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The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up (1971)

November 9, 2017

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

[Album 579/1001]

I’m learning that I’m all over the map when it comes to the Beach Boys.

When they sing about surfing? I used to cringe, but now I’m much less offended.

When the song name would indicate surfing but ends up being completely misleading? As in the closing, song suite, title track on Surf’s Up? Yes please!SurfsUpCover

Songs about Cars & Girls? Again, they’re growing on me, but I prefer hearing The Dictators sing about ’em.

Songs about current events? Maybe, like my change of heart with cars/girls/surfing tracks, I’ll eventually change my tune about a song like Student Demonstration Time.

Songs that band members once likened to animal noises? I can’t see myself ever changing my tune about the majesty of Pet Sounds!

On this particular album?

Overall, as the surfing phrase ‘Surf’s Up’ would indicate, the conditions here are generally favourable.

And occasionally brilliant.

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beach boys

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Verbalize the Positive

I enjoy a good misdirect (like the build up to the ‘act of true love’ in the movie Frozen) & the Surf’s Up title here would definitely qualify as a good one!

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From → 1970s

26 Comments
  1. My daughter mostly hates my music, but her and I love The Beach Boys.
    Mostly the early car, girl and surf songs.
    I need to expand her into the animal noise and later stuff.
    Also, my dad loves The Beach Boys, and I mostly hated his music, so now this trend has gone through 3 generations.

    On a side note, I just picked up the Smile Sessions on vinyl but have not listened to it. Maybe this will move me in that direction.

    • It’s tradition!
      I like those artists where parent/child tastes overlap, I’ll be interested to see what my girls approve/disapprove of as they get older.
      Nobody’s been complaining when Introduce Yerself’s been on recently so I think that’s a good sign 🙂

  2. Such a two gear album. ‘Take a Load Off Your Feet’ and ‘Student Demonstration Time’ are awful, but the Carl and Brian stuff is generally amazing, and I have a soft spot for ‘Disney Girls’.

    • Agreed – Carl’s Long Promised Road was another brilliant moment for sure.
      And “Disney Girls” was what made me think of including Frozen in the verbalize the positive!

  3. Always loved that cover. So un-surf, non-sun.

    • Contrasted with the ‘surfin’ album art from their early 60s surf singles, it’s a nice juxtaposition!

  4. I am not a fan—I have just a 2-CD best-of collection—but they have some good stuff. I saw the 2012 reunion concert and, a few weeks ago, Brian Wilson’s 50th-anniversary Pet Sounds concert. At the latter, a big band (but not a “big band”, if you get my drift), including Al Jardine, son of Al Jardine (in contrast to Al, a huge bloke) and Blondie Chaplin (an official member in the early 1970s). Both probably rank in my all-time top 20 of the concerts (about 1000 or so) I have seen.

    “She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now”

  5. I am not a fan—I have just a 2-CD best-of collection—but they have some good stuff. I saw the 2012 reunion concert and, a few weeks ago, Brian Wilson’s 50th-anniversary Pet Sounds concert. At the latter, a big band (but not a “big band”, if you get my drift), including Al Jardine, son of Al Jardine (in contrast to Al, a huge bloke) and Blondie Chaplin (an official member in the early 1970s). Both probably rank in my all-time top 20 of the concerts (about 1000 or so) I have seen.

    “She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now”
    .

  6. One of my favourite Beach Boys albums. Despite a clunker or two, it’s probably my 3rd favourite (Pet Sounds then Sunflower).

    • Just looked up Sunflower – I don’t recognize much of that tracklist, I’ll have to explore!

      • Sunflower is really great, I reckon. Really solid bunch of tracks and performances…

  7. One kind of forgives the couple of clunkers, because there’s enough gems here to shine through.

    • And that was my takeaway as well, the brilliance of the gems outweighed any less than gem-like tracks!

  8. I grew up on the Beach Boys (and Beatles and Elvis) from my Mom’s juke box. Whatever the songs were about, that SOUND they made that was so unlike any others (today I believe it’s those harmonies) is inextricably linked to memories of youth, for me. I don’t like all of their songs (see: That’s Why God Made The Radio, ugh, what tripe) but they wrote so many gems it’s unfair to other bands!

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