Today is the International Music Day and we’d like to share with you a brief article about the music in the surf culture and some of the most relevant bands of then and now.
Surf music was a genre of its own that was born in southern California in the 60’s. As surf became popular in the west coast of the United States, a variety of artists and music bands started to create a new sound known as surf music. Pioneers like Dick Dale and his Del-tones or the well known Beach Boys would success in expanding this type of music beyond the limits of California.
Also, within the surf music culture, we could set up another two sub-genres with their unique characteristics.
On the one side, instrumental surf, played by reverberating and loud electric guitars, became popular at the beginning of the 60’s altough it started to be originated in the 50’s. The aim was to evoque the sound of breaking waves and the emotion of wave-riding. The main and most important band within this sub-genre was Dick Dale and his Del-tones, a pioneering squad of the surfing music. Some of their songs are quite famous as they’ve been part of Hollywood films sountracks.
On the other side, the vocal surf: it exploited the sounds of the prior sub-genre, but it added vocal lyrics. The worlwide known Beach Boys are the most important band of this sub-genre. They were able to transcend surf music and also to take the success of this music overseas. Their hits were listened to in half of the planet.
There were many people within the surf music world that didn’t like vocal surf to be considered part of the family. The pioneering heavy drums and reverberating guitar instrumental tracks were to be praised as the original and only surf music possible. However, surf music quickly faded as a genre, but the new musical paths that were opened by its bands would later influence other artists such as The Ramones.
Surf music bands: from the 60’s until our days
The genre was able to give birth to sounds that were never hear before and it had several bands who would represent these sounds on the world world. In this article, we bring you a list with our favorites from the old times and today. The sountrack of our post-surf sessions at the Surf Camp.
Dick Dale and his Del-tones
Dick Dale and his Del-tones were the pioneers of surf music, reaching a huge success during the 60’s. Between their most famous songs we have Miserlou, that gaigned worlwide recognition after becoming part of Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction.
The Beach Boys
They were the ones that launched the genre further away from the United States. Radio stars and very famous around the world, their singles reached top chart positions several times.
A legend between the surf music bands, created in California in 62 and with international hits such as “Surfer Joe” and “Wipe Out”. They had a very high quality instrumental performance, and in the last song, their drum solo is superb. Don’t miss it!
Another californian band, the second to be heard on air in the radio in the US. Their most charactersitic tune: Bustin’ Surfboards.
We take a leap from the 60’s to 2008, when Allah-Las was created and started their tour along the US and Europe, reaching quite a solid fanbase thanks (in part) to their refreshing new surfing music sound, way more calm and chilled than the oldies. Here you can listen to one of their full albums.
With Jack Johnson we finish our list of suggestions. Altough is way beyond the “pure” surfing music style, we are used to hear him playing on the background of many surf houses. This multitasking artist, and pretty good surfer, had a pretty big success with his album “Brushfire Fairytales”. One of his top songs: “Breakdown”
Surf music: a whole world to discover
This is just a little sample of everything you can find relating surf music. There are many other well known bands with a characteristic surfing sound such as: The Centurians, Link Wray, The Lively Ones and many more. We highly encourage you to dive in the web, search and discover all the songs that played on the 60’s radio tuners and that have reached our days to play in our Surf Camp barbecues.