Albums I Grew Up On: Road Trippin'

As we patiently wait for Daylight Saving Time to arrive, unfortunately there isn't much exciting going on in our lives to blog about right now. That must mean it's time for another series of posts where I get all nostalgic about something from my youth. How about music this time? My first installment will focus on the grand old tradition of family road trips. Are we there yet?

The Best of the Beach Boys

My family lived on the East Coast for most of my childhood, so every summer was highlighted by a few day trips to the beach. Transportation was always ably provided by "Woody," aka our wood paneled station wagon. The drive took about an hour, which was just enough time to hear all of the Beach Boys' biggest hits, and really get in the mood for the surf and sand. "Surfin' USA" was always my favorite song because it reminded me of the totally bodacious van surfing scene in Teen Wolf. Even after copious amounts of internet research, I'm still not completely sure which album we had. According to Wikipedia, the Beach Boys have 24 hits compilations (compared to 28 studio albums). Now that's what I call living off the past.
We'll all be planning out a route, we're gonna take real soon, we're waxing down our surfboards, we can't wait for June // Surfin' U.S.A

Billy Joel: Greatest Hits, Volume I & II

After a few years had past, but before Woody's cassette player gave out (and you had to bang on the dashboard just to get the radio to work), my sisters attempted to mix up the usual slate of road trip tunes with Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. But since my Dad seemingly only liked the Beach Boys, and the edgiest thing in my Mom's record collection was the Ray Conniff Singers, some of the Piano Man's saltier lyrical passages like "the microphone smells like a beer" were met with parental opposition. I, on the other hand, loved the Psycho-esque keyboard riff of "Pressure," the retro doo-wop of "The Longest Time," and the epic storytelling of "Goodnight Saigon." To this day, I still enjoy an occasional Billy Joel interlude when the mood strikes me.
And the piano sounds like a carnival, and the microphone smells like a beer, and they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar, and say, "Man, what are you doin' here?" // Piano Man


Ben said...

If it reminds you of Teen Wolf, it must be good.

Also, what is it about dads and the Beach Boys? That's all we listened to on our road trips too. My favorite? Why, of course the Salt Lake City (We'll Be Coming Soon) song, which—if I remember correctly—gives a shout-out to Lagoon.

Krissy said...

We also had a Beach Boys greatest hits compilation... but I don't think it was the same one you had.

Cheryl said...

When you were younger it was for us the Statler Brothers and Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. Do you remember those or is that for another installment? There was also the Disney Children's favorites.

Dave said...

I remember listening to Herb Alpert, particularly "Tijuana Taxi," when we were little, though I don't really associate it with road trips for whatever reason. And I have no recollection of the Statler Brothers, unfortunately.

robmba said...

I do recall that there was some controversy over the lyrics to Billy Joel's Big Shot.

To this day, anytime I hear Copa Cabana, I flash back to riding in Woody and listening to the Barry Manilow tape.

dsb99 said...

Don't forget the Oak Ridge Boys or Kermit the Frog (It's Not Easy Being Green]