Review: Surfin’ Safari

It has been well over fifty years since the legendary surfin’ band The Beach Boys surfaced with their particular band of rock n roll. Looking back at their debut album Surfin’ Safari, who knew that they would become those same boys who would evolve and release the now timeless classic, Pet Sounds.

Surfer rock is something that I don’t think existed in the United Kingdom and is certainly something of my generation will never understand. So, when it comes to listening to the gimmick surfer theme on Surfin’ Safari, it feels like a whole new world. Probably because it was.

I have to give credit to The Beach Boys. Their debut album features more originals on their debut album than most bands at the time would have on any record. Out of the entire twelve song track list, the band wrote nine of them and that features classics like the title track, Surfin’ Safari, 409 and of course, Surfin’. Some of the songs don’t quite hit home. I found County Fair and Cuckoo Clock to be a bit lacking. There is also a really good energetic cover of Summertime Blues, a great rock n roll classic if there ever was one.

The version of the album I’m listening to is the 1990 “2 For 1” remaster. This release (and the others) all have a good sound. It preserves a lot of the energy in the bands music and really sounds magnificent on the big vocal harmonies. I much prefer this to the later remasters, the treble was a bit too high making the music a bit hard to listen to over a long period of time.

As it is, Surfin’ Safari is a good honest rock n roll record. It isn’t great by any means but it is up lifting, refreshing and has a sort of innocence to it. Something that is sorely lacking in music in our time. Fans of old school rock n roll will find plenty to enjoy here, even better when it is packaged with their follow up Surfin’ USA.

Rating : 6 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Surfin' Safari
  2. County Fair
  3. Ten Little Indians
  4. Chug-A-Lung
  5. Little Girl (You're My Miss America)
  6. 409
  7. Surfin'
  8. Heads You Win-Tails I Lose
  9. Summertime Blues
  10. Cuckoo Clock
  11. Moon Dawg
  12. The Shift