Surf's Up

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The Beach Boys' post-1966 catalog is littered with LPs that barely scraped the charts upon release but matured into solid fan favorites despite -- and occasionally, because of -- their many and varied eccentricities. Surf's Up could well be the definitive example, beginning with the cloying "Don't Go Near the Water" and ending a bare half-hour later with the baroque majesty of the title track originally written in 1966. The album is a virtual laundry list of each uncommon intricacy that made the Beach Boys' forgotten decade such a bittersweet thrill -- the fluffy yet endearing pop odditties of Brian Wilson, quasi-mystical white-boy soul from brother Carl, and the downright ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The Beach Boys' post-1966 catalog is littered with LPs that barely scraped the charts upon release but matured into solid fan favorites despite -- and occasionally, because of -- their many and varied eccentricities. Surf's Up could well be the definitive example, beginning with the cloying "Don't Go Near the Water" and ending a bare half-hour later with the baroque majesty of the title track originally written in 1966. The album is a virtual laundry list of each uncommon intricacy that made the Beach Boys' forgotten decade such a bittersweet thrill -- the fluffy yet endearing pop odditties of Brian Wilson, quasi-mystical white-boy soul from brother Carl, and the downright laughable songwriting on tracks charting Mike Love's devotion to Buddhism and Al Jardine's social/environmental concerns. Those songs are enjoyable enough, but the last three tracks are what make Surf's Up such a masterpiece. The first, "A Day in the Life of a Tree," is simultaneously one of Brian's most deeply touching and bizarre compositions; he is the narrator and object of the song though not the vocalist; co-writer Jack Rieley lends a hand, lamenting his long life amid the pollution and grime of a city park while the somber tones of a pipe organ build atmosphere. The second, "'Til I Die," isn't the love song the title suggests; it's a haunting, fatalistic piece of pop surrealism that appeared to signal Brian's retirement from active life. The album closer, "Surf's Up," is a masterpiece of baroque psychedelia, probably the most compelling track from the SMiLE period. Carl gives a soulful performance despite the surreal wordplay, and Brian's coda is one of the most stirring moments in his catalog. Wrapped up in a mess of contradictions, Surf's Up defined the Beach Boys' tumultuous career better than any other album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2012
  • Label: Capitol
  • EAN: 5099940443928
  • Catalog Number: 04439
  • Sales rank: 68,714

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Beach Boys Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Van Dyke Parks Composer
Brian Wilson Composer
Bruce Johnston Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Mike Love Composer
Al Jardine Composer
Mark Linett Producer, Mastering
Mike Stoller Composer
Alan Boyd Producer
Dennis Wolfe Producer
Jack Rieley Composer
C. Wilson Composer
Elliott Lott Contributor
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