Rock The Best Surf Rock Bands  

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3.1k votes 704 voters 46.1k views 84 items

During the 1960s, there were fewer musical genres more popular in the U.S. than surf rock. The glossy pop soundings encapsulated the carefree nature and glistening Americana that California symbolize. Naturally, surf rock's origins were in Southern California, in particular the Los Angeles and Orange County coasts. Surf rock was generally more popular at the beginning of the 1960s, when bands would sing about surfing, hanging out, hot rod cars and girls. Surf rock bands appealed to the desire for the endless summer.

So, that said, what are the best surf rock band bands? Well, any list needs to be built around the genius of Brian Wilson, Mike Love and the Beach Boys. One of the most popular and greatest rock bands of all time, the Beach Boys helped usher in this new era of rock music. Additionally, other bands like Best Coast, Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, Waaves and DIIV are an eclectic mix of old and new bands that are among the top surf rock bands. 

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best surf rock bands. If you know surf rock and are a fan of the genre, feel free to vote on this list. If you notice a surf rock band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best surf rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest surf rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular surf rock bands that you might've heard of. (84 items)
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list ordered by
1
167 61
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock
2
200 81
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
3
134 46
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock
4
69 33
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk
5
70 36
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock
6
72 46
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music
7
46 24
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added Surf punk, blues rock
8
38 21
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Surf music
9
39 23
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock
10
56 39
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues
11
15 2
Link Wray & His Raymen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added
12
36 22
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music
13
41 27
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Surf rock
14
53 39
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Psychedelic rock
15
46 34
Man or Astro-man? is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Space rock, Surf rock, Punk rock
16
30 22
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock
17
13 5
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Draggin TheLion added Surf, Punk, Surf Punk
18
8 2
Beach Fossils is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added Indie pop, Shoegazing, Garage rock
19
52 49
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock
20
15 11
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music
21
32 31
Surf Punks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop punk, Rock music, Surf rock
22
31 30
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music
23
28 27
FIDLAR is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
24
19 17
Ghastly Ones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Surf rock, Surf music
25
41 42
Best Coast is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Indie pop, Garage rock, Indie rock