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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2014
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on 19 June 2015
love it
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on 25 July 2016
two albums for the price of one and some more off top seller
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on 23 March 2001
I must admit i'd been putting off buying these two particular beach boys albums, the very beginnings of the group. I was expecting a primitive work but put on 'Lonely Sea' and marvel that all which was to come later on 'Pet Sounds' is already here in this song albeit in embryonic form. 'Farmers Daughter' is also lovely and although the 'Surfin USA' album does have an excess of instrumentals, these can be seen as charming period pieces if you choose not to take them too seriously. The 'Surfin Safari' album contains no songs as great as on 'Surfin USA' but does have one or two catchy moments and is actually great fun to listen to! When you remember these two albums were recorded around 1962/63 right at the very beginning ( pre-beatles! ) they really are some acomplishment for what was a very young group still in their teens.
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2004
Throughout 2001 Capital Records went through the Beach Boys catalogue re-issuing them all in re-mastered sound using the best-available masters, with extensive liner notes and usually two albums plus bonus tracks on each release.
In the early years, Capital managed to squeeze a large number of albums out of the group and there is a steep learning curve as the group became more proficient and mature, and Brian Wilson's songwriting, arranging and production skills evolved.
Surfin' Safari (1962) was the band's first album, rushed out in the wake of the success of the title track as a hit single and its hot-rod B-side, 409, replete with the sound effects of a 348 Chevy as they couldn't afford a 409. Surf, hot-rods and girls are the preoccupations of most of the songs, mainly original compositions, though there is a stab at Summertime Blues, and the Gamblers' Moon Dawg, considered to be the first surf record.
It includes some of the demo recordings that got the band signed in the first place, and their first single, Surfin', from 1961, which had first been released on the tiny X Records label and then on Candix. The version here is the Candix version speeded up, despite the "production notes" in the liner. Most of the lead vocals are by Mike Love, though Brian sings Cuckoo Clock and Dennis Wilson, the Ringo Starr of the group, debuts as lead singer on Little Miss America. Ten Little Indians was also released as a single from the album, against Brian Wilson's wishes (his choice was Chug-A-Lug). At this stage the Beach Boys were strong vocally and harmonically but their instrumental skills were rudimentary. Although some of the tracks have previously appeared in 3-track stereo (vocals left and right, instruments at centre), they are all in mono here, although Land Ahoy!, an outtake included as a bonus track, is stereo.
Surfin' USA (1963) was similarly built around the hit title track which really put the Beach Boys on the map, a surf lyric re-write of Chuck Berry's Sweet Little Sixteen that defined their vocal sound. Again the B-side was a hot-rod song, Shut Down, on which Brian collaborated for the first time with DJ and drag racing enthusiast Roger Christian. Apart from being in stereo, this album is mostly more of the same, though Brian takes three lead vocals, including Lonely Sea, a ballad that prefigures the wistful melancholia of his later productions, and the instrumental Surf Jam marks Carl Wilson's first released composition
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on 31 March 2016
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on 15 March 2017
Surf boards at the ready!
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on 15 February 2007
The surprise here is that the first album Surfin Safari (Oct 1962) of which might expect little, is so solid, and as good as most early Beach Boys albums and better than several. 9 originals and only 3 covers - contrast the Beatles with 6 covers on their 1st, 2nd and 4th albums. Kids who bought the single wouldn't have been disappointed with this album which is solid, up-tempo, rock & roll based surf music throughout, The bass is fuller and more effective than on some later outings and the lead guitar breaks also have more bite and are less attenuated. There is off course the microscopic drum sound and Mike Love's nasal vocals to contend with.

The second album Surfin USA (Mar 63) (12 Tracks, 25 mins long, 9 originals and 3 covers)

Side one is hot, shaping up to be on a par with the early Beatle albums. Side 2 lets it down esp on 9 -12 ( 2 melody free instrumentals and 2 Four seasons pastiches). The USA no 3 title track is surprisingly kicking. The result was a US no 2 album! Farmers Daughter has arching Brian vocals and cadences. There is an excellent cover of the exotic guitar classic Mirsolu, the moody Lonely Sea.

The Beach Boys broke with precedent to self-produce outside the Capital studio system after LP 1. Tho in my opinion Brian was often a rushed and erratic producer who could have down with a steadying professional George Martin figure.

The 3 bonus tracks are poor and the sleeve notes a little perfunctory compared to later volumes in this great series.
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on 22 January 2014
Surfin' Safari is the Beach Boys first album, but it perfectly encapsulates the image of California (at least as perceived by this reviewer). The rudimentary nature of the vocal harmonies complements the subject matter of the songs: fun, girls, cars, surf, and cuckoos. The noteworthy tracks are: Little Miss America (sung by drummer Dennis Wilson), Surfin' Safari, a cover of Summertime Blues, and the solid "Country Fair". Overall Surfin' Safari is lovely album for someone looking to get acquainted with the Boys.

This package also includes their second LP "Surfin U.S.A." and 3 bonus tracks. In the former I only consider Lana, Farmer's Daughter, and Surfin' U.S.A. as deserving -in the case of the former two- praise, or -in the case of the latter: mention.

Concluding, don't shun away from purchasing these two-albums package, considering that you are paying for one good album, and getting another 20 songs in that price.
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on 9 June 2014
This CD is generally good value for money.

The individual albums are quite short (12 tracks each and about most tracks about 2 and half minutes), but combining them and adding some bonus tracks makes a good CD. The Surfin' Safari album is in mono, while Surfin' USA and bonus tracks are in stereo.

These are early Beach Boys albums, without the sophistication of Pet Sounds, that are representative of the early 1960's.
My 6 year old grandson likes them (but no doubt his tastes will change). For myself they are nostalgic.

I am not sure a stereo version of the Surfin' Safari album exists. I downloaded the title track Surfin' Safari (stereo) from Amazon's mp3 site, but that was actually mono.
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