Surf's Up (album)
|Studio album by The Beach Boys|
|Released||August 30, 1971|
|Recorded||November–December 1966; January 1970; March–July 1971,
Sunset Sound, Western, Columbia &
Brian Wilson's home studio, California
|Producer||The Beach Boys|
|The Beach Boys chronology|
|Singles from Surf's Up|
Surf's Up is the seventeenth studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on August 30, 1971 on Brother Records and Reprise. The album was released to more public anticipation than the Beach Boys had previously had for several years. The album's title is taken from the song of the same title written by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks for the abandoned studio album, Smile.
Album history 
In the fall of 1970, after the relative commercial failure of the Sunflower album, the Beach Boys hired Jack Rieley as their manager. Rieley, a DJ, had impressed the band with his credentials (a supposed Peabody Award-winning stint as NBC bureau chief in Puerto Rico-later discovered to be false) and fresh ideas on how to regain respect from American music fans and critics. One of his initiatives was to encourage the band to record songs featuring more socially conscious lyrics. Rieley also insisted that the band officially appoint Carl Wilson "musical director" in recognition of the integral role he had played keeping the group together since 1967. He also requested the completion of "Surf's Up" for release by composer and erstwhile bandleader Brian Wilson, a song that had taken on almost mythical proportions in the underground press since the demise of Smile three years earlier. He also arranged a guest appearance at a Grateful Dead concert in April 1971 to push the Beach Boys' transition into the counter-culture.
According to Rieley in his 1996 posts to the "Smiley Smile" message board, the band had split into two camps: the artistically inclined, drug using, bashful Wilson brothers and the commercially-oriented, teetotalling triumvirate of Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston. In his opinion, if the group were to return to their mid-1960s heights, the former group would have to fully assert itself. To this end, Rieley all but ordered Al Jardine to stop work on "Loop de Loop", an intentionally juvenile and childlike collaboration with Brian Wilson that Jardine thought would revive the band's commercial prospects.
Brian Wilson initially refused to work on "Surf's Up", now the eponymous track of the band's new album. In light of this, Carl Wilson overdubbed a new vocal in the song's first part, the original backing track dating from November 1966. The second movement was composed of a December 1966 solo piano demo recorded by Brian Wilson, augmented with vocal and moog bass overdubs.
To the surprise and glee of his associates, Brian Wilson emerged near the end of the sessions to aid his brother and engineer Stephen Desper in the completion of the third movement, which combined the end of the 1966 demo with "Child is Father of the Man" (another Smile outtake) for the coda and a final lyrical couplet possibly written by Rieley. The newly recorded lead vocals - sung by Al Jardine over a choral backdrop featuring all the Beach Boys - were sped up by Desper for continuity purposes in an attempt to make them sound more like they did in 1966.
The album also included "'Til I Die" a song Brian had been working on since mid-1970. Though Mike Love was reported at the time to dislike it, he has praised and performed the song in recent years. Brian Wilson spent weeks arranging the song, crafting a harmony-driven, vibraphone and organ-laden background that closely resembled the halcyon-era sonic tapestries of Pet Sounds.
"Long Promised Road" and "Feel Flows" were Carl Wilson's first significant solo compositions; both songs were almost entirely recorded by him. "Student Demonstration Time" (essentially the R&B classic "Riot In Cell Block #9") and "Don't Go Near the Water" found Love and Jardine eagerly embracing the group's new topical-oriented direction. "A Day in the Life of a Tree" was Brian Wilson's sole new contribution. Several attempts at recording the song were made before the pump organ-led arrangement was settled upon. The slightly faltering lead vocal from Rieley has been praised by reviews as fitting for what a dying tree would sound like personified. Van Dyke Parks and Al Jardine join Rieley to sing the song's coda. According to Al Jardine, Rieley sang the song because "no one [else] would sing it because it was too depressing." Bruce Johnston's "Disney Girls (1957)" was hailed as a masterpiece by Brian Wilson and has been covered by Art Garfunkel and Cass Elliot.
The Dennis Wilson songs "4th of July" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice To Live Again" were excised from the final running order shortly before release. Although "4th of July"'s elagaic tone and lyrical relevance made it a logical thematic choice, Rieley has claimed that it was met with a reception of "glaring envy" by Wilson's bandmates. The song was duly replaced with an Al Jardine and Brian Wilson composition "Take a Load Off Your Feet", a song worked on in late 1969 during the Add Some Music sessions, but augmented to fit the atmosphere of the rest of the record. In the case of "Wouldn't it Be Nice to Live Again", a disagreement between the middle and younger Wilson brothers resulted in the song being left off the album. Dennis wanted the song to be the final track on the album, segueing out of "'Til I Die", while Carl felt "Surf's Up" should have that place. As a consequence, Dennis took the song out of the album's final running order.
This LP was mixed for Quadraphonic reproduction (also compatible for Stereo). It was to be played back by using the long extinct Dynaco or EV Stereo-4 decoders. However, this recording (LP or CD) can be played back in Quad by most of today's audio-video receivers. The surround sound information can be extracted using the Dolby Pro Logic setting. The Carl and the Passions LP and some of the songs on the Sunflower LP were also mixed with this process.
|The A.V. Club||positive|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
Surf's Up was released that August to more public anticipation than the Beach Boys had had for several years. It outperformed Sunflower commercially, reaching #29 in the US (their first Top 40 album since Wild Honey) and #15 in the UK. Like Sunflower, Surf's Up was released on EMI's Stateside label internationally.
The album was ranked #61 on Pitchfork Media's The Top 100 Albums Of The 1970s list. It is also listed in the musical reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
|NME||United Kingdom||New Musical Express Writers Top 100 Albums||1993||46|
|Pitchfork||United States||Top 100 Albums of the 1970s||2004||61|
|Rolling Stone||Germany||500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2004||154|
|Sunday Herald||United Kingdom||The 103 Best Albums Ever, Honest||2001||*|
Track listing 
|1.||"Don't Go Near the Water"||Mike Love/Al Jardine||Mike Love/Al Jardine/Brian Wilson||2:39|
|2.||"Long Promised Road"||Carl Wilson/Jack Rieley||Carl Wilson||3:30|
|3.||"Take a Load Off Your Feet"||Jardine/Brian Wilson/Gary Winfrey||Brian Wilson/Jardine||2:29|
|4.||"Disney Girls (1957)"||Bruce Johnston||Bruce Johnston||4:07|
|5.||"Student Demonstration Time"||Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Mike Love||Love||3:58|
|1.||"Feel Flows"||C. Wilson/Rieley||C. Wilson||4:44|
|2.||"Lookin' at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)"||Jardine/Winfrey||Jardine||1:55|
|3.||"A Day in the Life of a Tree"||B. Wilson/Rieley||Jack Rieley/Van Dyke Parks/Jardine||3:07|
|4.||"'Til I Die"||B. Wilson||C. Wilson/B. Wilson/Love||2:41|
|5.||"Surf's Up"||B. Wilson/Van Dyke Parks||C. Wilson/B. Wilson/Jardine||4:12|
- The Beach Boys
- Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals; electric guitar; moog; acoustic guitar; bass; percussion
- Bruce Johnston – lead, harmony and backing vocals; upright piano, moog bass; mandolin
- Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals; tambourine
- Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; piano, harmonium, roxichord; snare drum, percussion; harmonica; sound effects
- Carl Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar; moog, harpischord, organ; drums, tambourine, percussion
- Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals; drums
- Additional musicians and production staff
- Steve Desper – sound engineer; moog, moog bass
- Daryl Dragon – rhythm guitar, bass, tack piano
- Mike Kowalski – drums
- Charles Lloyd – saxophone, flute
- Van Dyke Parks – lead, harmony and backing vocals
- Jack Rieley – lead, harmony and backing vocals
- Woody Thews – percussion
- Gary Winfrey – harmony and backing vocals
Sales chart positions 
|1971||UK Top 40 Album Chart||15|
|1971||US Billboard 200 Albums Chart||29|
- US Singles
|1971||"Long Promised Road"||US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart||89|
Chart information courtesy of Allmusic and other music databases.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2009)|
- "The Beach Boys: Sunflower/Surf's Up | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2000-07-18. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
- The Playlist Special, Rolling Stone
- Phipps Keith (April 17, 2002). "The Beach Boys: Sunflower/Surf's Up : Music". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- The Virgin Encyclopedia Of Popular Music, Concise (4th Edition), Virgin Books (UK), 2002, ed. Larkin, Colin.
- "The Beach Boys: Sunflower/Surf's Up | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2000-07-18. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Ross Bennett. "The Beach Boys - Disc of the day - Mojo". Mojo4music.com. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Christgau, Robert (October 14, 1971). "Consumer Guide (19)". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2007-10-15. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- "New Musical Express Writers Top 100 Albums, October 2, 1993". NME.
- "Staff Lists: top 100 albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit.
- Sunflower/Surf's Up CD booklet notes, Timothy White, c.2000.
- "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.