Music

The Best Surf Rock Bands  

Reference
3.2k votes 716 voters 47k views 83 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. (83 items)
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list ordered by
1
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop
2
Dick Dale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Pop rock
3
The Ventures is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Instrumental rock, Surf rock
4
Jan and Dean is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Sunshine pop, Rock music, Folk rock
5
The Trashmen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Garage rock, Protopunk
6
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music
7
The Invisible Surfers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
jamess1400 added
8
Skinny Dickies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
andrewcantsurf added Surf punk, blues rock
9
Original Surfaris is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Surf music
10
The Tornados is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Rock music, Instrumental rock
11
Link Wray & His Raymen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added
12
The Bel-Airs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Rock music, Surf rock, Surf music
13
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Horror punk, New Wave, Punk blues
14
The Growlers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Garage rock, Psychedelic rock
15
The Marketts is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop music, Surf rock
16
The Terrorsurfs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Carl Harris added
17
Man or Astro-man? is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Space rock, Surf rock, Punk rock
18
The Tarantulas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Draggin TheLion added Surf, Punk, Surf Punk
19
Agent Orange is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Skate punk, Surf rock, Punk rock
20
Beach Fossils is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Dylan Evans added Indie pop, Shoegazing, Garage rock
21
Mohana is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
JoyceBeutler added Surf Rock
22
The Surf Coasters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Surf rock, Psychedelic rock, Surf music
23
Carl Wilson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music
24
Santo and Jonny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
MarySSpiegel added
25
Wavves is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surf Rock Bands
Pop punk, Noise rock, Garage rock