau, Bill!
Geeze, 1966?  I was ......  well that was a long time ago.

How does anyone listen to this song without singing along?  This is what 10's are about!  
Splendid on the hook and melody. It needed a bit more in the lyric department, but like a few other listeners noted, it's no mystery what the song is about. 
 AhhtheMusic wrote:
Let's face it, it's a teenage boy looking for sex.  Waaah!

 
Like about 80% of pop music - sex, drugs and rock & roll!

Let's face it, it's a teenage boy looking for sex.  Waaah!
Brian, what a brilliant musician! Sweet memories.
There was a time many moons ago that I was listening to Todd Rundgren's version of this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbk2UFPEIAA 
 BCarn wrote:
Upgraded to a 10. Just a masterpiece.

 
Welcome to the club, BCarn!  I've had this one as a mental 10 since my youngest days listening to music - probably somewhere around 1982 as a 5 year old. 

I've always loved the line "I don't know where, but she sends me there."   And even as the years have passed and the lyrics seem a bit juvenile it's that damn WALL OF MUSIC that seals the deal for me and in 1966 at that...

10→11!!  Long Live RP!!

Definition of a true  American classic.
Carol Kaye is beast on this bass. Song is killer. Always will be.
Upgraded to a 10. Just a masterpiece.
I've always considered the reverb on "Ahhhhhhhh" as the absolute standard to judge the quality of a sound system. If you can't hear it right, then your system is bad. And MP3 is absolutely destroying it compared to the analog original or the CD. Even the so-called lossless formats are unable to render this effect properly. ANY kind of compression just kills good vibrations.
Very nice transition from Alt-J Hunger of the Pine to Good Vibrations
 Steely_D wrote:

Actually, surprisingly, it does. Brian Wilson's version is better than this.

 
I wasn't expecting to enjoy that as much as I did!!  Thank you for the link
 old_shep wrote:

I seldom join this online trivia contest, but.....

When this song came out it listening to it transported to the listener to a magic realm vaguely known to the rest of the country only as "California".  Music was a bonding experience and drew listeners into new and exciting experiences.

It appears to me that music appreciation has devolved into some sick online version of American Idol where listeners do nothing but continually critic someone else's art to puff up their own egos.  In this scheme, critics count coup by pointing out some ever insignificant piece of arcane trivia to show they must be some sort of genius. 

Only because of the dedication of the station organizers does Radio Paradise exist,  despite this army of know nothings hiding behind anonymity.   Doesn't anyone appreciate anything here?

 
Amen, Old Shep!  You said it all...

I seldom join this online trivia contest, but.....

When this song came out it listening to it transported to the listener to a magic realm vaguely known to the rest of the country only as "California".  Music was a bonding experience and drew listeners into new and exciting experiences.

It appears to me that music appreciation has devolved into some sick online version of American Idol where listeners do nothing but continually critic someone else's art to puff up their own egos.  In this scheme, critics count coup by pointing out some ever insignificant piece of arcane trivia to show they must be some sort of genius. 

Only because of the dedication of the station organizers does Radio Paradise exist,  despite this army of know nothings hiding behind anonymity.   Doesn't anyone appreciate anything here?

Pure genius.....
This one goes to 11.
 Steely_D wrote:

Actually, surprisingly, it does. Brian Wilson's version is better than this.

 
Yes.  Pure liquid ear candy.  My favorite version since it was released.  The whole Smile album works from beginning to end.
To me this is 8 -Most Excellent
as kid when these guys were on the radio all of the time I just couldn't accept them.
I mean not when there was "real" Rock N Roll. {#Drunk} 
But now, of course "10" 
 grahamdillabough wrote:
Doesn't get much better than this!  :-)

 
Actually, surprisingly, it does. Brian Wilson's version is better than this.
 JsDad wrote:
When you argue this song's place on the all-time lists, consider this: greatest song that includes a theremin.
 
Well, technically it doesn't, according to Wiki:
The theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennasoscillator(s) for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
Contrary to popular belief, the theremin was not used on the 1966 recording of "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys, which featured Paul Tanner's "box", later called the electro-theremin. However, for concert appearances, an oscillator slide-controller was designed and built for Wilson by Robert Moog. Wilson helped to popularize the instrument when he recorded Paul Tanner playing his electro-theremin — for the first time in recorded music history—on the song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." The song appeared on The Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds, considered one of the most influential albums in popular music history.

And a more recent entry:
The Beach Boys' 1966 single "Good Vibrations" – though it does not technically contain a theremin – is the most frequently cited example of the instrument in pop music. The song actually features a type of theremin invented by Paul Tanner called an Electro-Theremin. Upon release, the single prompted an unexpected revival in theremins and increased the awareness of analog synthesizers. In response to requests by the band, Moog Music began producing their own brand of ribbon-controlled instruments which would mimic the sound of a theremin.

. . . In other words, some variation of a theremin, but not the genuine article.
When you argue this song's place on the all-time lists, consider this: greatest song that includes a theremin. 
Doesn't get much better than this!  :-)
 AhhtheMusic wrote:


The segue from Barenaked Ladies' Brian Wilson makes sense, but from my POV is from the very best to the very worst.  :(  Bummer.

 
Opinions are opinions.  And we dont have objective facts when it comes to popular music.  So - thanks for expressing yours.

BUT - OH MY GOD - THIS IS SUCH A BRILLIANT WORK OF ART BY ONE OF THE GREAT MUSICAL GENIUSES OF MODERN TIMES. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT.!!!!!!

Sorry - my apologies, got carried away there.  You are totally entitled to your opinin.

   
Brian Wilson put this out a year or so ago, he brought in singers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHTuo_MVul0 

So much complexity veiled in a simple toe-tapping melody. It really is unmistakably brilliant at anything more than a casual listen. Among the best modern compositions in the realm of popular music, ever. 
 2020sk wrote:
Just before the slow bit, does he really say "my ovulation"?

 
Ahh the miracle of google. It seems many others have misheard exactly the same thing. Apparently it's "my, what elations!" Makes more sense, but I'm only partly convinced. I don't think I've ever replied to myself before!
Just before the slow bit, does he really say "my ovulation"?
 Larrygrrl wrote:
Originally I gave this song a 1, but then I saw the film about Brian Wilson and my eyes have been opened.  I now give it a 10!  Pure musical genius.

 
I haven't seen the movie but this piece is certainly genius. Too bad his Father was an asshole.
Originally I gave this song a 1, but then I saw the film about Brian Wilson and my eyes have been opened.  I now give it a 10!  Pure musical genius.
Google you tube> Rare footage Good Vibrations.  Amazing footage of the recording with the studio musicians, Carl, Mike.  Watch Brian and giving his soul to this
 Lampje99 wrote:
Nice cross over from bnl to bb
 
Ol' brother Bill, still knows how to swing from one song to another in the sonic jungle… 
 AhhtheMusic wrote:
I'd be perfectly content if I never heard a Beach Boys song again in my life, thanks much. ;)

 

The segue from Barenaked Ladies' Brian Wilson makes sense, but from my POV is from the very best to the very worst.  :(  Bummer.
I'm surprised this isn't rated a 10.  One of the defining songs of the era is a low 8?
Dude.
 

AhhtheMusic wrote:
I'd be perfectly content if I never heard a Beach Boys song again in my life, thanks much. ;)

 


I'd be perfectly content if I never heard a Beach Boys song again in my life, thanks much. ;)
 Steely_D wrote:
Sorry, but this is a better version.

 
 
I agree.  The lyrics took some getting used to, but musically, lights years better.
Nice cross over from bnl to bb
Absolutely sublime- one of THE brilliant pop songs of all time.
{#Bananajam}
 Hoosfoos wrote:
Outstanding. If only Brian Wilson didn't lose his mind.
Agreed.
That's what a domineering father, exploitative shrink, and way too much acid will do for you.
Awesome tune, by the way.
Brian intended this song to be "pocket symphony."   What incredible talent.
This article on the recording of this song is interesting!

FTA:

"You would sit with a music stand, blank piece of paper, and you'd wait until Brian got around to giving you your notes, because he knew exactly what he wanted," harmonica player Tommy Morgan says. "He knew every note in his head."

Musician after musician would say the same thing again and again, with the same sense of wonder. He knew the bass lines he wanted. He knew the organ sound, what stops to pull on the organ. He would use the studio and get that idea from his head onto tape, and he'd do it by recording it in bits and pieces, getting different sounds from three different studios. It was a revolutionary idea for making records.

 
 Hoosfoos wrote:
Outstanding. If only Brian Wilson didn't lose his mind.

 
Totally agree...what would have happened in 68-73?
Sorry, but this is a better version.

 
Outstanding. If only Brian Wilson didn't lose his mind.

This really is an ELEVEN !

The best parts are the silence. 
 mineralBOB wrote:

Huh? Dey DID harmonies like this. Try "Because"! It was a nine-part thing in the end, they recorded it three-part three times. A stunning performance can be heard on the Anthology!

 
The song 'Because' was directly inspired by Beach Boys. In fact, that is the basis for 'Paperback Writer' as well...so I've read. 'Because' is from Abbey Road. It can also be heard on the 'American Beauty' soundtrack from the film.

A real killer version of this tune is on Todd Rundgren's album 'Faithful'. Almost better than the original.


 westslope wrote:

Perhaps the Beatles wished they could do harmonies like this.

 
Huh? Dey DID harmonies like this. Try "Because"! It was a nine-part thing in the end, they recorded it three-part three times. A stunning performance can be heard on the Anthology!
 gjr wrote:
this has to be one of the best american pop songs of the 60's

 
..or ever.


 oldsaxon wrote:
The Beatles wish they wrote this.

 
They did.  That's why they wrote Sgt. Pepper.  To be fair they outnumbered the Beach Boys in genius songwriters by 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 (if you give Mike Love credit for being a good lyricist)

 
 westslope wrote:
Perhaps the Beatles wished they could do harmonies like this.
 
Without commenting on raw vocal talent, The Beatles would have needed another member to do harmonies like this. 
A Sunkist commercial in the 80s *almost* ruined this song for me. I heard it in the commercial before I really knew the song well. The song recovered well (rated it a 9), but I always think of this example when people rail against artists selling songs for commercial purposes. It really does bastardize the song for future generations.
 oldsaxon wrote:
The Beatles wish they wrote this.

 
Perhaps the Beatles wished they could do harmonies like this.
"...giving me head citations..."

For YEARS I thought that's what they were singing. I like "excitations" so much better.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
Hearing this for the first time on a transistor radio, back of the school bus with the other "bad" kids, and being transported to another world for three minutes.

I honestly pity anyone who hasn't had that sort of experience at least once in their life. 

 
Unfortunately, there's a whole generation (or more) who won't understand a world before autotune and ProTools....listening to stories of how some of the greatest recordings were put down on tape is pretty amazing. What an art.
Hearing this for the first time on a transistor radio, back of the school bus with the other "bad" kids, and being transported to another world for three minutes.

I honestly pity anyone who hasn't had that sort of experience at least once in their life. 
 dkwalika wrote:
Just a f***ing genius. "God Only Knows"

 
I was going to say the same thing......absolutely brilliant Brian Wilson.....
Just a f***ing genius. "God Only Knows"
{#Sunny} {#Good-vibes} {#Daisy}
{#Bananapiano} "Outstanding" for me
I am starting to like this...8
The Beatles wish they wrote this.
 Saltash_Calling wrote:
How many songs can still be fresh 40 years later. Definition of Godlike.

 
{#Yes} {#Good-vibes}
 philbertr wrote:
Apropos of nothing in particular...How about some Jimmy Buffett, Bill?  Personally he is an ass-hole, but his music is fun! 

Oh, I know, apropos of me moving back to Florida and thinking about beaches...  {#Angel}

 
Tragically, there are 21 Jimmy Buffett tunes on the playlist.

!!!!  GENIAL !!!!!
 philbertr wrote:
Apropos of nothing in particular...How about some Jimmy Buffett, Bill?  Personally he is an ass-hole, but his music is fun! 

Oh, I know, apropos of me moving back to Florida and thinking about beaches...  {#Angel}

 
Seems to me I heard "Fins" on RP a few days ago.  Actually it was "Boat Drinks"  A tiny bit of Jimmy Buffet is good for the soul.
this has to be one of the best american pop songs of the 60's
Cute... "Brian Wilson" followed by Brian Wilson.
 philbertr wrote:
Apropos of nothing in particular...How about some Jimmy Buffett, Bill?  Personally he is an ass-hole, but his music is fun! 

Oh, I know, apropos of me moving back to Florida and thinking about beaches...  {#Angel}

 

All I know is that he made music that sailors love, his novels are well written and he flies sea-planes. A pretty talented ' ass-hole.'
Apropos of nothing in particular...How about some Jimmy Buffett, Bill?  Personally he is an ass-hole, but his music is fun! 

Oh, I know, apropos of me moving back to Florida and thinking about beaches...  {#Angel}
 musickat wrote:
Just curious..... anybody else out there believe that the universe is vibrationally based??   That everything IS vibration??   Just curious.

 
I'm with you on that.
Just curious..... anybody else out there believe that the universe is vibrationally based??   That everything IS vibration??   Just curious.
Saw Brian 2 years ago and his backing band actually got this sound right. Sorry, but Brian was standing there clicking his fingers and miming, although this actually didn't  matter to me, just closed my eyes and all was good.
 jgriffin56 wrote:
Brian's version on Smile is slightly different and worth a listen, as is that entire album 
 
Musically, a much better version, imo.

The lyrics take a little getting used to, but over time I prefer it.

It has been repeatedly rejected for the library.
Brian's version on Smile is slightly different and worth a listen, as is that entire album 
Sunkist ALMOST ruined this song. I still think of the commercial whenever I hear it, but it's also got a life of it's own in my head. Whew.


How many songs can still be fresh 40 years later. Definition of Godlike.
 Proclivities wrote:

{#Yes}  That's right.  It was just released as a single, the same year, I believe.  I don't think it appeared on an album until some compilation, many years later.
 



Not true. It was released on the Smiley Smile album along with Heroes and Villains.
Absolutely love this song...
since I saw Vanilla Sky I've liked this song even more than before—-it was so haunting in that movie
You know, this is a fantastic blend of sound and harmonies....pure genius by Brian {#Jump}, but why is Mike Love such an a**hole? {#Rolleyes}
And oh yeah Bill and Rebecca, not Pet Sounds.
What the Godlike category was created for!!!!!!
 ycb661 wrote:
Good Vibrations is not from the Pet Sounds Album...
 
{#Yes}  That's right.  It was just released as a single, the same year, I believe.  I don't think it appeared on an album until some compilation, many years later.
GENIUS ROCK...simply beyond anything else the year this was recorded.
phenomenal.
Good Vibrations is not from the Pet Sounds Album...
Yeah, Pet Sounds is THE album of the 20th century, all the other albums have inferior potassium.
Boys I have missed hearing this!{#Dance}

The finally released Smile.  And it is good.  
Theramin Baby!!!
Fun!
Throw away all the psych drugs and give me a big dose of this stuff!
 GeneP59 wrote:

Make mine a Lime Ricky! {#Cheers}
Lime Ricky
 
Wow ! Now that's some old school refreshment.......
Still prefer my Sunkist orange soda.
Bubbly Bubbly Bubbly
In a hundred years, I hope students in music theory class are listening to this as an example of what was right with music in the middle of the 20th century.

And I hope they are as blown away as I was one day in theory class, having Scott Joplin explained to me. And as blown away as I was the first time I heard this song. 
Vain attempt last night at the Grammy's by The Beach Boys to recreate the magic!
The Beach Boys on the Grammys last night WITH BRIAN WILSON!! reduced me to tears. Looked as if he was having a good time.
Two days before Christmas. The sky is blue, the air is crystal-clear and cold, there's not a trace of snow on the ground, and for some reason, this song STILL makes it feel like Christmas here!  I love the Beach Boys.{#Daisy}
Come on , only 8.1 ..I mean, really? 3 of us all went AH! at the first vocal...Perfection
Love this song, but hey RP, it was *not* released on the album Pet Sounds.  This is from "Smiley Smile" — the first LP I ever purchased.

:-)
The most enfluentual album in the last half of the 20th century...if not all time! The ultimate TEN! Rolling Stone has Pet Sound at number two of all time with Sgt. Pepper as number one, but Sgt. Pepper would not have happened, if it had not been for Pet Sound...

McCartney:
"It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life ... I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album ... I love the orchestra, the arrangements ... it may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century ... but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ... I've often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence ... it was the record of the time."

Beatles producer George Martin: "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."

Clapton: "I consider Pet Sounds to be one of the greatest pop LPs to ever be released. It encompasses everything that's ever knocked me out and rolled it all into one."

Elton: "For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty."

Dylan: On Brian Wilson's talents, "That ear - I mean, Jesus, he's got to will that to the Smithsonian."

One last odd fact, the album featured a session guitar player by the name of Glen Campbell!! .{#Guitarist}

I saw the Beach Boys on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ, USA in the late 60's...I'll never forget it!
{#Sunny}



 mpatnode wrote:
Hey Bill, I know you don't like the Beach Boys, but I'm glad you know we do.
 
Interesting.  Back in the day, I found much of their material and the lyrics annoying.  But the influence is undeniable.

rockin' the theremin!
Feel good music for me, who doesn't need that? Thanks Bill!
Never liked BB.