"Forever" is a song written by Dennis Wilson and his close friend Gregg Jakobson. It was released in 1970 as the ninth track on the Beach Boys' Sunflower album. The song, along with the rest of the album, was produced by the Beach Boys.
Brian Wilson declared, "'Forever' has to be the most harmonically beautiful thing I've ever heard. It's a rock and roll prayer."
The lead vocal is sung by Dennis Wilson, with backing vocals sung by his brothers, Brian and Carl, his cousin Mike Love and Alan Jardine.
An a cappella version of the song was included on the Beach Boys' Hawthorne, CA anthology album.
The song was played several times live following its release.
Following Dennis Wilson's death, the song was not performed live until 1988, when Carl Wilson sang the lead. The Mike Love and Bruce Johnston-led Beach Boys have performed the song live at most shows where John Stamos appears singing lead vocals as he did on Summer In Paradise. They have also performed it several times with David Marks on lead vocal when he performed with the band during their 2008 European tour. During their 2012 50th Anniversary tour, the Beach Boys performed the song live, backing the original recording of Dennis Wilson's lead vocal while a video tribute to Wilson was shown on a screen above the stage.
Brian Wilson has also sung the song live several times with himself on the lead vocal.
A cover version of the song by American Spring appeared on their début 1972 album, Spring, featuring Marilyn Wilson, wife of Brian Wilson, on lead vocal. It also featured a new instrumental and vocal arrangement by Brian as well as production by Brian Wilson, Stephen Desper and David Sandler as did the rest of the album. Although the album sold poorly, it has since become a sought-after collectible. The album was later re-issued by Rhino Records in 1988.
On the Beach Boys' 1992 album Summer in Paradise, "Forever" featured John Stamos on lead vocal. Stamos had previously sung the song on two occasions; both were on the television series Full House, in which he played the lead character Jesse Katsopolis. The first was a recording sung at his character's wedding, while the second was a recording sung for his character's twin sons. The 1992 music video, titled "Forever by Jesse and the Rippers", featured Stamos predominantly. Three of The Beach Boys members are however briefly shown singing harmonies with Stamos: Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, and Mike Love. Brian Wilson and Al Jardine did not participate in the video because of their limited relationship with the Beach Boys at the time. "Forever" was performed as part of the "reunion" of Jesse and the Rippers on the July 19, 2013 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The 2005 Starbucks compilation album, Sweetheart 2005: Love Songs, features a cover by Dean Wareham.
In 2006, the song was also covered by American singer and television host Carnie Wilson, Dennis Wilson's niece. It is on an album of lullabies entitled A Mother's Gift: Lullabies from the Heart, created shortly after the birth of her daughter Lola.