Surf music, for most folks, means the Beach Boys, and the group's high, intricate harmonies and summery themes have essentially become the definition of the genre. What gets lost in all this is that the Beach Boys didn't actually play surf music as much as sing about surfing, which isn't exactly the same thing. Dick Dale and others created surf music by attempting to instrumentally re-create the feel of riding a wave, while Brian Wilson and company were really more concerned with capturing the feel of the California teen culture that surrounded the sport. That said, this brief compilation doesn't actually have too many songs about surfing, and while the material here is fine, even great, there are countless other Beach Boys sets on the market that do a better job of presenting this very special group.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett