The Beach Boys – Wild Honey: #394 of best 1,000 albums ever!

The Beach Boys - Wild Honey

So why is The Beach Boys’ Wild Honey on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

The Beach Boys circa “Surfin’ U.S.A.” are classic surf rock, and then zoom to Pet Sounds and they’ve morphed into this astonishing rock band ambitious enough to take on The Beatles near their musical peak.

But where did Wild Honey fit into this mix? It took me some time to figure that out.  

The more time I spent with it, though, the more “sense” Wild Honey started to make. And I began to see if not a through line, a dotted line between “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and Pet Sounds that includes The Beach Boys Today! (#895 of best 1,000 albums ever), released in 1965, and Wild Honey in 1967.

While the actual “linear” history of The Beach Boys gets pretty messy, with Brian Wilson’s well chronicled personal challenges (not to mention musical genius) and the at the time aborted Smile* sessions, I now see Wild Honey as an outstanding album that stands among the band’s very best work.

* Spoiler alert: Look out for some Smiles heading your way soon.

Wild Honey is a tidy album at 11 songs and just 24.5 minutes of running time, and kicks off with the incredible title track. The key is the use of the theremin, which is a wild (honey) deal that’s played by waving your hands over the instrument to create the notes and sounds you’re creating. The result is exquisitely Beach Boys-y, sun drenched and slightly psychedelic and ever so pleasing.

“I Was Made To Love Her” is a jingle jangling rollicking number that might just be the most soulful tune The Beach Boys have ever produced.

And “How She Boogalooed It” sounds nothing like a “typical” Beach Boys song in a refreshing way. It calls back to 1950s American rock and updates it nicely for a music scene that’s just about to trip over into full blown counterculture mode.

“Mama Says” closes out Wild Honey, and is a spectacular if short a cappella number that shows off the group’s world class vocal stylings.

Some stats & info about The Beach Boys – Wild Honey

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, SoCal Bands, Psychedelic Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #410
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Wild Honey released? 1967
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #394 out of 1,000

The Beach Boys’ Wild Honey on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery. But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.