The Beatles and The Beach Boys by Nebil Ibrahim

Some people conceive creativity to be something that is achieved by being solo or in a group and that competitiveness detests gaining inspiration from rivals. Many people have a mentality that in order to be successful they have to have inspiration that does not come from someone else. There have been many examples to the contrary of that in different fields from literature to science. In the music industry an example would be The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Rather than despising each others' songs and success, The Beach Boys and The Beatles openly used each other for inspiration and creativity.

One of the biggest examples of this reciprocal relationship would be The Beach Boys’ album “Pet Sounds” which was composed soon after The Beatles’ album “Rubber Soul”. The albums both have very slow,peaceful, and innovative music and at their time, were considered to be the greatest albums of all time.  “The album “Pet Sounds (1966) was the Beach Boys‟ response to the Beatles, ‟Rubber Soul”. With the help of the Wrecking Crew and the rest of the Beach Boys members, Brian Wilson produced this album to top the seamless fluidity of songs he heard on Rubber Soul.” (Hui) This shows how The Beach Boys directly took inspiration from The Beatles and incorporated it into their own work. If it weren’t for The Beatles the Beach Boys would not be as successful because they wouldn't have “Rubber Soul” to inspire the production of “Pet Sounds” and bring in the creativity they needed.  When The Beach Boys listened to “Rubber Soul” and were amazed at the fact that the album was innovative in the sense that it did not only have a few hit songs with a couple of b-sides to put it all together. They used The Beatles’ example to make “Pet Sounds”. “Pet Sounds” was voted to be the second best album of all time by Rolling Stone and it topped “Rubber Soul” which was voted as the fifth.

The Beatles were looking for inspiration for their next album which they found in “Pet Sounds”. They used this inspiration to produce their next album, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. “To me the greatest influence on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was The Beach Boys’  record “Pet Sounds”, and I think Brian Wilson was a great genius.” (Paul McCartney) This shows how willing The Beatles were to take inspiration and how creativity and inspiration can come from competition. Without having used The Beach Boys’ for inspiration Sergeant Pepper's would not have been. It was voted as the number one album of all time by Rolling Stone, right over “Pet Sounds”. The Beatles’ ability to not only be able to accept the fact that “Pet Sounds” topped “Rubber Soul”, but also be able to use inspiration from it to make Sergeant Pepper was crucial to their success.

Aside from taking inspiration from albums,The Beatles and The Beach Boys also gave direct feedback towards each other. The lead vocalist of The Beach Boys, Mike Love, was on a trip to India with Paul McCartney. “I was sitting at the breakfast table and McCartney came down with his acoustic guitar and he was playing Back In The USSR, and I told him that what you ought to do is talk about the girls all around Russia, the Ukraine and Georgia.” (Love) McCartney did end up incorporating the advice of Love into the song. The Beatles were very willing to take advice from The Beach Boys on their songs. If McCartney had chosen not to take Love’s advice, then “Back in the USSR” would not nearly be the same. The healthy relationship between the two bands enabled them to be able to take advice from each other in order to become successful.

Although the use of other artists to use for creativity and inspiration may only seem important  to artists and the music industry, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the sharing of ideas in all other fields. The use of it has been seen throughout all fields. Its use has been inspired by many musicians such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.  The benefit of the relationship between them can clearly be seen in record sales as they have an estimated 700 million combined.  It’s effect can be seen through music as well as art and literature. The greatness of their relationship is a sign of how great rivals can be used as inspiration.