The Beach Boys ‎– Surf's Up

Reprise Records ‎– RS 6453, Brother Records (3) ‎– RS 6453
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Santa Maria Pressing

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Don't Go Near The Water
Written-By – Alan Jardine, Mike Love
A2 Long Promised Road
Written-By – Carl Wilson, Jack Rieley
A3 Take A Load Off Your Feet
Written-By – Alan Jardine, Gary Winfrey
A4 Disney Girls (1957)
Written-By – Bruce Johnston
A5 Student Demonstration Time
Composed By – Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller*Lyrics By – Mike Love
B1 Feel Flows
Written-By – Carl Wilson, Jack Rieley
B2 Lookin' At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)
Written-By – Alan Jardine, Gary Winfrey
B3 A Day In The Life Of A Tree
Written-By – Brian Wilson, Jack Rieley
B4 'Til I Die
Written-By – Brian Wilson
B5 Surf's Up
Written-By – Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks

Companies, etc.



Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Santa Maria pressing denoted by S etch in runouts.

"Student Demonstration Time" is based on Leiber & Stoller's "Riot In Cell Block Number Nine".
Released with 11x22" lyric insert.

Artisan Recorders logo resembles an Lp record flanked by two angled strokes to form the letter "A".

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Matrix A on label): 31,236
  • Matrix / Runout (Matrix B on label): 31,237
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, var.1): S \ RS-6453A 31236-Re 1 1A [Artisan Recorders logo] Thanks Marilyn
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, var.1): S \ RS-6453-B 31237-Re 1 1A [Artisan Recorders logo]
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, var.2): 1 RS-6453 A S 31236-RE 1 1A [Artisan Recorders logo] Thanks Marilyn A3
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, var.2): 1 RS-6453-B S 31237-RE 1 1A [Artisan Recorders logo] A3
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A, var.3): \ RS-6453A 31236-RE 1 1B [Artisan Recorders logo] Thanks Marilyn B3
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B, var,3): RS-6453-B S 31237-RE 1 1A [Artisan Recorders logo]

Other Versions (5 of 80) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
RS 6453, ST-93920 The Beach Boys Surf's Up(LP, Album, Club) Brother Records (3), Reprise Records, Capitol Record Club RS 6453, ST-93920 US 1971 Sell This Version
TC-SSL 10313 The Beach Boys Surf's Up(Cass, Album) Stateside TC-SSL 10313 New Zealand 1971 Sell This Version
SSL 10313, SSL. 10313 The Beach Boys Surf's Up(LP, Album) Stateside, Stateside SSL 10313, SSL. 10313 UK 1971 Sell This Version
CRB 40-31774, 40-31774 The Beach Boys Surf's up (Cass, Album, RE) Caribou Records, Brother Records (3), CBS, Embassy CRB 40-31774, 40-31774 UK 1979 Sell This Version
RS 6453 The Beach Boys Surf's Up(LP, Album, Pit) Brother Records (3), Reprise Records RS 6453 US 1971 Sell This Version


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December 11, 2018

Without a doubt, Revolver by the Beatles was a solid album from beginning to end, as was Rubber Soul, where the Beatles created an intoxicating atmosphere that was very forward looking in both its presentation an atmosphere. That being said, for years the Beach Boys and the Beatles were competing on the charts, the singles charts, often at times with more than one song in the top 10 on any given week.

What the Beatles had going for them that the Beach Boys did not, was the ability to infuse an album with a sense of understated strength, grace and vision, along with the ability for these albums to outlive even time. I use the word albums, because the Beatles were very much an album oriented band, while even in the mist of the psychedelic haze that was the 60’s, the Beach Boys were not, as such, and album driven band. The Beach Boys were and will always remain a singles band. I realize there will be many to disagree with me, but the statement is one of fact, derived from having been there then, listened, and of course have been talking with other listeners for near fifty years. Point of fact, the Beach Boys would not release a solid, all songs great album until 2012, with “That’s Why God Made The Radio.” All previous Beach Boy albums had actual lines of demarcation, where songs were either great, or they were middle of the road.

As with those other Beach Boy albums, Surf’s Up falls into the same category, though what sets this album apart from the others, even the flowery sounding Pet Sounds, was the density of the production, which infused weaker material to sound greater. There are deep concerns for me with this record, and while within it there are some songs I truly love, there’s an equal amount of distrust and dissatisfaction as well. Consider the forgettable “Student Demonstration Time,” which the first question I’d ask being ”What was going on, what was this about, who was it designed to appeal to? “Demonstration Time” was freely lifted from “Riot In Cell Block Number 9,” a song penned by the duo of Leiber and Stroller, with the megaphone shouting by Love making it almost laughable, especially if one were on campus during that year, or worse, in Viet Nam. The decision making processes now fell entirely to the two weakest song writers in the band, where they attempted to come across as more socially relevant, Mike Love and Al Jardine. Of course “Long Promised Road,” and “Feel Flows” are just dynamic, as is “Disney Girls (1957)”, all stand out numbers … though the title track “Surf’s Up” is the defining moment of the album, and is sadly a song that does not define the album.

While Surf’s Up is not wildly inconsistent with its eclectic nature, it is not consistent either, depending on what you’re listening for. For example, there are no love songs on the album, with “Disney Girls” being a memory, a longing, and not a love song in actuality. The album is fraught with anxiety, deep concerns and fear, not aspects I derived from early Beach Boy sojourns, though were certainly part of everyday life during the early 1970’s, meaning I didn’t get any relief from the horrors of Viet Nam, Watergate, endless police raids for marijuana, along with the dying of so many musicians … Surf’s Up did not offer me anything to escape into while alone in my room with my very personal thoughts (though in my case, I was alone in a tent in southeast Asia).

With the Beach Boys delivering four albums that were rewarding, beautiful and rich, even if uneven (due to so many songwriters), in as many years, they had one big problem, and that’s that none of those albums sold well, and while largely unheard at the time, they have become cult favorites, with listeners just beaming in to find something elegant in something that failed with such ease. With the genesis of Surf’s Up, the Beach Boys had become a nostalgia band, though without their founding member, off balance, out of step and attempting to be all things to all people, when what they should have been doing was concentrating on those hits, those precious gems that defined the band and caught our attention.

As always, keep the great singles, forget the so-called high art.

*** The Fun Facts: The album’s artwork was taken from the James Earle Fraser sculpture “End Of The Trail,” located in Waupun, Wisconsin, and has been moved around much since its creation.

The album was originally entitled Landlocked.

Review by Jenell Kesler


October 10, 2016
Instead of the RS-6453 my copy has ST-93920 on the labels as well as the runout etching. I can't find any info on this, if someone knows I'd really appreciate it.


January 21, 2011
edited over 10 years ago

Though most Beach Boys aficionados will tell you that Pet Sounds is their greatest release, my personal belief is that this is the Beach Boy's finest album, and the one that is most indicative of the group as a whole. The first side shows the quirkiness of the group, and an early interest in the environmental, along with a dose of tunes delving into health, and human rights issues. Then we get to the second side, which I believe to be the best group of five songs ever assembled together on one side of an LP. From the beginning of the hypnotic pulse of Feel Flows, all the way to the last falsetto note of Surf's Up, this is one set of songs that I can listen to over and over, and its impact never seems to diminish.