Surfer Girl is the third studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released on September 16, 1963 by Capitol Records. Surfer Girl reached number 7 in the US during a chart stay of 56 weeks. In the UK, the album was released in spring 1967 and reached number 13. This was the first album by the Beach Boys for which Brian Wilson was given full production credit, a position Wilson would maintain for the next few years.
In 2017, Surfer Girl was ranked the 193rd greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.
Surfer Girl is the first album on which Brian Wilson is given full production credit. The songs were co-written between Wilson, Mike Love, Gary Usher and Roger Christian. The title track, the ballad "Surfer Girl", was the first song Brian composed, written at the age of 19 using "When You Wish Upon a Star" as his inspiration. The b-side, "Little Deuce Coupe", continued the band's trend of putting a surf-related song on the A-side of singles, and car songs on the B-side. "Catch a Wave" featured Mike Love's sister, Maureen, on harp, while "The Surfer Moon" was the first Beach Boys song to have a string arrangement. The (unreleased) instrumental track for "The Surfer Moon" was recorded (as "The Summer Moon") in early May for an extra-BB act he was recording, Bob & Vikki. Bob was Bob Norberg, Brian's roommate in 1962.
"South Bay Surfer" is co-credited to Al Jardine, who had rejoined the Beach Boys in the summer of 1963 in a limited capacity and does not appear on the album cover.
The front cover of Surfer Girl features (from left to right) Dennis Wilson, David Marks, Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Brian Wilson holding a surfboard from the same 1962 photo shoot that produced the cover of their album debut Surfin' Safari. The picture was taken by Capitol photographer Kenneth Veeder at Paradise Cove, north of Malibu. Beach Boys sport matching blue plaid Pendleton Woolen Mills shirts on the cover of their "Surfer Girl" album. Now called the "board shirt," the style is still a bestseller.