In August, after the release of Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), the Beach Boys' leader Brian Wilson was contemplating his next studio effort, which would turn out to be Pet Sounds. Capitol Records requested a new album for the holiday season (and "Pet Sounds" was just beginning to be developed, and would not be prepared in time). Since The Beach Boys' Christmas Album had been released the previous year, as had a live performance via Beach Boys Concert, the "live party" idea was selected to reflect the togetherness of the holiday spirit. Sporadically during September, the band and their friends rehearsed current and older hits (including revisiting the Rivingtons' "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow"). Although presented as a live recording, the individual songs were recorded carefully, and laughter and background chatter was mixed in during post-production.
In November, 1965, the Beach Boys released the single "The Little Girl I Once Knew" which repeatedly used a measure of silence in the arrangement and was reportedly disliked by radio programmers due to their avoidance of having "dead air", this has been cited as being partially responsible for the single stalling at US number 20. Still wanting to play new material by the band, radio disc jockeys around the United States began starting to play the last track of Party! straight off the LP, a cover of The Regents' "Barbara Ann". After receiving good listener's response, "Barbara Ann" was promptly issued as a single by Capitol when they started hearing from radio programmers, and became a number 2 hit in early 1966.
Beach Boys' Party! reached number 6 in the US. Beach Boys' Party! and the surprise hit single "Barbara Ann" became the Beach Boys' biggest successes yet in the UK, both reaching number 3 in early 1966 and making them stars in the Beatles' homeland.
In 1997, the Canadian Indie Rock group Sloan, released an EP entitled Recorded Live at a Sloan Party! (a.k.a. The Party Album) as a bonus disc to the US release of One Chord To Another in homage to the Beach Boys' Party! LP. Like the Beach Boys' Party! album, Recorded Live At A Sloan Party! mixes acoustic versions of old classics and songs originally written and recorded by other artists, and presents a supposed gathering that was actually constructed in the studio.
Rivers Cuomo revealed that the Beach Boys' Party! album inspired Weezer's 2008 "Hootenanny Tour," in which fans would be invited to bring their own instruments to play along with the band. Cuomo also named it as his favorite all-time Summer album in a July 2008 issue of Entertainment Weekly.
In 2003, Netherlands pop-punk band The Travoltas released Party! in homage to the Beach Boys' Party! which includes acoustic covers of Beach Boys and other surf-rock tracks. Like the original Beach Boys' Party! album and subsequent tribute albums (e.g. Live at a Sloan Party!), the album includes the ambient sounds of a party, spontaneous-sounding singalongs, glasses clanking, etc.
In 2013 indie-rock band Hellogoodbye released a live album entitled Did It Kill You? (reference to their album Would It Kill You?. The album was recorded live, acoustic, referenced Beach Boys' Party! and even contained a cover of "Barbara Ann".
In 1990, Beach Boys' Party! was paired on CD with Stack-O-Tracks with bonus instrumental tracks. The bonus instrumental tracks include "Help Me, Rhonda", "California Girls", and "Our Car Club". In 2012, the first stereo mix of Beach Boys' Party! was released.