Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (Demo)

The upcoming release of The Beach Boys' SMiLE sessions has us digging through our archives like maniacs, catching up on all the material that we've collected over the years in regard to the notorious "lost" album.  Ranging from demos, to session tapes, to fan-compiled versions of the album, there's more than any rational human would like to dig through.  However, in that dreck there are also gems, and the demo for "Surf's Up" is among our very favorites.

The track itself is no stranger to Beach Boys fans:  it would surface later on an album of the same name.  However, that version was produced and manicured:  a bizarre combination of simplicity attempting to seem complex.  By comparison this demo, recorded by Brian Wilson solo at the piano, reveals the very fundamental reason the song is so amazing.  Rhythms, melodies, transitions: all of them combine to make this version the very best it can be.

The demo first surfaced on a 1960's TV show (click through for video - embedding was disabled) previewing the never-to-be album, and for a long time that unmastered outtake was all that fans would have.  However, with the release of the Good Vibrations box set, a full mastered version was released in all it's simplistic goodness.  And it is so, so, worth it.  So sit back, relax, and have a listen.  Surf's Up!

mp3: The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (Demo)