Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Astronauts - Movin'dotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD contains several tracks unavailable in any other form, and is the best of the "Best Of..." CD's. All the tracks are instrumental, and all are in stereo, except the bonus mono version of "Movin'," which appears in stereo as well. If you only buy one Astronauts CD, it should be this one. A must have from an essential band.
Picks: Movin', Hot Doggin', Firewater, Surf Party, The Hearse, El Aguila (The Eagle), Baja, Pipeline, Let's Go Trippin', Misirlou, Batman, Banzai Pipeline, Surfers Stomp, Gouch, Quiet Village, Devil Driver's Theme, Chevy Scarfer, Pyramid Stomp, Snap It, Main Title Theme From Ride The Wild Surf, Che Che Che, Movin'

Track by Track Review


Movin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Lee Hazelwood composition. This track was also covered by the Surfaris and Eddie and the Showmen. It's a great track for the Astronauts' three guitar line up. This version is better than any of the others from the vintage days of surf. It's melodic, energetic, and very cool.

Hot Doggin' dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This was the Astronauts' non-album single follow-up to "Baja." It's very hot, feisty, almost assaultive in its delivery. Melody and power merge for an infectious effect.

Firewater dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song was covered by the Sid Presley Experience in the mid eighties, a pre-God Fathers band. They didn't carry it forward, and that's a shame. What a fiery monster this can be. Melodic, spirited, energetic, and piercing.

Surf Party dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the title track from the movie Surf Party, and it appeared on the soundtrack and a as a single, but never on an Astronauts album. A great example of what a college band from Boulder Colorado can do with Al Schmitt at the controls at RCA Hollywood. Remarkable.

The Hearse dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the GREAT surf tracks. It has plenty of flair, and it is infectious as Hell. It is from the pen of Lee Hazelwood, future partner of Nancy Sinatra. A MUST HAVE recording.

El Aguila (The Eagle) dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Similar to "The Hearse," this great track is infectious and wonderful to drive down 101 to.

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Baja" displays power of their trademark three guitar line up, and shows what a few weeks at RCA Hollywood could do. Actually, having said that, I'd really like to remix this. The lead guitar is too loud in the mix. Anyway, if there's a list of the ten most significant surf singles, this must be on it. Hazelwood had a knack for melody, and the Astronauts had a knack for the sound, and together, look out!

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

None of the delicacy of the Chantays or the edge of the Lively Ones. It's a good track, just not remarkable.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

None of the immediacy of Dick Dale and the Del-tones. It's a good track, just not remarkable.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The lead sound is less than the powerhouse Dick Dale sound, but they have done a good job getting the energy down, and the feel of the melody just right.

Batman dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another Lee Hazelwood composition, this track was also covered by the Surfaris. It's a good track for the Astronauts' three guitar line up, but not quite as interesting as "Movin'." It's melodic, energetic, and very cool. It is not the Neil Hefty TV theme.

Banzai Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Beat Generation Surf (Instrumental)

When Henry Mancini named this, he undoubtedly was capitalizing on the surf trend du jour, but he gave it none of the hallmark characteristics of a surf instro, not the beat, the melody, or anything. When he recorded it, he gave it the big band sound he was famous for, and given it's Beat Generation structure, that was a perfect match. Undaunted, Boulder, Colorado's Astronauts used the classic surf instrumentation to recreate it into a surf classic, if only because of it's reputation as the first crossing into the MOR-Lounge venue for surf material. It's quirky, completely uncharacteristic of surf, but curiously endearing and catchy. A fun track, for sure.

Surfers Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Joe Saraceno's wimpy big band surf pop hit was first made into a real surf song right here. Old Joe had the melody, but it took a band with real guitars to make it work. Credible track.

Gouch dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rare surf instro, with a solid melody line, and a typically Astronauts delivery, though the lead is not double picked, the rhythm is damped and surfy as Hell! A fine track.

Quiet Village dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In the "Banzai Pipeline" vein, the Astronauts do amazing things to Martin Denny's hit tune. It's not just hard to recognize, it's also quite cool. There's little exotica left.

Devil Driver's Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The instro backtrack to the vocal, with a sax lead overdubbed. It has a great vibrato guitar underneath.

Chevy Scarfer dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sax driven number that doesn't cut the mustard for me, with a definite hot rod bent.

Pyramid Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another unreleased track. Here, the Boulder boys do a Jimmy Haskell number. It's odd to hear them do this, with it's mostly postsurf sound.

Snap It dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is an entirely unsurf / postsurf track that sound more like a backtrack than an intentional instro, because it suffers from a lack of melody, which is highly unusual for the Astronauts. It's bluesy.

Main Title Theme From Ride The Wild Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the soundtrack to the movie Ride The Wild Surf, this is the alternate to Jan and Dean's vocal. Horns and surf guitar. It was also a single.

Che Che Che dotdotdot
Japanese (Instrumental)

This super rare instro was recorded for the Japanese market, and was issued there as a single. It's imitation oriental structure and melody line are quaint and quite period, and the thin relatively dry guitar sound is definitely post surf. Rare, and unusual.

Movin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Lee Hazelwood composition. This track was also covered by the Surfaris and Eddie and the Showmen. It's a great track for the Astronauts' three guitar line up. This version is better than any of the others from the vintage days of surf. It's melodic, energetic, and very cool.