Surfin' U.S.A.

The Beach Boys

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Surfin' U.S.A. Review

by Richie Unterberger

The real breakthrough, as Brian Wilson asserts himself in the studio as both songwriter and arranger on a set of material that was much stronger than Surfin' Safari. Besides the hit title track and its popular drag-racing flip side ("Shut Down"), this has a lovely, heartbreaking ballad ("Lonely Sea") and a couple of strong Brian Wilson originals ("The Noble Surfer" and "Farmer's Daughter"). There are also a surprisingly high quotient of instrumentals (five) that demonstrate that, before session musicians took over most of the parts, the Beach Boys could play respectably gutsy surf rock as a self-contained unit. Indeed, the album as a whole is the best they would make, prior to the late '60s, as a band that played most of their instruments, rather than as a vehicle for Brian Wilson's ideas. The LP was a huge hit, vital to launching surf music as a national craze, and one of the few truly strong records to be recorded by a self-contained American rock band prior to the British Invasion.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Beach Boys 02:30 Amazon
2 The Beach Boys 01:53 Amazon
3 The Beach Boys 02:06 Amazon
4 The Beach Boys 01:59 Amazon
5 The Beach Boys 02:23 Amazon
6 The Beach Boys 01:51 Amazon
7 The Beach Boys 01:53 Amazon
8 The Beach Boys 02:05 Amazon
9 The Beach Boys 01:48 Amazon
10 The Beach Boys 02:13 Amazon
11 The Beach Boys 02:01 Amazon
12 The Beach Boys 01:44 Amazon
13 The Beach Boys 02:29 Amazon
14 The Beach Boys 01:51 Amazon
15 The Beach Boys 02:06 Amazon
16 The Beach Boys 02:01 Amazon
17 The Beach Boys 02:23 Amazon
18 The Beach Boys 01:51 Amazon
19 The Beach Boys 01:53 Amazon
20 The Beach Boys 02:04 Amazon
21 The Beach Boys 01:41 Amazon
22 The Beach Boys 02:12 Amazon
23 The Beach Boys 01:59 Amazon
24 The Beach Boys 01:39 Amazon
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