You know summer is fading when the group most associated with fun in the sun starts an album with a pollution diatribe called Don’t Go Near the Water. With Surf’s Up, The Beach Boys’ grew less infatuated with catching waves and surfer girls and more with a world view that mirrored the group’s own fracturing status. The late Carl Wilson’s plaintive high pop tenor shines through Long Promised Road and Feel Flows. But the last words again go to Brian Wilson who forges Til I Die and Surf’s Up‘s title tune into glorious requiems. Even the album cover of a deflated Don Quixote signaled summer’s end. And indeed, after 1973’s Holland, The Beach Boys ceased making credible new music. But even with all its despondency, Surf’s Up remains part of a stunning final chorus.
We conclude out Summer Album of the Week series on Sept. 5 with something kinky.