The Beach Boys on YouTube


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There are many many many videos on YouTube of The Beach Boys songs.  Some of them are just picture montages with audio background, some are videos of a spinning record, some are subtle and not-so-subtle advertisements, some are recent remakes, or mislabeled songs.  Some of them-- yes-- are what I call "fake live".  That is, while they appear to be live, they are either overdubbed by a modern editor, or they were overdubbed (lip-synched) at the actual performance!  Shocking! Scandalous!  Yet true.  With an ear for detail you can tell real live from dubbed.

I go through the whole lot of smush, and pick the best, actual, live performance The Beach Boys videos for you!  There are several The Beach Boys songs which I cannot yet find in a good live version on YouTube.  See more details on The Beach Boys at my article.

Also if you have just posted up a better live version of any song I list below, tell me!
If you suspect any of the below are lip-synched tell me that too!

"I Get Around" live (1964)
Lead vocals by Mike Love, and Brian Wilson.  Notice Dennis Wilson is still back on the drums.  You know Mike Love was only in his early 20s.  He looks much older because he's losing his hair quickly.  But Mike, the whole comb-forward just doesn't work.

Below is another good version, with Dennis rocking out on the drums (and the cameras dwelling on him a bit).  The camera man (or woman) was into Dennis !
"I Get Around" live (1964)
I'm including the below live version of "Fun Fun Fun" not because it's great, but actually because it's... kinda odd.  You tell me.  First it seems like they're playing in front of a bunch of deaf people or something.  There is absolutely no energy at all in the crowd.  Right?  Second, does Mike seem off key or something?  It's a bit startling.
"Fun Fun Fun" live (1964)
There is another YouTube version using this same below video, but with the studio sounds overdubbed.  What a crock!  This is the real live version that matches this video.
"Fun Fun Fun" live (the real live version) 1964

A couple songs you may have never heard of, are woven together in this medley, which also includes a version of "Help Me, Rhonda" with extreme closeups on Al while he's singing.  You can certainly tell why he thought about becoming a dentist.  But what the heck is Dennis doing back there on the drums during this song.  Looks a little weird... can that be right?  In fact his "drumming" on this entire medley looks kinda weird.
Medley, live (1965)
"Dance, Dance, Dance" live (1964)
Frankly I'm a little suspicious of this next one, as it sounds a little too perfect.  But you tell me.  Live or Memorex?
"Do Ya Wanna Dance" live ? (1965)

"Please Let Me Wonder" (1965)
Lead vocal on this next tune is by Carl Wilson.  Notice Dennis back on the drums again. Can someone tell Al Jardin that comb-forwards look stupid?  And what the heck is up with Mike Love? He looks like some guy who lives in a cave in Kentucky.  The other guy with them here is Bruce Johnston who replaced Glen Campbell who replaced Brian.
"I Can Hear Music" live (1969)
Another rendition of "I Get Around" but really I wanted to include this one for the second song "When I Grow Up to Be A Man".  I can't find it alone on YouTube.  Notice that you can actually hear Dennis' drumming pretty well.  Also the camera man (or woman) seems to be in love with Mike Love... doncha think?
"I Get Around" and "When I Grow Up to Be a Man" live (1964)
"California Girls" live (1965)
"Sloop John B", live in 1980
The next video is a pretty good version of Good Vibrations, except without a lot of energy, and Burt Sugarman should be dug up and beat for focusing on those stupid front-ground dancers, who also need to be executed for high treason.  You can tell this version is live because it doesn't match exactly the studio version.
"Good Vibrations", The Beach Boys, live on Midnight Special 1979
"Be True to Your School" was one of their very earliest songs, but this pumped-up live version is from the late 1970s probably around 1977 to 1979

"Be True to Your School" The Beach Boys live

A nice version of "God Only Knows" from 1980.  Carl's voice is so much smoother and clearer than Brian's.  Amazing it took them until relatively late in their careers to figure out that they should put Carl out front.
"God Only Knows", The Beach Boys live (1980)
"Breakaway", The Beach Boys live (1969)
Notwithstanding that the song "Lucille" makes me want to puncture my own ear drums, I am forced to link this next two-song set because not one of you slackers has loaded the last song separately.  When you do, please let me know, so I can no longer commit the stomach-turning crime of forcing you to listen to Lucille.  If you are savvy enough you can turn off the volume, forward to time 3:25 where The Beach Boys are joined by The Oakridge Boys to sing their cover of "Come Go With Me".  Please do not reload Lucille, children are dying in Africa.  Looks like Al Jardine sings lead here.
"Lucille" and "Come Go With Me", The Beach Boys live (1985)