That's A Wrap

That's A Wrap

the beach boys wrap up
The Beach Boys in Hawthorne, CA

By Howie Edelson

If ever there was a group destined to live on through the ages – it’s California’s favorite sons, THE BEACH BOYS. Amazingly, in 2023 – over six decades after forming – a whopping 13,195,163 people streamed “America’s Band” for the very first time.

Think about that.

2023 has been an extraordinary year that underscored the true reach of this band’s music. Spotify listeners played The Beach Boys’ songs 15,611,758 times with music from their catalogue saved to 7,930,414 separate playlists. The Beach Boys’ top song of the year was the 1966 Pet Sounds opener, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” with 18,428,382 listeners playing it an astounding 65,650,270 times. Not surprisingly, on July 4th, 2023 between 12 noon and 1 p.m., a total of 104,244 people were blasting The Beach Boys – easily the most of any hour across all 12 months.

The Beach Boys’ numbers continued to grow throughout 2023 with listenership rising by 5% and streaming growing by 8%. Playlist adds saw a 13% boost and the band’s followers swelled by 12%. This is the mark of a healthy body of work reaching both veteran and new fans in a substantial way.

The Beach Boys
Photograph by Ken Veeder and George Jerman

These might just seem like random “industry” numbers being plucked out of thin air and bandied about, but the big picture – the real deal – is that every time one of those songs is played it changes not only the air surrounding it, but the minds and most importantly the HEARTS of everyone around. The Beach Boys are still keeping good on their promise. People are still falling in love with this music, making it a part of their lives, passing it down – along with the new sets of ears discovering it all on their own (and sometimes in the most unique places. . .)

Nearly 60 years after its Top Five success back in 1964, a new generation discovered The Beach Boys’ iconic smash, “Fun, Fun, Fun,” as featured in the official trailer for the 2023 summer blockbuster, Barbie. Steve Aoki created the new remix, which he played all summer long during his DJ appearances.

The group was honored with the CBS star-studded A Grammy Salute To The Beach Boys and announced Genesis Publications’ The Beach Boys By The Beach Boys biography – featuring the band telling their own story for the first time in their very own words.

A major moment in 2023 was when The Beach Boys’ groundbreaking 1966 Pet Sounds collection was reissued in Dolby Atmos to great fanfare under the supervision of Giles Martin – along with special colored vinyl reissues of the legendary set and rock’s ultimate yuletide favorite, The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album. Proof positive that The Beach Boys remain among our favorite sounds all summer – and WINTER – long!!!

Jeff Foskett, Photo Courtesy of Brother Records, Inc
Jeff Foskett, Photo Courtesy of Brother Records, Inc

Sadly, the year ends with a heavy heart as The Beach Boys and their community weathers the loss of one of their own, the truly great Jeffrey Foskett. A long-time and beloved member of both The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson solo band, his decades of service not only bridged the gap between the fans and the group but marked him as family to us all. In many ways he represented “us” on stage every night as he sang his favorite music to the joy of everyone in the room – especially himself.

Not too long ago, Jeff – perhaps the ultimate Beach Boys fan, cheerleader, and team-player – told me about one of his favorite moments onstage with band, remembering their famed set at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985 at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium: “We walked off that stage and somebody had a cell phone — which was fairly new in ’85; I mean, they didn’t really start happening till later in the ’80s. And somebody called from Wembley backstage and said, ‘The Beach Boys just DESTROYED Great Britain!’ (Laughs) How cool is that?!

His devotion to this music is sorely missed already.

Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year.
Here’s to a fantastic 2024 with some mind-blowing projects and career celebrations!!!

P.S. – Don’t forget to Add Some Music To Your YEAR!!!

the beach boys wrap up