Monday, October 26, 2009

Number 368 - Beach Boys

Number 368

Beach Boys

"Surfin' Safari"

................Genre: Surf Rock...............
Listening for the first time, to the Beach Boys in 1973, on a crusty rusty needled long player, well, those days were the best. Especially in summer. The emotions of that time period is a combination of euphoria and contentedness - and as the Whitlams once sang ... and a dash of happiness. So, those emotions have been far and few between and way to long between innings for me. But it is with great pleasure I announce .... I have been experiencing some of those old feelings again! Sometimes you have to let destiny or fate [or both?] to let it take it's own course. Hence the word "Serendipity" meaning "is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated". Which i have been fortunate of late to discover, while all the time .. under my nose. [I know, I know you told me so].
For now, I am going to sit back and ponder my future and listen to the 12th most important Immortal artist of all time [According to Rolling Stone] Bring it on Surfin' Safari!
Who's on my woody? .. oh wait
The Beach Boys' debut album, recorded in an era in which little was expected of rock groups in the way of strong LP-length statements, is mostly thin and awkward in both the songwriting and production departments. The title track, their first true smash, is great, as is its flip side ("409"), which was not only a hit in its own right, but was the first vocal hot rod classic. "Surfin'," their debut single (and small national hit), is also good, and one of the few Beach Boys tracks that could be said to have a garage-like quality. Unfortunately, most of the other cuts (most of which are group originals) are substandard ditties, as Brian Wilson had a way to go before honing his compositional genius. It does, however, afford a glimpse of the group as they sounded when they were a true band in the studio, before most of their parts were played by session musicians. Two of the better cuts, "The Shift" and the instrumental "Moon Dawg," have a grittier-than-usual surf rock base that would flower on 1963 hits like "Surfin' U.S.A." {Surfin' Safari/Surfin' U.S.A, a Capitol two-fer CD, combines this and Surfin' U.S.A. onto one disc, with the addition of three rare bonus cuts from the same era.} ~ [Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide]
The Importance Of It All ~ 1962
Suits? SUITS?
The "Surfin' Safari" single backed with "409" was the band's second single and the first single to be released on the band's new label Capitol Records in the USA in June, 1962. Originally Capitol Records felt "409" should be the 'A' Side, and first promoted the car song (according to Beach Boys biographers Badman, Gaines and Carlin) instead of 'Surfin Safari'. However, as noted in the booklet to the 1993 "Good Vibrations- Thirty Years of the Beach Boys" CD box-set, radio station airplay in Phoenix, Arizona jump-started the 'B' side into a major nationwide hit.
I can't afford those ticket prices!
The single would peak at the number 14 position on the Billboard charts, with "409" also charting at number 76 and thus making it the band's first double-sided hit single. Capitol A&R executive Nick (Nik) Venet, who signed the group and is listed as producer on their first two albums, is quoted in the Steven Gaines book as saying regarding the release that "The biggest order Capitol had from a single market all year [1962] was from New York City - where there was no surfing. It sold approximately nine hundred thousand records, but not enough for a gold." In January 1970 the World Pacific Studios sessions recording of the song was issued on Trip Records as the B-side of a "Surfin'" single re-issue. This was the first official release of the early Surfer Girl recording. The single however failed to make any impact on the charts. Released in October 1962 in the United Kingdom, the "Surfin' Safari" single was the first single to be released by the band in the U.K. However, the single failed to make any impact on the charts. In Germany, the World Pacific Studios recording of the song was used as the single release instead of the more well-known version. The single predictably failed to chart.
The original recording by The Beach Boys features in the film "American Graffiti" (1973) ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For more Beach Boys see #517, #560, #576, #641, #714
For the Whitlams visit MM Vol 1 #114
Messiah Brian?
What does [[[[RS]]]] think ... again?
The Beach Boys showed the way, and not just to California. Sure, they may have sold the California Dream to a lot of people, but for me, it was Brian Wilson showing how far you might have to go in order to make your own musical dream come true. When the Beach Boys started, Brian was taking European sensibilities and infusing them into a Chuck Berry format. Those harmonies were based on the Four Freshmen, with a little church element added to it. He put all that on top of Chuck Berry rock & roll, and the result sounded so fresh. I remember hearing "Surfin' Safari" first when I was in sixth grade and the way that record jumped out of the radio. It had the beat, the sense of joy, that explosion rock & roll gave to a lot of us. But it also had this incredible lift, this amazing kind of chemical reaction that seemed to happen inside you when you heard the whole thing. [Edited, Source: Rolling Stone - Lindsey Buckingham]
For Chuck Berry see #783
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '368th Song of all Time' was "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" has appeared in The Definitive 1000 of All Time @ #804
Other songs with reference to Beach Boys ~ #373, #381, #390, #413, #424, #436, #451, #453, #514, #539, #553, #556, #587, #590, #616, #660, #690, #700, #770, #783, #847, #872
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (No way! Not this song) and the Album ranked at (and NOT this album!)
This song has a Definitive rating of 80.2 out of 108
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