Pop/Rock  •  Pop/Rock

Sunshine Pop

Naturally created in California, sunshine pop was a mid-'60s mainstream pop style typified by rich harmony vocals, lush orchestrations, and relentless good cheer. It was often mildly influenced by psychedelia, but it usually didn't aim to evoke any sort of drug-induced mind expansion; it simply drew from the warm and whimsical sides of psychedelic pop, incorporating production innovations of the time (especially those of Phil Spector and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson). Sunshine pop often resembled the more elaborate and melancholy baroque pop style, though it could also cross into folk-pop or Brill Building pop. The stars of sunshine pop included the Beach Boys (circa Pet Sounds), the Turtles, the Association, and the Mamas & the Papas; other groups to score hits in the style were the Buckinghams, the Grass Roots, and the Left Banke, while certain others -- Sagittarius, the Yellow Balloon, the Millennium -- became cult favorites years after the fact.