The most important and most turbulent of all American groups. Led initially by the prolific Brian Wilson, they defined post-James Dean American youth with their songs of innocence, romance, sun, surf, cars and hamburgers. A string of classic songs were already made by the time their leader Brian took a creative sabbatical in 1967, that lasted many years. Brother Carl took over as the 'grown up', and together with the songwriting talent of brother Dennis they continued in various shapes and forms until Carl and Dennis both died. Family feuds, litigation, sex, drugs and the Manson murders have clouded the music over the years, but their immense and mostly excellent catalogue of songs, should form part of every record collection on earth.