Author Topic: How come the Beach Boys became so famous but Jan & Dean never really did?  (Read 12590 times)


  • Arwin
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Their voices sounded very much alike. People would confuse the two bands very often. For example, many people attribute "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" to the Beach Boys though it was actually by Jan & Dean. I just don't understand why the Beach Boys suddenly blew up but Jan & Dean never became that famous. Anyone have any ideas?


  • Ode
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I would say it was Capitol vs Liberty . Capitol really promoted their acts and as far as the BB'S and the Beattles. They really got the radio stations to keep them on the top. Also Satan had a lot to do with it . [ NO JOKE].

Ban n Bean

  • Warner Bros.
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Guitar groups were the "next big thing",  Brian Wilson went in the attitude: "We have to take on the Beatles" (and more than held their own)  and the singing was undeniably beautiful.  The girls could scream at Denny.  The Beach Boys reinvented themselves with the changing times and represented all things California (for awhile) while the Beatles represented all things England.

I'm not saying that Jan & Dean didn't and were probably more "California" than The Beach Boys during 1963-1964 but April 1966 got in the way and the music was already changing *rapidly*.  Even many of the British "beat" groups were being weeded out by that time and a whole new crew was moving in.

With a few changes and some consistent production, "Save For A Rainy Day" could have been "the one" to weather the storm but for reasons well known it was not to be.

Just my opinion.


  • Ode
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First of all, Jan & Dean did OK. 26 hits. 16 top 40. 7 top 10. A lot of bands would have loved that success. I think 2dean2 is right. Capital did a great job of marketing their acts. During the 63-64 years, Jan & Dean were neck and neck with the BB's. However, the BB's albums( which at the time were inferior to what Jan was doing) would still sell more than J&D's. That was marketing.
Of course, the Beach Boys were a great band and had a great producer(learned a lot from Jan). I don't think Jan & Dean could've kept up with them anyway.Their harmonies were really good.


  • Liberty
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Two more suggestions:

1. Jan & Dean were part-timers - they were full time students and part time pop stars - and that must have had an effect in terms of touring & marketing, especially internationally. (They have never, ever performed in Europe for example whereas the Beach Boys were already touring there in the sixties during their striped-shirt surfing period).

2. As noted above, the Beach Boys were a group and that makes it easier to present new sounds and new empahses to the public because "we've changed direction again" becomes the much easier-to-sell "Brians is staying home to explore while the boys tour" or "Now Carl is stepping up to the plate". (I am thinking here of Pet Sounds and the later switch from pop group to rock band.)