5 Facts About ‘Heroes And Villains’ By The Beach Boys

5 Facts About ‘Heroes And Villains’ By The Beach Boys | Society Of Rock Videos

Featured on The Beach Boys’ 12th studio album, Smiley Smile, Heroes and Villains was a joint effort between Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks. Although it peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, it didn’t perform as well as they expected.

Here are five interesting facts about it:

1. It was originally intended for Smile, but Brian Wilson shelved the project.

After Smile was abandoned, Wilson wanted to release this as a single.

2. It’s the first collaboration between Wilson and Parks.

Wilson came up with the melody, and after hearing it, Parks immediately got the idea for the opening line. Parks called the song “historically reflective”, and he shared that the lyrics touched on the early history of California.

“To me, “Heroes And Villains” sounds like a ballad out of the Southwest,” Parks said. “That’s what it was intended to be—as good as any of those—and, really, to be a ballad.”

3. The band had at least 20 recordings of this track over a period of several months.

Wilson was obsessed in making it perfect, especially since he wanted this to surpass the popularity and musical achievements of their classic hit “Good Vibrations.”

4. It was an expensive record to make.

Wilson experimented with different versions, and he ended up discarding almost every single one of them. They spent around $40,000, which is equivalent to over $310,000 today.

5. When Brian Wilson suffered nervous breakdowns, he called the voices in his head as “heroes and villains”.

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