YMMV / Jan and Dean

  • Covered Up: The Four Seasons-esque arrangement of "Linda" makes it very hard to notice the song first became a hit in 1947.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Dead Man's Curve". That is all.
  • Signature Song: "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" is probably their best-remembered song today, and one of the few well-known surf music songs that isn't originally by The Beach Boys, regardless of what people would have you think. In addition to being catchy, it's well-known for its goofy, self-aware premise which illustrates the more humorous side of the California Sound. (Its title comes from a common trope invoked by used car salesmen of the time to pass off hot used cars as having been owned by "a little old lady from Pasadena who only drove it to church on Sundays", justifying their high prices as the car is "like new" - but this granny not only drives her hot rod, she's the meanest racer on the street.)

    As a sidenote, while Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote or co-wrote many of Jan and Dean's most popular songs, he had no role in "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena", which was written in part by Jan Berry himself - demonstrating that Jan was a competent song writer in his own right. As a matter of fact, in a reversal of their usual roles, Brian and his band covered Jan's song on the Live Album Beach Boys Concert. It's that good of a song!
    • There's also "Dead Man's Curve", another of Jan and Dean's charting hits. A revolutionary member of the then-nascent genre of Teenage Death Songs, it's notable for combining a minor key and a tragic story about death with the usual tropes of sunshine pop like a catchy, dynamic melody and doo-wop background vocals - and succeeds in spite of all odds, creating a song that is both emotionally compelling and one of the most unique examples of surf rock to date. For bonus points, much like "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena", the song was written by Jan Berry and a few other song writers with no involvement from Brian Wilson.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/JanAndDean