This dreamy slice of five-part harmony is the first single from The Beach Boys first album of new material for two decades. The band wrote and recorded the set ahead of their 50th anniversary tour, which started on April 24, 2012. "It's like an accolade to the radio and what it's meant to so many people," vocalist and songwriter Mike Love said in a promotional trailer.
"It's our new single from our new album... if you like harmony it's going to knock your socks off," added guitarist Al Jardine. The song made it's national radio debut on April 25, 2012 on ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning.
The song was the first new Beach Boys recording with Brian Wilson on vocals since 1989's "In My Car."
Brian Wilson wrote the song with Jim Peterik (formerly of Survivor), Joe Thomas and Larry Millas in the summer of 1998. According to Peterik, they were gathered at a Chicago restaurant called Bice when he started talking about the good old days when he would hear the hits coming out of the speaker in his 1964 Plymouth Valiant. Brian Wilson agreed, and added, "Guess that's why God made the radio."
Peterik wrote that down and started crafting a melody for the song. Millas came up with the verse ideas, and they completed the song over the next few months. When the song was revived more than a decade later, Millas, Peterik and Thomas got together again to compose another track for the album with Brian Wilson and Mike Love. That turned out to be "Isn't It Time," which was the second single.
The That's Why God Made The Radio album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, the Beach Boys' highest-ever album chart start in their home country. While The Beach Boys have achieved higher chart placings with several albums, they had never before had an album debut in Billboard's Top 10.
Surprisingly, That's Why God Made The Radio achieved a higher chart placing than Pet Sounds. Despite now being recognized as one of the most influential records in the history of popular music, the Beach Boys' 1966 LP only peaked at #10 at the time.
The Beach Boys first reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 with Surfin' USA in the week of June 15, 1963. That's Why God Made The Radio's entry meant that by expanding their span of Billboard 200 top 10s to 49 years and one week, they passed The Beatles' record for the longest stretch among groups. The Fab Four's top 10 span covers 47 years, seven months and three weeks.
The song's music video was directed by Aaron Brown and Ben Chappell of Focus Creeps, who are best known for the clips they've filmed for British band Arctic Monkeys. Speaking to NME about the visual's concept, Brown said: "It's a lot of kids of various eras that the music has influenced, like '50s greasers, '60s outlaw biker guys and '70s surfer hippies. Then they all go to this party and open the garage door and The Beach Boys are setting up."
Sabrina from Corvallis, OrI love this song! The lyrics, the melody, everything. A wonderful tribute to the days when AM radio was king, and not the cesspool it's become with all the political talk programs, screamers and vulgar shock jocks! I thank God that I came of age when listening to radio was truly a simple pleasure. I've been a fan since age 5 (1966), and f anyone should ask me why am I still listening to the Beach Boys despite being over 50, I will point to two songs "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "That's Why God Made The Radio." This song is PRECISELY why the Beach Boys for 46 years have been a major part of the 'soundtrack of my life' and will continue to be so until I die. Heck, I want the Beach Boys played at my funeral. Just kidding..maybe ...