Their classic songs epitomize the spirit of the California lifestyle and The Beach Boys have become an American icon to a worldwide audience. The Beach Boys first hit Surfin (1961) launched a string of chart-topping songs that spans nearly forty years and includes eternal anthems of American youth: Surfin USA, Surfer Girl, Fun, Fun, Fun, I Get Around, California Girls, Help Me Rhonda, Barbara Ann, Good Vibrations, Wouldnt It Be Nice, Rock and Roll Music, Kokomo and more.
Their chart success alone would have earned The Beach Boys their spot in The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame (they were inducted in 1988), not to mention 32 RIAA Platinum and Gold record awards and worldwide sales estimated at over 100 million. But The Beach Boys' story is one of not only commercial but also artistic success. Their unique blend of harmonies, musical arrangements and timeless lyrics still place the music of The Beach Boys among the All-Time Favorites of todays music critics. The Beach Boys were honored at the 2001 Grammy Awards, receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.
Surfin' Safari is their debut studio album, released on October 1, 1962 on Capitol. Surfin' Safari peaked at number 32 in its 37-week run on the US charts.
In the autumn of 1961, cousins Brian Wilson and Mike Love composed a song on surfing, titled "Surfin'" at the behest of Brian's younger sibling, Dennis Wilson. They quickly formed a band, bringing in the youngest Wilson brother Carl on lead guitar and Brian's high school friend Al Jardine on rhythm guitar. Brian took up bass, Dennis the drums and Mike would be the frontman, while they all would harmonize vocals arranged by Brian.
Father Murry Wilson became the band's manager. He submitted a professionally-recorded demo tape to Capitol Records that spring. The Beach Boys were signed and "Surfin' Safari" b/w "409" (from the April 1962 demo tape) was released as a single that June. Al Jardine left the band before the demo session, to be replaced by a friend of Carl's, David Marks, until the fall of 1963. With both "Surfin' Safari" and "409" becoming hits (the former reaching US number 14), Capitol Records approved a full album.
"The title track, their first true smash, is great, as is its flip side ('409'), which was not only a hit in its own right, but was the first vocal hot rod classic. 'Surfin',' their debut single (and small national hit), is also good, and one of the few Beach Boys tracks that could be said to have a garage-like quality... [A] glimpse of the group as they sounded when they were a true band in the studio, before most of their parts were played by session musicians. Two of the better cuts, 'The Shift' and the instrumental 'Moon Dawg,' have a grittier-than-usual surf rock base that would flower on 1963 hits like 'Surfin' U.S.A.'" - Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com
180g Vinyl with Bonus CD of Entire Album
Brian Wilson, vocals, bass guitar, organ
Carl Wilson, vocals, lead guitar
Dennis Wilson, vocals, drums
David Marks, vocals, rhythm guitar
Mike Love, vocals
Al Jardine, vocals, acoustic bass
1. Surfin' Safari
2. County Fair
3. Ten Little Indians
5. Little Miss America
8. Heads You WinTails I Love
9. Summertime Blues
10. Cuckoo Clock
11. Moon Dawg
12. The Shift
1. Land Ahoy
2. Cindy, Oh Cindy
4. What Is A Young Girl Made Of
5. Surfin' Safari (Candix Session)
6. Surfer Girl (Candix Master)
7. Judy (Candix Session)
8. Karate (Candix Session)
9. Surfin' (First Attempt)
10. Luau (First Attempt)
11. Lavender (Demo)