Surf City: The Best of Jan and Dean

Some career compilations reveal too much. Consider the vocal team of Jan Berry and Dean Torrence. Overshadowed by the more talented Beach Boys (whose Brian Wilson cowrote and sang on many of Jan and Dean’s best tracks), the duo made some wonderful records in the early ’60s, but hardly enough to fill the 22-song album Surf City: The Best of Jan and Dean. Sure, it contains venerable beach and road gems like ”Surf City” and ”Drag City,” such enjoyable novelties as ”The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena),” and the grimly prophetic ”Dead Man’s Curve” (the site of Berry’s tragic 1966 car crash). But some of the other singles — especially those predating Wilson’s involvement — could really have stayed in the vaults. B

Surf City: The Best of Jan and Dean
  • Music