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Poll
Question: Rate Surfin Safari
5 - 3 (3.1%)
4 - 14 (14.4%)
3 - 52 (53.6%)
2 - 22 (22.7%)
1 - 6 (6.2%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 94

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Author Topic: Surfin Safari  (Read 19615 times)
Surfing Moose
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« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2010, 11:24:14 AM »

2 points

always remember, these are kids with little experience, a garage band. If you compare it with Phil Spector at that time, he had professional musicians that created his "wall of sound" For a first album it's good with some classic tracks, but of course compared with what to come...
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« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2010, 08:32:41 PM »

Brian doesn't sing high on this album. Silly stuff but fun in a way. The vocals are sloppy so it's hard to tell but I think Brian and Mike sing Summertime Blues. I think I hear Carl too. Dave probably joins in the mix. Surfin USA is WAY better but CHug a Lug, Surfin, Surfin Safari, 409, even Ten Little Indians are pretty cool. Cuckoo Clock's funny in an ironic way.

What's odd is that Brian obviously knew how to sing in falsetto, doing it as well as he does on Surfin' USA on both versions of "Barbie". AFAIK, it was recorded before most of the Surfin' Safari sessions, so he knew the technique, and he certainly knew how to sing with it... he just chose not to. I think "Cuckoo Clock" would've been a lot better with a falsetto treatment, though.
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« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2010, 03:12:49 AM »

Surfin Safari peaked at #37 on the charts and had a 37 week run. All of the instruments are played by the 5 Beach Boys and shows their raw talent but great talent non the less.

#32, and a 39 week run (in two instalments).
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« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2011, 08:16:06 AM »


Who is Larry as referenced in Chug-A-Lug? I assume Gary is Gary Usher, but who's Larry?

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« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2011, 08:21:07 AM »

This album reminds me a lot of The Wiggles. That being said, I love it. 3/5
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« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2012, 04:07:52 PM »

Good first album. Full of simple but catchy songs. Love Dennis's vocals on Little Girl and Brian's on Cuckoo Clock. Summertime Blues is also a nice track, and unfortunately the only one where David gets a co-lead (correct me if I'm wrong on that).  Chug-A-Lug and Surfin' are good tracks as well.
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« Reply #56 on: July 07, 2012, 01:03:08 AM »

I think that Nick Venet is singing on it with David.

Yes. It's Dave with Nik.

Why are so called hard-core Beach Boy people so ignorant about this ?

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« Reply #57 on: July 08, 2012, 10:26:36 AM »

That was some kind of a harmless joke, wasn't it?

Harmless yes...a joke? I don't believe so.

Dave Marks and Nik Venet are the vocalists on Summertime Blues.

Nik played guitar too. He wasn't in the music business simply because he could type and add columns well, ya know.
 Wink
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:28:58 PM by JanBerryFarm » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: July 08, 2012, 08:30:53 PM »

My apologies.  Shocked

I accidently typed moon dawg, when I meant Summertime Blues. I'm also handling a 'Moon Dawg/Nik Venet' controversy in another thread, and they overlap slightly in my mind.

Let me start over.

The Vocalists on Summertime Blues are David Marks and Nik Venet.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:33:54 PM by JanBerryFarm » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: July 08, 2012, 08:38:31 PM »

My apologies.  Shocked

I accidently typed moon dawg, when I meant Summertime Blues.

Let me start over.

The Vocalists on Summertime Blues are David Marks and Nik Venet.

No, they aren't. It's Carl with David + Mike.


Yes, that's the popular notion. But surprisingly, It's Dave and Nik. (+ Mike)
Even the Dave and Carl idea has never been substantiated.
For years,  many people didn't even know that it was Dave singing.

So, Dave and Nik can be a bit of a shock.
But then, Beach Boy archealogy is famous for big surprises.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:39:30 PM by JanBerryFarm » Logged

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« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2012, 09:05:48 PM »

Uh huh... I know.

It's great that you're familiar with Carls voice. It's sooo fine.

Remember however, that Carl didn't do any lead vocals on their records until Shut Down Vol. 2, when he made his lead vocal debut with Pom Pom Play Girls. And I should add that for years people thought that was Brian singing.

That said, let me suggest that in the Surfin' Safari days, Carls voice was a bit different than what we normally hear on his classics such as God Only Knows and Good Vibrations.

It's also important to understand that Summertime Blues was essentially Dave's lead. He sang it live with Carls harmony, yes....but in the studio, it was different.

Initially, Dave ran through track after track until he finally got his phrasing straight. Then Nik came in on harmony and they worked that through a few times too, until it was polished enough. It's still not really polished, but we love it anyway. That's part of the charm.

 Smiley
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 09:06:40 PM by JanBerryFarm » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: July 08, 2012, 10:29:48 PM »


Remember however, that Carl didn't do any lead vocals on their records until Shut Down Vol. 2, when he made his lead vocal debut with Pom Pom Play Girl. And I should add that for years people thought that was Brian singing.

That said, let me suggest that in the Surfin' Safari days, Carl's voice was a bit different than what we normally hear on his classics such as God Only Knows and Good Vibrations.

It's also important to understand that Summertime Blues was essentially Dave's lead. He sang it live with Carl's harmony, yes....but in the studio, it was different.

 Smiley
Yes, it was a bit different but I recognize Carl's voice quite easily in any song. As for Pom Pom Play Girl, well, I suppose, I'm not counted in with "people", because I never thought the vocals were Brian's.

Just relistened to this song and it still sounds Carl & David + Mike's bass vocals. Can you give me the source where it is said that Nik was in SB? Anyway, thanks for the info about David singing it live. I wasn't aware of that.

Sure.. the 'source' is not a book. It's the original session tapes.

btw.... Dave actually did quite a bit of singing in the early 'early' days. When they were left to their devices out on the road...without Brian...they did what they had to do. They played and sang lot's of 50's and early 60's rock covers, because that (plus surf instrumentals) was all they had to draw upon.

What's cool about Dave was the fact that he had the cajones to just do what had to be done. If you've ever been in a band... one of the interesting things about lead singing is that if you're doing a lot of it, you really need a break every few songs. I'm sure that Mike welcomed somebody else taking the pressure off. That was Dave. He wasn't afraid to 'go for it'.

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« Reply #62 on: March 03, 2013, 12:27:25 AM »

I think this the Beach Boys' "Cocoanuts".

In that it's not quite as good as what came after ("Surfin' USA"/"Animal Crackers"), but it's not so far off that it deserves been ranked down with the lowest of the late work, as it seems to be for a lot of people here. It still sounds like the Beach Boys, and I'd argue it's pretty essential. None of the songs are bad; except, in my opinion, "Little Girl".

One thing I find interesting about this album is that it confounds a lot of expectations. You think an early Beach Boys record will have lots of covers and instrumentals, but there's only three covers and only one instrumental. You think it's all gonna be about surfin', but there are only two surfin'-themed songs. There was a Beach Boys album-by-album review that referred to this album as "mostly surfing songs co-written by Mike Love" (or something like that), which proved the writer hadn't listened to the album in a while, or read the songwriting credits.
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« Reply #63 on: March 03, 2013, 01:54:30 AM »

This is my favorite Beach Boys album, I therefor give it a 5!
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« Reply #64 on: March 23, 2013, 06:00:15 AM »

Eh. Nothing that good, but nothing terrible. 2.
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« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2013, 07:36:31 PM »

I love Cuckoo Clock!

This album sounds rather sloppy, but what do you expect from a bunch of teenagers in 1961-62? I find that the sloppiness gives it some charm.
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« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2013, 04:54:13 AM »

Surfin' Safari is easily my favourite Beach Boys surf song, and this is coming from someone who doesn't listen to the Beach Boys for their surf music.

Although "Little Girl (My Miss America)" is my favourite track on this album.

2.5 is probably the most appropriate rating for this album, it's not particularly good, it's not quite bad, but this is their first album.
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« Reply #67 on: November 11, 2013, 08:33:55 AM »

2/5.
The worst BB album after Summer In Paradise. Though Surfin' Safari (the song) is a classic, it's 100 times better than Surfin U.S.A., or any other surfing song. But the album is just unlistenable, it mostly sounds like bunch of teenagers who can't play an instrument trying to sound like a real professional band, which they don't. But oh I almost forgot that that actually was the situation at the moment. I don't hate this album, but I don't ever listen to it either.
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« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2013, 06:29:06 PM »

This is a typical teenage rock band for its day.. The kind you would see at a middle or high school dance.. They aint no Beatles but this IS pre Beatles..  I don't listen to this much but its MUCH better than Surfers Pajama Party.. A good but not great start.. At this stage 1962 The Beatles sounded much better because they were SEASONED live performers.. {Hamburg}.. BB are not and that is the main difference to me..  3/5
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« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2015, 08:13:09 AM »

Here's one of the reasons I joined this board, to give my two cents regarding the catalog of one of my favorite bands.  

For their first effort, I'd give it a 3 out of 5.  

The obvious highlights are Surfin Safari and 409.  I also really like Heads I Win, Tails You Lose.  The Boys do a pretty decent version of Summertime Blues.  County Fair and Chug a Lug are fun tracks.  Surfin, of course, is significant as their first composition.  

Overall, the album has a certain charm to it.  The next record would be a huge step up production wise, but Surfin Safari is still a fun album to listen to.  
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« Reply #70 on: July 27, 2015, 12:17:40 PM »

By itself, it's a pretty enjoyable rock n' roll album. When it's not compared to classics that would be coming within the next few years, like Surfer Girl and Today!, it's actually a lot of fun to listen to.
It's a great document of the BBs when they were still a garage band, made up of family. The brothers (Brian, Denny, Carl) the cousin (Mike) the friends (Dave and Al on Surfin') and their dad, an abusive one, but still family (Murray).
The weak part of the album, and even BW realized this, was audio quality. Whether it was the lack of acoustics in "the tower's" studio or Murray and Nik making the band "trebly", the album SOUNDS horrible. You can't really hear Brian's bass or Denny's drums. It's mostly Mike's voice and Carl's guitar upfront, and everything else is buried.
There are a lot of great tracks on this record---
Surfin', Surfin' Safari, 409, Heads You Win Tails I Lose, Cuckoo Clock, Moondawg, and Denny's first vocal Little Girl.

Overall, a pretty good record. 4.
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« Reply #71 on: July 27, 2015, 08:56:57 PM »

I've spoken many times about this album, but I guess never in the official Review Thread.  So...

What a wonderful album this is. I first heard it around the time I first heard Smiley Smile -- shortly after I first heard Smiley, I bought Safari.  And it struck me how similar the two were.  The same vein.

Both were very organic sounding.  Very damp.  Smiley was very grassy and off the path.  But Safari was very beachy and on the path, so-to-speak.  Both were garage.  Do it at home.  But still incredibly honest, beautiful albums.

Today, Safari is a gift.  A chance to relive where it all started.  In no other time could this have been captured.  God Bless.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 08:57:51 PM by Bean Bag » Logged

409.
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« Reply #72 on: September 26, 2015, 06:03:46 PM »

Surfin' Safari - 5/5
County Fair - 1/5
Ten Little Indians - 3/5
Chug-A-Lug - 1/5
Little Girl (You're My Miss America) - 1/5
409 - 5/5
Surfin' - 4/5
Heads You Win, Tails I Lose - 0/5
Summertime Blues - 0/5
Cuckoo Clock - 1/5
Moon Dawg - 3/5
The Shift - 1/5

Well we all have to start somewhere. In fairness they were just kids. Most of the Wilson/Usher songs are sh*t. Drumwise, Dennis was clearly learning on the job. The trademark vocal stack had not been figured out yet - Dennis is much too loud in the mix.
Three classic tunes and a load of afterthoughts. Not to worry, things were about to dramatically improve.
1.5/5 overall.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 06:05:19 PM by Mike's Beard » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: November 21, 2015, 04:04:47 AM »

There are some good to great songs here. In fact there's nothing I'd skip.

"The Shift" always gets short shrift, which is a pity. That unique chord sequence is a harbinger of things to come.

4/5.
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« Reply #74 on: April 20, 2016, 11:18:44 PM »

I've spoken many times about this album, but I guess never in the official Review Thread.  So...

What a wonderful album this is. I first heard it around the time I first heard Smiley Smile -- shortly after I first heard Smiley, I bought Safari.  And it struck me how similar the two were.  The same vein.

Both were very organic sounding.  Very damp.  Smiley was very grassy and off the path.  But Safari was very beachy and on the path, so-to-speak.  Both were garage.  Do it at home.  But still incredibly honest, beautiful albums.

Today, Safari is a gift.  A chance to relive where it all started.  In no other time could this have been captured.  God Bless.
I like this review. Had the album on tonight, and it's very appealing in its freshness, simplicity. a better debut album that most bands of the era.
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