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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Surfs Up

'Surfs Up' is the emotional centerpiece of SMiLE. A song written with 3 movements, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks wrote this on the night of November 4th, 1966. They were both sure that this song was a masterpiece, and in my own view they were right. The song was about "a child's freedom", as Van Dyke Parks said years later in an interview. But the song is seen by many as something a lot different than a happy child anthem: Brian's Swansong. When the Brian scrapped SMiLE in 1967, he was scrapping his last real musical project for the next 20 years. And, perhaps, 'Surfs Up' was his last real masterpiece.