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Surfin Safari / Surfin Usa

Rock album by The Beach Boys

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Good Material But A Little Incomplete

  • Dec 1, 2002
This release combines the first two Beach Boys records. Its amazing listening to the origin of rdck music from the early sixties. All these songs were not much longer than two minutes. Nonetheless, for its time there are some creative lyrics and vocal harmonies. I've always loved Surfin' USA and Surfin'Safari and Shut Down are pretty cute too. The Beach Boys version of Summertime Blues works nicely and Farmers Daughter, Little Miss America, and Lonely Sea are pretty catchy as well. The later fits in nicely as with all the fast rockers, its nice to slow things down a bit.

However, there is an abundance of filler. Four instrumentals which really add very little except to enhance the surfer mood of the recording. The Beach Boys were not exactly great instrumental virtuosos so these tracks are merely filling up space. But at least its pleasant filler. Other vocal tracks just duplicate the better songs (Surfin' USA, Shut Down)with greatly inferior lyrics. The fact these two records combined are under 50 minutes in length shows you that the Beach Boys material was a bit incomplete in those early days.

Truthfully I am content with a good greatest hits compilation by these guys. But big time fans might want to give this one a try. However, I would advise those fans to seek out Beach Boys Today and Summer Days(And Summer Nights) before this double recording combo.

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Glenn Wiener ()
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Seeking to Capitol-ize on their local L.A. indie-label novelty hit, "Surfin'," the Beach Boys and their nascent sound (tales of innocent SoCal hedonism set to equal parts doo-wop vocal influences andChuck Berrylicks) were produced on these initial releases by the A&R exec who signed them, Nik Venet. But ifBrian Wilson's production genius was yet untapped, his songwriting knack, trademark arrangements, and soaring falsetto were already coming to the fore, even onSurfin' Safari, the band's hastily recorded, low-budget debut album--"Surfin'," "Surfin' Safari," and "409" are ample testament to his hitmeister potential. Released just five months later,Surfin' USAboth insured the band's national appeal and testified to the rapid development of their harmonies on cuts such as "Farmer's Daughter" and "Lana." The band sounds more confident throughout, and Wilson hints at the greatness to come with the moody ballad "The Lonely Sea." The flip side to Wilson's fragile emotionalism is, of course, Mike Love's nasal, fun-seeking twang; those voices revolving--often tensely--around a hub of incomparable harmony became one of rock's most indelible archetypes. These are the humble, charmingly awkward beginnings of that legend. Three unreleased bonus cuts are also featured: "Cindy, Oh Cindy," "The Baker Man" (a nursery rhyme take on theOlympics' "Hully Gully"), and the nautical "Land Ahoy." The latter two tracks are notable as Brian's official producing debut. This twofer edition features ...
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Label: Capitol
Artist: The Beach Boys
Release Date: March 13, 2001

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