Although on the surface, this may seem like a collection of pedestrian surf-era instrumentals, there is more here than meets the eye. Possibly the first ever L.P. release by the newly-formed Dunhill Records (named after one of the founders, Bobby Roberts, who had been a lounge dancer in a group called 'The Dancing Dunhill's'), this project was a launching pad for P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, the production and songwriting team that eventually contributed to the careers of The Mamas & The Papas, Barry McGuire, and many others. The Surfing Songbook is essentially a cash-in to the Beach Boys-Jan & Dean surf/skate craze at a time when Brian Wilson and Jan Berry were for the most part abandoning the field. It is notable for some excellent performances, particularly from a very young P.F. Sloan on great reverb-drenched surf guitar, as well as studio aces Hal Blaine, Joe Osborne, Larry Knechtel, et. al.. Also contains exquisite liner notes from Elliott Kendall, a West Coast musician and music archivist. Pretty Boss.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald