100 Greatest Surf Rock Songs

Criteria: This list strives to give the best representation of the Surf Rock sound, by consideration of impact, influence, popularity, originality and adherence to the original surf rock guitar & harmony sound. (Note: Many 'Surf Rock' artists recorded tunes of various subject matter popular with young people in the early '60s, such as 'Girls', 'Hot Rods', 'Dances', 'School', and the new 'Space Race' regarding the first satellites such as 'Telstar'. This list focuses only on songs relating to 'Surfing'.)

Definition: 'Surf Rock' originated in Southern California in the early '60s where the sport of surfing and the young people who followed the trend became a sub-culture of their own. Dick Dale, a surfer himself, originated the sound on 1961s instrumental "Let's Go Trippin", using a generous amount of 'reverb', fast staccato picking, and use of the 'whammy bar' to to generate the excitement of rushing down a crashing wave. Other Instrumental bands followed the 'surf' sound including 'The Ventures', The Surfaris, The Chantays, and The Tornadoes. In '62 & '63 the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean recorded harmony-filled songs and ballads with the surfing theme. After its peak year of 1963, the instrumental surf-rock style gradually faded from prominence, while the vocal-oriented surf-rock style began to shift towards 'hot-rod' music, which consequently had the potential for even broader national appeal. In the 1990s, the popularity of the soundtrack from the movie "Pulp Fiction" (1994) brought about a whole new generation of instrumental Surf Rock bands, such as 'The Blue Stingrays', 'The Aqua Velvets', 'The Mel-Tones', & 'The Bomboras'. Today there are hundreds of 'Surf Rock' bands from around the world keeping the original sound alive.
Surf Rock Songs
1. Surfin' U.S.A.
The Beach Boys
2. Wipe Out
The Surfaris
3. Pipeline
The Chantays
4. Misirlou
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
5. Surfer Girl
The Beach Boys
6. Surf City
Jan & Dean
7. Let's Go Trippin'
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
8. Surfin' Safari
The Beach Boys
9. Walk-Don't Run '64
The Ventures
10. Penetration
The Pyramids
11. Ride The Wild Surf
Jan & Dean
12. The Lonely Surfer
Jack Nitzsche
13. Surfer Joe
The Surfaris
14. Honolulu Lulu
Jan & Dean
15. Baja
The Astronauts
16. Catch A Wave
The Beach Boys
17. Surfer's Stomp
The Marketts
18. California Sun
The Rivieras
19. Moon Dawg
The Gamblers
20. Mr. Moto
Bel Airs
21. Surf Beat
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
22. Surfin' Bird
The Trashmen
23. Bombora
The Atlantics
24. Diamond Head
The Ventures
25. Lonely Sea
The Beach Boys
26. Bustin' Surfboards
The Tornadoes
27. Point Panic
The Surfaris
28. Perfidia
The Ventures
29. Soul Surfer
Johnny Fortune
30. Stoked
The Beach Boys
31. Noble Surfer
The Beach Boys
32. Surf Rider
The Lively Ones
33. Mr. Rebel
Eddie & The Showmen
34. Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'
Fantastic Baggys
35. New York's a Lonely Town
Trade Winds
36. Beyond the Surf
Jack Nitzsche
37. Let's Go!
The Routers
38. Surfin'
The Beach Boys
39. Shake N' Stomp
The Surfaris
40. King Of The Surf Guitar (vocal version)
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
41. My Big Gun Board
The Rip Chords
42. Kame-Kaze
The Challengers
43. Tidal Wave
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
44. Surf Jam
The Beach Boys
45. Pipeline
Dick Dale with Stevie Ray Vaughan (1987)
46. Mar Gaya
Fender IV
47. Surf Sacrifice
The Eliminators
48. Surfer's Delight
Bruce Johnston
49. Banzai Washout
Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
50. Surf-Ari
The Challengers
51. The Inebriated Surfer
The Tornadoes
52. Surf-A-Nova
Bruce Johnston
53. Surf Man
Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers
54. Surfers' Slide
Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers
55. He's My Blonde Headed Stompie-Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy
Little Pattie
56. In-Liner (Surf Beat '97)
Dick Dale
57. Balboa Blue
The Marketts
58. Surfin' And Spyin'
The Ventures
59. Big Wednesday
The Rip Chords
60. Surfin' 'Round The World
Bruce Johnston
61. K-39
The Challengers
62. Fiberglass Jungle
The Crossfires
63. Toes On The Nose
Eddie & The Showmen
64. Santa Cruz
The Ventures
65. Surf Trek
Davie Allan & Dick Dale
66. Gone Surfin'
Gary Hoey
67. Save Your Sundays For Surfin'
Fantastic Baggys
68. Surfer Dan
The Turtles
69. The Sweet Ride
The Supertones
70. I Live For the Sun
The Sunrays
71. Malibu Run
Fender IV
72. Surfin's Here To Stay
Bruce Johnston
73. Black Surf
Surf Guitar Villains
74. Surfer's Life
The Blue Stingrays
75. Shootin' The Pier
The Lively Ones
76. Summer Means Fun
Bruce and Terry
77. Two On The Beach
The Ventures
78. Surfin' Tragedy
The Sentinals
79. Surfin' Natasha
The Mel-Tones
80. Surfin' Time Again
Little Pattie
81. The Perfect Wave
Neil Norman
82. Surfin' School
The Del-Tinos
83. Surf Party
The Blue Stingrays
84. Shangai Surf
The Supertones
85. Pray For Surf
The Essex
86. Curl Rider Stomp
The Mel-Tones
87. The Ninth Wave
The Bomboras
88. Caught in the Undertow
The Retroliners
89. Surfmania
The Aqua Velvets
90. King Of The Surf
The Trashmen
91. Parafin Jungle
The Eliminators
92. You'll Never Surf In This Town Again
The Mel-Tones
93. Sex Wax
Surf Nation
94. Sultans of Surf
Surf Guitar Villains
95. Return Of The Surfin' Headhunters
The Mel-Tones
96. Surf Blaster
The Vara-Tones
97. Surf Nouveau
The Aqua Velvets
98. Curl Rider
Surf Nation
99. Ghost Wave
The Verbtones
100. Little Miss Red Riding Hood Surfer Queen Of Hollywood
Jim Pewter
Honerable Mentions
Theme from The Endless Summer
The Sandals (1964)
Theme from The Endless Summer
Gary Hoey
(from The Endless Summer II) (1994)
The Beach Boys
The Surfaris Dick Dale
The Ventures
The Chantays

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Last Updated: 2015-07-19