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There was a record store in HB (on Warner) called Jeremiah McCain's that was very influential in making me the rabid rock and roll fan that I am today. In 1974 I was into Genesis, Gentle Giant, Van de Graaf Generator--stuff like that. What we used to call progressive. I was in this store one day and the craaazy hippie (who was neither crazy nor a hippie as it turned out, he was just playing his part with alacrity and verve, but that's a story for another day.) Handed me a sealed copy of this out of the cutout bin.
"This is a progressive record" he said. "Get outta town" I rejoindered in my best hipcat cool. It was a cutout, (for those of you not acquainted with vinyl, record companies would reduce excess inventory by slicing the corner off the cover, or punching a notch or sometimes drilling a hole in the cover--cutouts were dirt cheap, remaindered albums, and the last stop before being reground into budget release Vic Damone retrospectives. The price was 88 cents. What did I have to lose?)
Now I knew all about the Boys, and the Gremmies and the HoDads and all that stuff, although not a surfer personally (no talent for it at all) I am solidly a product of the surf culture. I hung at the Magic Mushroom and ordered my strips and cheese cooked soft.Read more ›
It was a long slow process but this is the album that started to turn the depth of my appreciation for the Beach Boys around. Like most all of their albums there are a few songs on Surf's Up I don't care for but there are more that are as good as any. One, "Surf's Up" is a masterpiece. The album is worth buying for that song alone. Brian Wilson's much deserved fame as a composer, arranger and producer aside, listen to his voice on the song "Surf's Up" as he sings the phrase that starts "I heard the word, wonderful thing". There is nothing in music more beautiful.
Carl Wilson is a significant contributor to the Beach Boys genius and his Feel Flow is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. Cameron Crow used it to good effect in his movie "Almost Famous" but mysteriously left it off of the soundtrack. "Long Promised Road" is another good song. "Until I Die" is almost too painful to listen to knowing the emotional pain Brian was going through when he wrote it.
As my musical tastes expanded to include more Classical and Jazz the fact I was always on the look out for good Beach Boys compilations finally forced me to acknowledge what my heart and soul had known for so long, The Beach Boys may well be the music looked back on by future generations as some of, if not the best of the late 20th Century, or any other century for that matter.
I've listened to this latest David Thomas postcard three times through now and find myself enjoying it more with each listen; a truly good sign and an experience well known to all fans of Thomas, from solo projex to all things Ubu. Faves so far include the first track, "Runaway," "River," and the beyond-sublime rendition of "Surf's Up." To be able to walk up to the cd player and cue that up when the mood strikes is g-d gift. Thank you.
To top it all off, there's a new Ubu on the way in September.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reissue of itself rerecorded from scratch Greatest Hits and Similar Songs type album. A more mature set of readings, not as high-pitched/keyed as the originals. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by t2
Who in the wide wide world wouldn"t like the Beach Boy's "Sergeant Pepper"??????? in a way it reminds me of classical movements, with the electronics added. Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by Bracy Foxworth
I had anticipated this release for some months. When I finally got my copy there were grievous production erros on each track. Track 1 opens with 13 seconds of silence. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Ogg Oggelby
I don't think I had even heard anything from this album until about a year ago and even then I had to inquire as to who it was. Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by Pringlestad
Not the 60's hits, but great music anyway. Musically it is a re-issue of Silver Summer. Beautiful cover art by Dean.Published on May 15, 2012 by prose
The music is OK but we were hoping it would be more of a "mellow" group of songs. There are a lot of harder sounding songs rather than the "Jack Johnson" sound we were looking... Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by hawaiianbird
Great reggae and hawaiian style music perfect for those who like surf movies in general. I listen to it for a week straight. Its relaxing:)Published on July 9, 2010 by Jacqueline Navas