Skip to main content


  • Mike Love revealed what he thought of Brian Wilson making songs without The Beach Boys.
  • Love felt he did not receive enough credit for working on The Beach Boys’ songs.
  • One of Wilson’s solo songs inspired the name of a hit movie.
The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, and David Marks holding a surf board
The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, and David Marks | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Brian Wilson is most known for writing songs for The Beach Boys. During the 1980s, he released his first album without The Beach Boys. Subsequently, Mike Love said Wilson made a mistake recording without the band.

What Mike Love thought about Brian Wilson making songs without The Beach Boys

1988 was a big year for The Beach Boys. The band released their comeback single “Kokomo” without the help of Wilson. In addition, Wilson put out his solo album Brian Wilson. The former was far more popular than the latter.

During a 1988 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Love was asked if he was surprised when “Love and Mercy,” the lead single from Brian Wilson, failed commercially. “To be honest, I wasn’t,” he said. “I thought it would have been a lot better [record an album] with The Beach Boys.”

Mike Love thought he didn’t always get the credit he deserved for The Beach Boys’ songs

Love discussed the appeal of the album Brian Wilson. “There may be little nuggets and moments in his album, but it doesn’t [strike me] as very commercial,” he said. “I also don’t think it was promoted very well … all that emphasis on the ‘troubled musical genius.’ I’m not sure that’s the way to sell records.”

Love discussed Wilson’s musical potential. “As long as Brian is alive, he has those innate musical abilities,” Love opined. “The question is whether he is applying himself and whether he is working with people who know how to extract that genius from him.”

Love said he was able to bring out Wilson’s genius. “I know how and I can prove it,” he said. “Look at all those hits we had together. I’m not saying I’m a musical genius, too, but I did contribute [in various ways] whether or not I was credited.”


Mike Love Joked 1 of The Beach Boys’ Songs Proved Brian Wilson Could Hear Things Only a Dog Could Hear

How Brian Wilson’s ‘Love and Mercy’ and the film named after it performed

“Love and Mercy” was not a hit. It did not reach the Billboard Hot 100. The track’s parent album Brian Wilson, hit No. 54 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 13 weeks.

“Love and Mercy” inspired the name of Love & Mercy, a film about Wilson’s life. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned over $2.1 million during its opening weekend. Love & Mercy earned over $28 million in total.

“Love and Mercy” wasn’t a hit but it leaves behind a cinematic legacy.