Discuss & Rate Beach Boys Songs Day by Day

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Wata, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    Hello. I know from what I've searched on this forum that there have been threads for track-by-track discussion for some albums of the Beach Boys, but not for All the songs as far as I have seen, so I'll try to do this:

    This is a thread to discuss & rate all the released songs by The Beach Boys, from Surfin' Safari to Summer's Gone.

    Here are some rules:
    1) One song per one day.

    2) No live recordings, no incomplete segments, no alternate takes first appeared on archival releases (that means alternate takes first appeared on non-archival releases (i.e. Alternate mix of Come Go with Me, first released on 1990 normal reissue of M.I.U. Album)

    3) No bootleg recordings, with a exception of two unreleased album (Adult/Child and Merry Christmas from The Beach Boys), which would get the same treatment as original studio albums.

    4) Ratings are from 1 to 5. Please, no decimals.

    5) IMPORTANT: We can't use the poll function because it can't be edited every day. Thus, when you vote, please write your rating for the song in your post. Of course, you can join discussions without rating songs.

    6) At the end of track-by-track discussion for an album, we will discuss the whole album for one day.

    7) Once a day, around GMT 10 a.m, I will do a tally and we will move to next discussion.

    8)Any question or suggestion for the thread here or through private conversation is welcome anytime.

    Look forward to your participation.
  2. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    ◎Surfin' Safari(1962)
    1. Surfin' Safari
    2. County Fair
    3. Ten Little Indians
    4. Chug-A-Lug
    5. Little Girl(You're My Miss America)
    6. 409
    7. Surfin'
    8. Heads You Win-Tails I Lose
    9. Summertime Blues
    10. Cuckoo Clock
    11. Moon Dawg
    12. The Shift

    [Non-Album Tracks]
    Beach Boy Stomp (a.k.a. Karate)
    What Is The Young Girl Made Of
    Cindy, Oh Cindy
    Land Ahoy
    Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring
  3. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    Today's song is Surfin' Safari:
  4. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    Surfin' Safari - 4/5

    I dig this song. I don't think it's as charming as Surfin', or as great as Surfin' USA, but it has its merits - youthful, fun, catchy. But I don't find it good enough to be included on my homemade "best-of" comps.

    Easily the best song on this debut album, though.
  5. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    I'll give it a "3." It's actually quite a bit rockier and energetic than a lot of what was on the charts in 1962 and it's cool the way name checks the surf spots. On the other hand, it's super basic and doesn't really give any indication of what The Beach Boys would be capable of just 6 or 8 months later. Still, it's a fun tune.

    I think it's appropriate to re-post a forum member's analysis of the Surfin' Safari LP:

    The Beach Boys Surfin' Safari album - Really that bad?

    "Surfin' Safari" is a great record. It's grungy and dirty and raw and I like it. It's the surfin' equivalent to "Never Mind The Bullocks".

    What's wrong with a group of enthusiastic young men singing about chicks, soft drinks, county fairs, and more chicks? Not to mention, the most earnest and heartfelt lead vocal ever, found on the overlooked masterwork "Cuckoo Clock"? Such a moving performance. The arrival of the Beach Boys was as Earth shattering as the Beatles landing in JFK. They had a fresh, energetic sound that kicked the whole 60's rock and roll scene in the ***. They provided the shot heard round the world which lead to all the great albums that followed. Friends, Sufin' Safari is as dangerous and dark as Velvet Underground & Nico 5 years later. Happier lyrics, yeah, but look at the muscianship. If Chug-a-lug was about liquid LSD you'd all see what I mean. Don't let the lyrics throw you. Messy haired teens with nothing to lose laying down some hot jams under the watchful eye of their lunatic father. Nothing was ever the same after it, and sweaty jocks everywhere put down their bat and gloves and picked up Fender stats all because of Brian and the gang.

    "Cuckoo Clock" is my favorite cut on the album, and it is as dark and cerebral as anything. "Ghosts crowd the child's fragile eggshell mind". It's all coming from the same troubing place.

    Surfin' Safari is a song about patricide. Read between the lines.

    Dare I say, aside from Johnny Cash, that Wilson was the only one gutsy enough to speak out against racial injustice on "Ten Little Indians". He could see that the California hills were stained with the blood of many a brave tribe. The tenth little indian acted like himself. He didn't succumb to the white man's ways and accept Jesus Christ as his savior.

    "Chug-a-lug" is a naked assessment of the group. "Gary like's a girl's tight black pants". This was 1962. How did such a filthy sentiment get past the censors? Wilson and Usher pushing the envelope, as much as the Beatles would with "I'd Love To Turn You On" five years later. Each Beach Boy represents a different fraction of troubled youth. Carl's unhealthy obsession with food is explored, as well as Mike's secret need for alcohol to help him deal with the reality of knocking up girls. A generation lost in space, all described perfectly within the confines of a two-minute song.

    "409" is a song that deals with the loss of a boy's virginity at the hands of a hooker.

    "Surfin'", the song that started it all, is a desperate cry for help. "Surfin' is the only life". All other roads lead to death. The escapism of the beach and surf and sand is the only thing keeping them from ending their lives because of the hardships they face.

    The "Surfer Stomp" is referring to giving squares and greasers the beat down. It's kinda like an American Quadrophenia, this song.

    "Heads You Win, Tails I Lose" is about some of the seeder parts of town, where pimps and hookers rule, and smoke filled pool halls crackle with the sounds of gunshots and knife fights. Sometimes the kids from uptown sneak into the slums to get a taste of the action. Peeking through a filthy window smeared with blood and **** and yellowed from decades of cigar stench. The innocence of youth is lost in an instant as they witness a man stabbed to death for attempting to cheat at a game. Either way the coin falls, you lose. Death is at your door. Heavy, heavy stuff.

    "Cuckoo Clock" is for me the ultimate Brian Wilson statement. Before fame, fortune, drugs, self-confidence, women, and lawyers got in the way, we have a sweet young man with a voice as pure as God's linen, experiencing the joy of a simple, wholesome relationship with a nice young girl. The cuckoo clock is not literal; it is only in Brian's head. Each time things start to happen again, he thinks he's got something good going for himself, but what goes wrong? "Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" The cuckoo is in his head, man, it's one of the voices. I almost cry sometimes because I feel so bad for that young boy whose life was ruined by all sorts of outside influences. This recording is pretty much the last snapshot of Brian before that red-blooded, all-American kid got swallowed up forever inside the jaws of paranoia, depression, and record industry corruption. **** you, Doctor Landy.

    "The Shift" is an animalistic statement of human sexuality, the words most likely spat solely from the sinful mouth of Mike Love. The polar opposite of “Cuckoo Clock”, it is complete devoid of emotion and old fashioned social standards. Sex is a physical act, done only for sick pleasure, nothing more. Women are objects and should wear this "shift" in order to please the men folk around them. I find myself rather offended by this song, to be honest with you. "She'll ball you with the shift on". Mike would park at inspiration point and have his girl climb over on top of him and he'd slide up the shift and do his business. Easy access, they'd call it. One of the most explicitly sexual songs ever recorded by the Beach Boys. Disgustingly brunt, but again, honesty where honesty had seldom been seen before. No sugarcoating. The reality of the era. Biff, you take your damn hands off her.

    So you see, the "Surfin' Safari" album is just as deep and meaningful and groundbreaking as anything released during the 60's. The Beach Boys had arrived, before the Beatles shook the world, before Dylan became the voice of a generation, and they had already broken down many barriers and expanded the musical horizon with their dark, realistic view of life as a teenager.

    BEST. ALBUM. OF 1962.
  6. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    Thanks so much for sharing! I couldn't help but smile while reading it :laugh:
    bumbletort and lightbulb like this.
  7. Etienne Hanratty

    Etienne Hanratty Forum Resident

    Not sure how I can top one of the previous posts. I’ve always loved this album and Surfin’ Safari is probably my favourite BW surfin(g) song.

  8. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    California, USA
    Mike Love states in his autobiography that he wrote the entire melody and lyrics for "Surfin' Safari". This one established the Mike Love nasal vocal sound on a national scale. This is a June "last day of school" type song that evokes summer vacation and escape from horrible school teachers, even if the lyrics don't specifically address school or summer vacation.

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  9. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Surfin' Safari. 4/5

    Sixties rock bands start right here. From the rustle and boom of Dennis' drums to the crisp clicks and hums of the guitars to the adenoidal vocals of Mike Love, all blended together in a white boy Chuck Berry pastiche as if the last two years of pop music hadnt happened, as if Elvis was still King, and the rest of the fifties heroes weren't languishing in a jail.. What happens when you get teenswho literally don't know what they're doing together seldom sounds so good and wouldn't again until the Ramones broke in late '76.
    pablo fanques likes this.
  10. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    An iconic album cover for sure.

  11. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I like "Surfin' Safari".
    Lonesurf likes this.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    i always liked surfin' and surfin' safari, but to some degree the whole surfin' thing stopped me from buying any of their albums. i always thought of them as just another singles band.
    When i bit the bullet and bought pet sounds for the 5.1, i really liked it. i now need to keep an eye on this thread and see what else of theirs i need
    Brodnation and savemenow like this.
  13. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    There first five albums should have been four albums, but there were contracts to fulfill.
    savemenow and mark winstanley like this.
  14. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Forum Resident

    Count me in for this thread!

    Surfin' Safari
    A nice little surf rocker. Not the best of their surf anthems, but still highly enjoyable and not something I ever skip when it comes up on shuffle or on a compilation. Carl has a nice solo on there too. The early Beach Boys records are so full of starry-eyed innocence. Of course, there was a dark reality behind that sheen (with Murry) and Brian's introverted and artistic nature would very quickly lead the band in more artistic directions. But I still love listening to the first couple of surf records. They really are a time capsule of a different era.


    P.S. According to the Wikipedia page for this song, the Apple browser Safari is named after this song. "Surfing the web" = "Surfing Safari". Ha! That's kind of cute. I'm glad to have learned that. :D
  15. Wata

    Wata Poller Thread Starter

    If you like some surfing stuff and Pet Sounds, I recommend you to listen to these three albums in a row: All Summer Long, Today! and Summer Days. You can hear how they move on from surfing stuff (i.e. Don't Back Down and Little Honda, their last surfing/car song until 1969) to PS stuff (i.e. Let Him Run Wild, the b-side to California Girls).
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    cheers mate
    Wata likes this.
  17. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Placerville, CA
    2/5 for me. Not a bad song (but then I don't use the word "bad" when talking about music), just not one that ever did much for me. I always cringe when I hear Mike miss some of those higher notes. If he had hit those notes, then it would get a 3/5 for me.
  18. 389 Tripower

    389 Tripower Kids can still rock!!

    Moline, IL USA
    Safari - gets a 4 for me.
    I love Moon Dawg - I give that a 5/5; It has that "Pipeline" sound.
    pablo fanques likes this.
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    i just ordered the 5 classic albums set, it has two of those
    pablo fanques likes this.
  20. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    California, USA
    Dark reality with Murray? He added much to the BB mix in terms of musical ideas, leadership, and constant guidance. The BB were worse off without him as evidenced by Brian going crazy during the Smile sessions.
  21. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Forum Resident

    Yes, I would call a father continually beating his children a dark reality.
  22. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo

    California, USA
    He wasn't doing that when the boys were in the Beach Boys, though. Murry's role with the band was a net positive.
  23. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Great song!
  24. reddyempower

    reddyempower Forum Resident

    columbus, oh, usa
    Great song. 5/5. There will be better songs later of course, but this still gets highest marks because it succeeds in everything it attempts and truly launched the band, paving the way for everything that was to come.

    And as for you Watamushi- great idea for a thread. Huge undertaking and I can't wait to see where we are a year from now.
    Wata and Zoot Marimba like this.
  25. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Great song. Great intro that really grabs you. A sure-fire hit. 5/5.
    The MEZ and Zoot Marimba like this.

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