The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's best known lineup consisted of Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Initially managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, the Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid-1960s, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. The primarily Wilson-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single (both released in 1966) featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that represented a departure from the simple surf rock of the Beach Boys' early years.
Starting in 1967, Wilson gradually abdicated control to the rest of the band, assuming a reduced level of 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 and commercial success, the group struggled to reclaim their commercial momentum in America despite once being seen as the primary competitors to the Beatles. Since the 1980s, there has been much legal-wrangling among the group members over royalties, songwriting credits, and use of the band's name. Dennis Wilson drowned in December 1983, and Carl died of lung cancer in February 1998. After Carl's death, a number of versions of the band, each fronted by a surviving member of the original quintet, continued to tour into the 2000s. In 2012, the surviving Beach Boys put aside their differences, recorded a new album, and embarked on a full-scale reunion tour.