A Conversation for The Beach Boys - the Band

The Beach Boys

Post 1

Researcher 193673

The essay on the Beach Boys is right in some areas, but wrong in others. Historically, it is accurate; the first few Beach Boys albums show the band getting their feet wet in performing as well as recording and, as a result, are rough in comparison with later records. But the Beach Boys' first album, Surfin' Safari, is by no means an album to avoid. Surfin' Safari is mostly a product of its time, which consisted of doo-wop and teen idol ballads, but it has several hints at the tidal wave of revolutionary music that was to come thanks particularly to the Beach Boys. "409," the first ever hot-rod song, is certainly a fine cut, but so is the title track, which was the first song to truly put surf music on the charts. The title track also has an exhuberance that had not been seen in rock since the mid-fifties, in the likes of Bill Haley, the creator of rock and roll. Surfin' Safari also has other considerable tracks, particularly the gritty, sexually suggestive cut, "The Shift," and the primitive, yet fitfully accomplished "Surfin'." In addition, "Moon Dawg" is an impressively performed surf instrumental, and while tunes like "Chug-a-Lug," "Cukoo Clock," and "County Fair" have obviously corny lyrics, they demonstate Brian Wilson's amazingly deft use of the Hammond organ with other conventional rock instruments, exceptionally performed. The band's second album, Surfin U.S.A., is a fulfillment of the hints that Surfin' Safari offered. Surfin' U.S.A. is a mix of explosive, consistently impressive surf-rock (the title track, "Shut Down," "Finders Keepers") and lovely ballads ("Farmer's Daughter," "Lana," and the meloncholy "Lonely Sea," which was actually recorded during the Surfin' Safari sessions). Even the five instrumentals are well-performed, with the best being an original, "Surf Jam."

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