I fucking hate the Beach Boys. I mean, I REALLY hate the Beach Boys.
I grew up in San Diego, in a beach community, in the 70's, and every summer, like clockwork, all those stupid surfing songs were everywhere. You couldn't escape them. Surfin' USA, I Get Around, Little Deuce Coupe, Good Vibrations, Fun Fun Fun, Be True to Your School, Catch a Wave, California Girls, Sloop John B, Wouldn't it Be Nice...ugh. Just, no. And then they would throw in some Jan and Dean, those two-bit Beach Boy imitators who sounded just like them.
And there was just this attitude like we were all just expected to love them, like we loved the beach itself and the sun and the sand and the waves. Fuck them.
I was really shocked, and a little horrified, when I grew up and realized they were actually thought of as this super important, respected, legendary band.
Having said that, there are a few of their songs that don't make me want to vomit. I think the melody of "Surfer Girl" is really pretty...it's a shame about the lyrics, though. "In My Room" is nice. I don't mind "Sail On Sailor". "I Can Hear Music" is OK, mainly because they didn't write it. They did a song called "Good Timing" later in their career that was basically a re-write of "Surfer Girl", so I didn't mind that one. And I can now recognize the artistic achievement of "Good Vibrations", even though I still tend to lump it in with all the other stuff I grew up hating as a kid. Ditto "Heroes and Villains".
I don't ever remember hearing "Help Me Rhonda" or "Don't Worry Baby" at that time. I first heard the hit cover versions by Johnny Rivers and B.J. Thomas, and then learned later they were originally Beach Boys songs. I still prefer both of those cover versions to the originals.
It kinda drives me nuts that everybody loves the Beach Boys so much, while I loathe them with the heat of a thousand suns. I guess at some level that means everybody else is probably right and I'm probably wrong, which frustrates me even more.
In any case, I recently came across a podcast called "The Worst Song on Earth", where 3 guys spend an entire episode trashing a particular song...and it gave me immense satisfaction when they chose "Sloop John B" as one of their "honorees". It filled me black little heart with glee to FINALLY hear some other people shitting on the Beach Boys. I needed to know I wasn't alone in the universe on this.