The Beach Boys have had one of the most impressive and lasting careers in pop history. By 1966, when lead songwriter and frontman Brian Wilson was only 24 years old, the band released what many people still consider the greatest album ever recorded, the legendary Pet Sounds. Following the (critical, if not necessarily commercial) success of that record, Wilson and the Beach Boys varied between grandiose concept albums (Smile), minimalist psychedelia (Smiley Smile) and even roots rock and R&B (Wild Honey)–and that’s just in 1967 alone!
But in their earliest incarnation, the Beach Boys were known primarily for gorgeously harmonized songs about a scant few subjects: surfing, girls, California in general and cars. There’s so many early Beach Boys cars songs, in fact, the band devoted nearly an entire album to them, 1963′s Little Deuce Coup. Here’s a few of that album’s auto opuses.
Little Deuce Coup: The title track from the Beach Boys’ third album in 1963(!) is an ode to having the “fastest set of wheels in town,” a slice of classic Americana hot-rodding culture.
Cherry, Cherry Coupe: Featuring “chrome-reversed wheels with whitewall slicks,” not to mention “it turns a quarter mile in 1.06,” it’s no wonder Wilson decided to write a song about this classic car.
409: The Beach Boys were such gearheads, they even penned a song about an engine! Specifically, the Chevrolet 409, or as Mike Love sings in the song, “my four speed dual-quad posi-traction 409.”