Surfer Girl

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Surfer Girl
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released September 16, 1963
Recorded May 9, June 12; July 16 – unknown July dates 1963
Studio United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Genre Surf rock,[1] rock and roll[1]
Length 25:30
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys chronology
Surfin' U.S.A.
(1963)Surfin' U.S.A.1963
Surfer Girl
Little Deuce Coupe
(1963)Little Deuce Coupe1963
The Beach Boys UK chronology
Best of The Beach Boys
(1966) Best of The Beach Boys1966
Surfer Girl
(1967) Surfer Girl1967
Best of The Beach Boys Vol. 2
(1967) Best of The Beach Boys Vol. 21967
Singles from Surfer Girl
  1. "Surfer Girl" / "Little Deuce Coupe"
    Released: July 22, 1963

Surfer Girl is the third studio album by American rock band The Beach Boys and their second longplayer in 1963. 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.

Album details[edit]

For the first time producing an album himself, Brian Wilson co-wrote with Mike Love, Gary Usher and Roger Christian some of his most cherished songs. The title track, a number 7 US hit, was the first song Brian had ever composed, written at the age of 19 using "When You Wish Upon a Star" as his inspiration. As a ballad, it was a risky move for a single, but its obvious quality overcame any potential commercial risks. Its flip-side, "Little Deuce Coupe", proved to be The Beach Boys' most successful B-side, reaching US number 15 and becoming a hot rod staple. It also continued the band's current 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. "In My Room" was perhaps Brian Wilson's first personal song, a reflection on having a place to go to feel a sense of security and safety from the stress of one's life. Despite some slight material ("South Bay Surfer", "Boogie Woodie"), it was clear that Surfer Girl was a significant step forward for The Beach Boys - and the first of many.

"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 instrumental track for "The Surfer Moon" (Brian's first known use of strings) was recorded (as "The Summer Moon") in early May for an extra-BB act he was recording, Bob & Vikki; this version was never released, although an acetate exists. Bob was Bob Norberg, Brian's room mate in 1962.

The recording date, July 16, given on the sleeve for album tracks not previously released as a single, is not so much questionable as almost certainly impossible. Although there is documentary proof (a tape box label) that "Surfers Rule", "South Bay Surfer" and "Boogie Woodie" were indeed recorded on that date at Western Sound Studios, it is noticeable that whilst Mike Love's lead vocals for "Hawaii" and "Catch a Wave" are hampered by a heavy cold, his other leads on album cuts are fine. Therefore, it is certain other dates/sessions were also used. Further, Alan Jardine is known to have played or sung on four tracks - bass on "Boogie Woodie", "Surfer's Rule" & "Catch a Wave" and vocals on "In My Room" - but not the others, while Hal Blaine contributed to "Our Car Club" (originally recorded for The Honeys as "Rabbit's Foot") and "Hawaii". Thus, it is likely there were at least four sessions for the album tracks, but as the AFM (musicians union) documentation is missing, confirmation cannot be supplied.

Front cover artwork[edit]

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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
Blender 2/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[6]

Surfer Girl hit number seven in the US (where it went gold) and, later (in 1967) number thirteen in the UK.[citation needed]

Live performances[edit]

Half the album's tracks have been performed live by either the Beach Boys or Brian Wilson as a solo artist with varying frequency.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Surfer Girl" Brian Wilson Brian Wilson 2:26
2. "Catch a Wave" B. Wilson/Mike Love Mike Love/B. Wilson 2:07
3. "The Surfer Moon" B. Wilson B. Wilson 2:11
4. "South Bay Surfer (The Old Folks at Home)" Stephen Foster (music); B. Wilson/Carl Wilson/Al Jardine (lyrics) Love/B. Wilson 1:45
5. "The Rocking Surfer" trad. arr. B. Wilson instrumental 2:00
6. "Little Deuce Coupe" B. Wilson/Roger Christian Love 1:38
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead Vocals Length
1. "In My Room" B. Wilson/Gary Usher B. Wilson 2:11
2. "Hawaii" B. Wilson/Love Love/B. Wilson 1:59
3. "Surfers Rule" B. Wilson/Love Dennis Wilson/B. Wilson 1:54
4. "Our Car Club" B. Wilson/Love Love/B. Wilson 2:22
5. "Your Summer Dream" B. Wilson/Bob Norberg B. Wilson 2:27
6. "Boogie Woodie" trad. arr. B. Wilson instrumental 1:56


The Beach Boys
Additional musicians and production staff

Sales chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1963 US Billboard 200 Albums Chart 7[8]
1967 UK Top 40 Album Chart 13[9]
Year Single Chart Position
1963 "Surfer Girl" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 7
1963 "Little Deuce Coupe" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 15
1963 "In My Room" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 23


  1. ^ a b "Surfer Girl/Shut Down, Vol. 2 album review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Wolk, Douglas (October 2004). "The Beach Boys Surfer Girl/Shut Down, Volume 2". Blender. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4. 
  5. ^ "The Beach Boys: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 46. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ "The Beach Boys Tour Statistics". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys: Awards". AllMusic. 
  9. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit. 
  • Surfer Girl / Shut Down Volume 2 CD booklet notes, David Leaf, c.1990.
  • The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience, Timothy White, c. 1994.