Personnel: Carl Wilson (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Brian Wilson (vocals, electric bass, snare drum); Dennis Wilson (vocals, drums); Audree Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love , Val Poliuto (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Jim Murphy .
Editor: Mark Linett.
Prior to signing to Capitol Records, the Beach Boys released a single on Candix Records, recordings produced by Hite and Dorinda Morgan between September 1961 and March of 1962. During those few months, they cut more songs than wound up being issued -- "Surfin'"/"Luau" was the only 45 pressed from these sessions -- but the group first essayed the classics "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfer Girl" during this time, along with songs that wound up being abandoned. All of them are here, along with rehearsals and aborted takes, on Omnivore's double-disc Becoming the Beach Boys. There are slight variations between these versions and the well-known Capitol versions, but that almost amounts to the differences between a threadbare indie and an established studio: the songs that were re-recorded at Capitol -- "Surfin'," "Surfin' Safari," and "Surfer Girl" -- were ultimately bolder and richer than these early versions, which do contain a spark but seem tentative compared to what came later. Also, the alternate takes wind up being wearying: the arrangements build slowly, and it's fun to hear the group figure out where the individual voices should go, but this is archival material that will test the patience of anyone who isn't a scholar. Yet, the Beach Boys do deserve this treatment. Within a matter of months they'd make better music but this embryonic incarnation is fascinating not only because the songs are there, but because it's possible to hear the interaction of the band, five young kids who had yet to settle into their roles and were just excited to be in a studio, singing the songs of their dreams. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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