The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Emerging at the vanguard of the "California Sound", the band's early music gained international popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars and romance. Initially managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, Brian's creative ambitions and sophisticated songwriting abilities dominated the group's musical direction. Rooted in doo-wop, rhythm and blues, and 1950s rock and roll, Brian lead the band in experimenting with several genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic and baroque while devising novel approaches to studio arranging, record production, and vocal jazz harmony.
From 1966, the primarily Brian-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that represented a departure from the simple surf rock of the Beach Boys' early years. Soon after, Brian gradually ceded control to the rest of the band, reducing his input due to mental health and substance abuse issues. Though the more democratic incarnation of the Beach Boys recorded a string of albums in various musical styles that garnered international critical success, the group struggled to reclaim their commercial momentum in America. Since the 1980s, much-publicized legal wrangling over royalties, songwriting credits and use of the band's name transpired. Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983 and Carl died of lung cancer in 1998. After Carl's death, many live configurations of the band fronted by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continued to tour into the 2000s while other members pursued solo projects. For the band's 50th anniversary, the surviving co-founders briefly reunited for a new studio album and world tour.