If Brian Wilson was the mind and creative spirit of the Beach Boys, and his brother Dennis its carefree spirit, then their younger sibling Carl Wilson was the heart and conscience of the legendary pop-rock band for over four decades. Recruited at 14 to play lead guitar in the band, Wilson grew into a talented musician and songwriter in his own right, as well as the group's chief vocalist after Brian stopped touring with them in 1966, most notably on such classics as "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations." Wilson eventually took over as the leader of the Beach Boys following the aborted Smile album, which divided the band into camps over its esoteric content and sent Brian Wilson into a drug-fueled tailspin. Carl eventually became the group's foundation, writing, singing and producing some of its best songs of the late 1960s and 1970s, including "I Can Hear Music," "Wild Honey" and "Darlin'." However, he was unable to halt their creative decline, leading to a brief departure from the group to strike out as a solo artist. Wilson returned to the band in the early 1980s, and maintained their artistic legacy by keeping their best achievements a vital part of a stage show that was dominated by nostalgia. His death in 1998 deprived the music industry of one of its most underrated and generous figures, as well as one of rock's purest and most moving vocal talents.