Brother Records

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Brother Records, Inc.
Founded1966; 56 years ago (1966)
BrandsThe Beach Boys
OwnerMike Love, Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, estate of Carl Wilson

Brother Records, Inc. (BRI) is an American holding company and record label established in 1966 that owns the intellectual property rights of the Beach Boys, including "The Beach Boys" trademark. It was founded by brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, and their cousin Mike Love.[1] As of 2011, the corporation was equally owned by four shareholders and directors: Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and the estate of Carl Wilson.[2]

Background and formation[edit]

The Beach Boys decided to form their own label, Brother Records, in response to Capitol Records' lack of support for the band's more ambitious album ideas. According to biographer Steven Gaines, Mike Love was "the most receptive" to the proposal, wanting the Beach Boys to have more creative control over their work, and supported Brian Wilson's decision to employ his newfound "best friend" David Anderle as head of the label, even though it was against band manager Nick Grillo's wishes.[3]

Plans for the company began in August 1966.[4] In a press release, Anderle said that Brother Records was to give "entirely new concepts to the recording industry, and to give the Beach Boys total creative and promotional control over their product".[5] Anderle later said that the label was for releasing projects that were "special" for Brian, and there was initially no concern over whether the label's products would be distributed by Capitol.[6] Another one of the major reasons that Brother Records was formed was so that Wilson could create his own recording studio.[7]

"Appeal to the Great Spirit" was appropriated as the logo for Brother Records

For the company logo, Wilson chose Cyrus E. Dallin's 1908 life size bronze statue Appeal to the Great Spirit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. When Carl Wilson was asked in 1975 why the group used this as their logo, he said the Indian was chosen because the Wilson brothers' grandfather believed that there was a spiritual Indian guide who watched over them from the "other side". Carl called the logo "The Last Horizon."[8]

Brother Records' office took residence at 9000 Sunset Boulevard and Grillo was assigned the role of financial administrator.[9] Singer Danny Hutton was to have been one of the first artists signed to the label.[10] The Beach Boys also established a short-lived film production company, called Home Movies, to create live action film and television properties starring themselves. The company completed only one production, a promotional clip for "Good Vibrations".[11]

Wilson started having increasing doubts about the Smile project and showing signs of worsening mental health during the latter months of 1966.[12] After he began suspecting that his father may have planted a listening device in his home, he insisted on holding business meetings in his swimming pool.[13] He also suspected that Capitol was withholding payments from the band and instructed Grillo to conduct an audit of the label's financial records. Discrepancies were soon found.[14] On February 28, 1967, the band launched a lawsuit against Capitol that sought neglected royalty payments in the amount of $250,000 (equivalent to $2.07 million in 2021). Within the lawsuit, there was also an attempt to terminate their record contract prior to its November 1969 expiry.[15] Following the suit, Wilson announced that the company would issue "Vega-Tables" as the lead single from Smile.[16]

Anderle met with many record companies but failed to secure a distributor for Brother Records.[17] Frustrated by Wilson's regressive behavior, Anderle ultimately disassociated from the group. The last time Wilson was visited by Anderle to discuss business matters, Wilson refused to leave his bedroom.[18] The Capitol lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, with the Beach Boys receiving the royalties owed in exchange for Brother Records to distribute through Capitol Records.[19] An official announcement of the resolution was made on July 18.[20]

Later years[edit]

Al Jardine became a shareholder in 1973.[21]

Following his death in 1983, Dennis Wilson's heirs sold his shares back to the band to repay loans.[2]

According to Mike Love in his 2016 memoir, BRI's shareholders continued to receive 17.5% of all revenue under the terms of the license.[22]

In February 2021, it was announced that Brian Wilson, Love, Jardine, and the estate of Carl Wilson had sold a majority stake in the band's intellectual property to Irving Azoff and his new company Iconic Artists Group.[23]


Artist Title Year
The Beach Boys Smiley Smile 1967
Sunflower 1970
The Flames The Flame 1970
The Beach Boys Surf's Up 1971
Carl and the Passions - "So Tough" 1972
Holland 1973
The Beach Boys in Concert 1973
15 Big Ones 1976
Love You 1977
M.I.U. Album 1978
L.A. (Light Album) 1979
Keepin' the Summer Alive 1980
The Beach Boys 1985
25 Years of Good Vibrations 1986
Summer in Paradise 1992



  1. ^ Brother Records Inc. v. Jardine (9th Cir. January 28, 2003).Text
  2. ^ a b Stebbins 2011, p. [page needed].
  3. ^ Gaines 1986, p. 164.
  4. ^ Matijas-Mecca 2017, p. 60.
  5. ^ Priore 2005, p. 108.
  6. ^ Leaf 1978, p. 98.
  7. ^ Badman 2004, p. 180.
  8. ^ Proebe, Larry (1995). "The Beach Boys' Brother Records Logo". In Priore, Domenic (ed.). Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile!. Last Gasp. p. 141. ISBN 0-86719-417-0.
  9. ^ Badman 2004, p. 148.
  10. ^ Priore 2005, p. 52.
  11. ^ Priore 2005, p. 116.
  12. ^ Badman 2004, p. 163.
  13. ^ Gaines 1986, p. 166.
  14. ^ Badman 2004, p. 165.
  15. ^ Badman 2004, pp. 170, 178, 243.
  16. ^ Badman 2004, pp. 173, 178.
  17. ^ Gaines 1986, p. 165.
  18. ^ Nolan, Tom (October 28, 1971). "The Beach Boys: A California Saga". Rolling Stone. No. 94. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012.
  19. ^ Vosse, Michael (April 14, 1969). "Our Exagmination Round His Factification For Incamination of Work in Progress: Michael Vosse Talks About Smile". Fusion. 8.
  20. ^ Badman 2004, p. 195.
  21. ^ Dillon 2012, p. 237.
  22. ^ Love 2016, p. 392.
  23. ^ Doyle, Patrick (February 18, 2021). "Inside the Ambitious Plan to Monetize the Beach Boys' Legacy". Rolling Stone.


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