Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Classic Song 11 - The Beach Boys "Surf's Up"

Let's talk about classic music.

I was a Beach Boys fan from the first time I heard them on the radio.
Their pop songs were complete gems that sang of fun in the sun,
California girls and this crazy west coast thing called surfing.

I still remember singing "Help me Rhonda", every time fellow
grade five schoolmate, Rhonda Leitch walked into class. I was
well aware that The Beatles credited The Beach Boys' album,
Pet Sounds as the main inspiration for their epic 
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Needless to say, the Fab Four's hearty endorsement made me
listen even closer to Brian Wilson's songs and arrangements,
but NOTHING could prepare me for that day in '71, when 
my brother Rod brought home the new, long awaited 
Beach Boys' album, and I first heard the title song.

I cried. Like a baby. 

I simply couldn't believe the sounds I was hearing.
Vocal arrangements that both soothed my ears and startled
my senses. Lyrics that, though impenetrable, seemed
preternaturally bound to Wilson's exquisite melody.

So have a look at a beautiful sunset, then have a listen
to "Surf's Up" while I blubber away, yet again.

Mozz the Elder


  1. Probably the best song Brian Wilson ever wrote. The rest of the "Boys" weren't impressed with Van Dyke Parks lyrics. Mike Love, in particular, questioned what "columnated ruins" meant. Van Dyke said he didn't have a clue.

    The 3rd verse, when Brian sings, "Surf's Up, umm, hmm", always slays me.

    The whole album, also entitled "Surf's Up", is terrific. Probably surpassed only by "Pet Sounds", and "Smile", IMHO. Check out "'Til I Die", another brilliant Brian composition on SU.

  2. Interestingly, it was Carl that sang lead. Heavenly voice, he had.......

    Til I Die is still one of my ALL TIME favourite songs. Like, ever.

  3. Yup, you're right. Indeed, a heavenly voice...a voice that we lost way too soon.