Worst Beach Boys Song on Surf's Up - Part 7 in an Ongoing Series

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lets take a wild guess who the winner will be here...

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Student Demonstration Time 29
Don't Go Near the Water 1
Disney Girls (1957) 1
'Til I Die 0
A Day in the Life of a Tree 0
Lookin' at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song) 0
Feel Flows 0
Take a Load Off Your Feet 0
Long Promised Road 0
Surf's Up 0


High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:13 (twelve years ago) link

This one's pretty obvious. Though "Take a Load Off Your Feet" is crap too.

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:17 (twelve years ago) link

Starting out with Berkeley Free Speech
And later on at People's Park
The winds of change fanned into flames
Student demonstrations spark
Down to Isla Vista where police felt so harassed
They called the special riot squad of the L. A. County Sheriff

Well there's a riot going on
There's a riot going on
There's a riot going on
Student demonstration time

The violence spread down South to where Jackson State brothers
Learned not to say nasty things about Southern policemen's mothers
Nothing much was said about it and really next to nothing done
The pen is mightier than the sword, but no match for a gun

Well there's a riot going on
There's a riot going on
Well there's a riot going on
'Cause it's student demonstration time

America was stunned on May 4, 1970
When rally turned to riot up at Kent State University
They said the students scared the Guard
Though the troops were battle dressed
Four martyrs earned a new degree
The badge of eternal rest
I know we're all fed up with useless wars and racial strife
But next time there's a riot, well, you best stay out of sight

Well there's a riot going on
There's a riot going on
Well there's a riot going on
Student demonstration time

Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
It's student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
It's student demonstration
Stay away when there's a riot going on
Student demonstration

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:19 (twelve years ago) link

The lyrics aren't that bad, everything else about it is

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:20 (twelve years ago) link

its really only the second verse that elicits a serious UHM WAHT from me. otherwise the main thrust of "riots are bad!" is rather innocuous, if badly malformed

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:22 (twelve years ago) link

Amusing that few Beach Boys' songs "fuck with the formula" as much as this one!

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:22 (twelve years ago) link

but yeah the backing track is awful, and way out of place next to the rest of the songs on the album

x-post

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:23 (twelve years ago) link

To be fair on Mike, I've read worse protest song lyrics by people who, errrrrr, actually give a fuck about the subject matter they're writing about

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 14 May 2009 16:27 (twelve years ago) link

Wrong lyrics up there should be: Four martyrs earned a new degree/The bachelor of bullets

fit and working again, Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:23 (twelve years ago) link

Voted the obvious choice here. Runners up are Al's Welfare Song and Bruce's Disney Girls which, despite some great harmonies, is cloying.

fit and working again, Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:25 (twelve years ago) link

I know there are people who seriously love Disney Girls. I don't get it myself. Its not really horrible but I agree its a bit too syrupy, despite some nice ambiguity in the lyrics

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:44 (twelve years ago) link

"Student Demonstration Time". And this will be a landslide!

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 14 May 2009 19:41 (twelve years ago) link

Love "Take a Load Off Your Feet" btw. One of my favourite tracks on my second favourite Beach Boys album (only behind "Pet Sounds")

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 14 May 2009 19:42 (twelve years ago) link

i mistakenly voted disney girls which is actually only my 2nd least fave on this record, behind student demonstration time

Dominique, Thursday, 14 May 2009 19:43 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah I like Take a Load Off Your Feet too - really odd instrumentation, and there's an out-of-sync vocal track in there too iirc? Song always struck me as very McCartney-esque (which would explain the Geir love)

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:14 (twelve years ago) link

Are we going to have a poll of polls at the end for worst BB song ever? because you'd probably have to leave SDT out.......

sonofstan, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:14 (twelve years ago) link

SDT but Disney Girls is pretty bad

iatee, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:17 (twelve years ago) link

^^^^^ WHAATTTTTT!?!?!?

sooooo wrong. "Disney Girls" is sublime

"Disney Girls" is OK. Not my favourite track on the album (miss more backing vocals), but OK it is.

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:20 (twelve years ago) link

this album is def their least consistent.

among the best songs they ever done: long promised road, feel flows, til I die, tree, surf's up
ehhhh: don't go near the water, take a load off your feet, lookin at tomorrow
unlistenable: disney girls, sdt

iatee, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:21 (twelve years ago) link

Bruce Johnston nearly steals the album on "Disney" if it weren't for "Til I Die"

and "Surf's Up"

Are we going to have a poll of polls at the end for worst BB song ever? because you'd probably have to leave SDT out.......

this is the plan - to determine the worst BB song ever

High in Openness (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:29 (twelve years ago) link

thread gave me a mini-poll idea:
'feel flows' vs. 'long promised road'

iatee, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:33 (twelve years ago) link

Another vote for 'Student Demonstration Time' here although the sound effects never fail to make me laugh, maybe that's a good thing. 'Disney Girls' is pretty poor too but I've always liked 'Welfare Song', just for the spooky psyche feel of it. The title track is my favourite Beach Boys song bar none.

Gavin in Leeds, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:49 (twelve years ago) link

LOL, the idea that the Beach Boys would ever consider subtitling a track "A Welfare Song."

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:50 (twelve years ago) link

Gah, I meant "'Take A Load Off Your Feet' is pretty poor", not Disney Girls, I've got no problem with DG, it's sort of sweet, I like the way 'Disney' is stretched out to three syllables.

Gavin in Leeds, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:57 (twelve years ago) link

Holy shit I can't believe the hate for Disney Girls! Cloying? Pretty poor? Unlistenable? I must be losing my goddamn mind. I don't know what the hell my finger is on, but it sure ain't the pulse.

chocolatepiekid, Thursday, 14 May 2009 21:39 (twelve years ago) link

I think "Student Demonstration Time" is a hilarious Ween-esque pastiche.

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 14 May 2009 22:16 (twelve years ago) link

Then you, sir, are too ironic for words.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 14 May 2009 22:23 (twelve years ago) link

I don't mind Disney Girls, it's v pretty, but i can understand how ppl could find it annoying, it is pretty poncey/whiney

wilter, Thursday, 14 May 2009 23:58 (twelve years ago) link

I never realised how crap the lyrics to "Demonstration Time" actually were. Fuck Mike Love, was he just trying to get at Carl with his anti-protest stuff or what?

dog latin, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:14 (twelve years ago) link

Apart from that, I can't fault this album. Even "Disney Girls" is sweet. I love the line "Hi Rick and Dave, Hi Pop, Good morning mom/Get up, guess what I'm in love with a girl I found".

dog latin, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:20 (twelve years ago) link

And the three-song closer! 'A Day In The Life Of A Tree', whilst not sung by any of the Boys, sums up Brian's situation at the time and it's fucking heartbreaking. 'Surf's Up' and 'Til I Die' are obviously two of the best songs they ever did. Gavin In Leeds OTM about 'Welfare Song' - it's like a lonesome cowboy song and I really like it.

dog latin, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:22 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah I love this shit probably my most listened to beach boys album. I've even got a kindof shitty looking tshirt of the album cover!

wilter, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:25 (twelve years ago) link

speakin of which: Are we allowed a thread about "Surf's Up" the album, particularly the album cover

dog latin, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:27 (twelve years ago) link

ha this guy in a kind of biggish brisbane indie band said to me 'pet sounds! I love that album!'

wilter, Friday, 15 May 2009 00:32 (twelve years ago) link

I know the lyrics suck and the whole feel of it is out of synch with the rest of the album and everything but I really don't mind "Student Demo Time". "Looking at Tomorrow" gets my vote on this one.

Phil Will, Friday, 15 May 2009 10:22 (twelve years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 23:01 (twelve years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 23:01 (twelve years ago) link

too close to call really

iatee, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 23:08 (twelve years ago) link

LOL. Most one-sided poll ever.

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 21 May 2009 09:01 (twelve years ago) link

funny how hardly anyone's voted in the previous polls until this one, and then *Ka-boosh*! I wonder if the majority of voters have actually heard Surf's Up, or if it's just that STD (sic) preceeds its own reputation?

dog latin, Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:28 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe Surf's Up is probably the latest of their albums that non-hardcore Beach Boys fans listen to enough to have an opinion on what the worst song is. Based entirely on personal experience though.

Stryder's on the Orme (j.o.n.a), Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:36 (twelve years ago) link

Could be

Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Passantino (Tom D.), Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:38 (twelve years ago) link

"STD"

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 21 May 2009 14:00 (twelve years ago) link

lol

Wrinkles, I'll See You On the Other Side (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:35 (twelve years ago) link

twelve years pass...

i mistakenly voted disney girls which is actually only my 2nd least fave on this record, behind student demonstration time

― Dominique, Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:43 PM (twelve years ago) bookmarkflaglink

Good to know the vote for Disney Girls was an accident but surprised to see how many people ITT actually dislike that lovely song

J. Sam, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 18:51 (two weeks ago) link

I don't like it, the song and the singing are both syrupy. Bruce Johnston is OK for a couple of lines of vocals here and there; my favourite song of his is the instrumental "The Nearest Faraway Beach".
"Student Demonstration Time" is worse, though. The one thing I like about it is the megaphone sound on Mike's vocal.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 18:58 (two weeks ago) link

xp That's fair, I think I have a higher tolerance for syrup than most

J. Sam, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 19:11 (two weeks ago) link

For all the talk about what Smiley Smile might have been if only had Brian's vision been realized, I can't help but regret that we never got to hear Cass Elliot sing "my friend Bob, he has a job".

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:05 (two weeks ago) link

I'm psyched for the new box set. I know it's all going to be surplus scraps but this is a really meaty bit of beach boys history

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:35 (two weeks ago) link

I really like Disney Girls. Yeah it's syrupy but so much Beach Boys is, so whaddya want. Bruce bodies it really well, and it fits in with the whole family-focused themes of this era of the band.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:39 (two weeks ago) link

We did get to hear Cass Elliot sing "Disney Girls," though!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D52LRYhPy7M

(I love both versions)

swing out sister: live in new donk city (geoffreyess), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:46 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, "Nearest Faraway Place" is great. Guess I didn't realize who wrote it.

swing out sister: live in new donk city (geoffreyess), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:46 (two weeks ago) link

Bruce Johnston is like, "do you want some extra syrup on your syrup?"

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:49 (two weeks ago) link

We did get to hear Cass Elliot sing "Disney Girls," though!

Yeah, the joke is there's an old interview with Bruce where he talks about asking for Brian's help writing lyrics for Disney Girls, and he suggested the line "my friend Bob/he has a job" among others which Bruce rejected.

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:49 (two weeks ago) link

not syrupy enough, I guess

swing out sister: live in new donk city (geoffreyess), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:55 (two weeks ago) link

wtf is a Disney girl, always bothered me about the song

cancel culture club (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:57 (two weeks ago) link

You've got to listen to "Disney Girl" by Thin White Rope to get the rest of the story.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:58 (two weeks ago) link

It still would have been better than the lyrics to Student Demonstration Time. Xp to myself.

Anyway, I like Disney Girls and even Take a Load off Your Feet. The album is sequenced really well. Even though not all the songs are equally amazing taken on their own, those 2 songs are really important to the pace and flow of the album. "SURF'S UP" is the only song that doesn't fit IMO, feels so out of place.

Also, i know most fans like the vocal overdubs they added for this release, but they annoy me. I was quite disappointed that this mix was used for the Smile Sessions.

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 21:59 (two weeks ago) link

Prefer the extended mix of Til I Die and it would have made a great closer.

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 22:03 (two weeks ago) link

The line "my friend Bob he has a job" may have been intended for Deirdre rather than Disney Girls, now that I think about it. I still would like to hear Mama Cass sing that.

I'll bet if she had covered Deirdre it would have worked pretty well. Her style kinda dovetails with Bruce Johnston's.

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 22:19 (two weeks ago) link

he's also a MAGA

cancel culture club (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 22:20 (two weeks ago) link

Not a great fan of her version of "Disney Girls" tbh, but she would have nailed "Deirdre" for sure.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 23:13 (two weeks ago) link

b..but he writes the songs..

kurt schwitterz, Wednesday, 9 June 2021 05:40 (one week ago) link


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