The dawning of the 1970s promised fresh beginnings for the Beach Boys, with the reemergence of their own Brothers Records label and a new parent company at Warner Bros. With Sunflower, an auspicious debut, the band found themselves out of sync with their potential audience. Surf’s Up attempted to rectify that, with input from new manager Jack Rieley who urged them to write more socially aware lyrics (resulting in the dire “Student Demonstration Time”), add more modern instrumentation (the synthesizer squiggles in “Don’t Go Near The Water”) and most importantly, insisted that Brian return to the glory that is “Surf’s Up.” Though Van Dyke Park’s lyrics are still abstruse to the point of obfuscation, under Carl’s supervision (Brian still had problems confronting his unfinished masterwork) the song was stitched together from demo versions and original backing tracks, with a new ending based on “Child Is Father to the Man” from the Smile sessions. When set against the goofiness of such as “Take A Load Off Your Feet” and “A Day In The Life of a Tree,” and the rarified beauty of Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls (1957),” the album resonates on as many levels as the complex intra-personalities of the Beach Boys themselves.
By Lenny Kaye on 05.16.11 in Icons
This year, the Beach Boys celebrate their half century — silver surfers all. Theirs is a family saga that, in the midst of unrivaled siblings and a belief in the transcendental meditation that is music, captures a moment...
By Marc Hogan on 02.26.15 in News
Surf's up for a new biopic about the Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson. Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as Wilson at two different ages, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this past fal...
By Glenn Kenny on 12.12.14 in Features
The prolific director discusses seminal music moments in his films and the art of selecting the right song.
By Lindsay Hood on 11.20.14 in News
Greetings! Top of the Morning is your daily AM news round-up. We paid attention overnight and gathered relevant tidbits to share over that first cup of coffee. On a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, it seem...