Summer is a bummer: Five songs that will make you wish it was winter
4. Beach Boys – Don’t Go Near The Water
Most people figure either Altamont or Charlie Manson killed the 60s. Valid points. If neither of those nasty events every happened though, The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up record certainly would have done the job.
By 1971, the band had already released a staggering 16 albums since their debut just 10 years earlier, and the public’s taste for good vibrations and surfer girls had suddenly run dry. What to do? Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The boys-of-summer decided to switch to more socially-relevant lyrics. They grew their hair long, explored spacier sounds, played with The Grateful Dead, and hoped for the best.
The resultant album, Surf’s Up, did better than expected, but it’s definitely not The Beach Boys you know and love (or loathe). The album’s cover is a glum painting of an American Indian at the end of the trail, the songs are about ecological disasters, poverty, depression and encroaching madness.
In 1971, bad vibrations were in, and this album’s full of ‘em. Don’t Go Near the Water, as you might imagine, is about polluted beaches. The surf might be up, but it’ll probably kill you.