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Published on Feb 16, 2011
"Surfer Dan" is taken from The Turtles concept album, "The Turtles Present The Battle of The Bands" on White Whale Records in 1968. In my opinion, The Turtles Present The Battle of The Bands" holds up just as well with the other concept albums of the day, like, "Sgt Peppers" & "Pet Sounds".
The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands is the fifth studio album released by The Turtles. Produced by Chip Douglas, it was released in November 1968 by White Whale Records. It includes John Barbata's final recorded performances with the band; he left shortly after its release to join Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Barbata's eventual replacement, ex-Spanky and Our Gang drummer John Seiter, also contributed to the album. Some issues of the album were retitled Elenore.
This was a concept album, with the band pretending to be a series of different groups, playing in varying styles from psychedelic ("The Last Thing I Remember") to hard rock ("Buzzsaw") to surf music ("Surfer Dan") to bluegrass ("Chicken Little Was Right"). The outer cover showed the Turtles in evening dress, playing hosts of the "show", while the inside gatefold showed them in different costumes for each song. The entire album was filled with puns and hidden jokes. (According to liner notes on various Turtles CDs, White Whale Records was in reality, a one-artist label and they were consistently pressuring The Turtles to come up with another "Happy Together", which resulted in "Elenore", a humorous reworking of the classic 'happy pop' single.)
"Kamanawanalea" was a made-up Hawaiian idol ("the god of lust and perversion"), and a rude pun. The lyrics of "Food" included a recipe for brownies, with a special ingredient. "You Showed Me" was written by Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark of The Byrds, and became the last major Turtles hit. The final song, "Earth Anthem", was notably recorded at 3:00 A.M. by candlelight, to capture the exact mood the Turtles wanted.