Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: American Graffiti Revisited
|This is a very fun compilation/concept album, with many fine tracks proving that doo-wop is a rich field to be mined for surf. 20 instros and 21 vocals invert the soundtrack to the cruising icon film American Graffiti. The instros are well worth the price of admission, but there are also some brilliant vocal stuff here, highlighted by "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" (Voodoo Court), "That'll be the Day" (Rogers Sisters), "Little Darlin'" (Daikaiju), "Maybe Baby" (Bikini Men), "Ya Ya" (Strangemen), "Johnny B. Goode" (Nose Riders & Greag), "Party Doll" (X-Impossibles), "Love Potion No. 9" (HiFi Ramblers), and "All Summer Long" (Drifting Sand).|
Picks: Runaway, Fanny Mae, At The Hop, The Stroll, See You In September, Surfin' Safari, He's The Great Impostor, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Barbara Ann, Book Of Love, The Great Pretender, I Only Have Eyes For You, Come Go With Me, You're Sixteen-You're Beautiful-And You're Mine, Since I Don't Have You, Chantilly Lace, Crying In The Chapel, A Thousand Miles Away, Green Onions, Only You (And You Alone)
Track by Track Review
This is a completely different arrangement of Del Shannon's "Runaway." Different because surfbands tend to do something akin to the Chantays' arrangement, and at least double pick. Susan and the SurfTones employ a more straight forward arrangement, which works really well with the melody. It's softer and more moody than the original, and wears well over time. A fine track.
A very bluesy performance from B.C. and 5 Speeds, close in feel to the Buster Brown original, less harmonica. Edgy and groovy, with raw guitar and a jumpin' jivin' beat. Fine track.
Sideshow Organ Surf (Instrumental)
Instrumentally tortured into a hilarious and downright spooky carnival interpretation of Danny and the Juniors' hit "At The Hop." Murky glissandoes, haunted cheesy organ leads, thick ambiance, and what has to be the most imaginative morphing of this tune ever. Way fun.
Tweaky Blues (Instrumental)
The Buzzards take the pompous groove of "The Stroll" into mondo bizarre territory, with keyboard weirdness and gutty guitar. Imagine a blues band doing an oldies review in an asylum... Then invert it. Very cool.
Lounge Exotica (Instrumental)
Kahuna Kawentzmann's exotica interpretation of this film score is instrumentally driven by shallow vibrato guitar back by bongos and a moody back track, with bells and all manor of cheesy fifties bachelorisms. Very suave.
Frat Surf (Instrumental)
Virtually an instro, with vocals mixed so low they are almost subliminal. Organ and guitar grind out the backtrack to the Beach Boys' hit. very frat-like, and unpretentious.
This is splendid. I Cosmonauti use damped reverb second guitar and bright surf leads to present this song. It stands a lone as a surf tune, with an infectious rhythm and catchy melody line. Very good track.
Da Surfones softly emote this romantic oldie with guitar in the lead. Very pretty, as you might expect. Well within the band's sound, and quite enjoyable.
The Aqualads take the Regents "Barbara Ann" out of the pop realm and into the tube. Lots of reverb and rich chords. Their shoutin' and stompin' in the background while the music moves and writhes. Lost of fun.
Those Fabulous Planktones double pick and pick slide the crap out of the Monotones' "Book Of Love" with lots of flair and fun. Big flash and thrash surf fit for an afternoon raid on the 7-11 for another six-pack. Brilliant surf treatment.
Surf Rock (Instrumental)
Big guitar edge and grodiness abound in this instrumental treatment of "The Great Pretender." Well delivered and transmuted to the instrumental forum. The double picked verses are tuff and surfable. Lots of energy and power, and plenty of flair.
This most misty romantic doo-wop masterpiece is reverbed and surfed into a whole new groove. Big Ray and the Futuras do a brilliant transformation, with beautiful reverb and arranging. Stunning!
From a sampled opening from the Del-Vikings' "Come Go With Me," the Bradipos IV power into a monster of a surf performance. Totally cool, and very reverby. Lots of drive and groovy splash.
You're Sixteen-You're Beautiful-And You're Mine
Squid Vicious drives very hard as they deliver this knock-you-out instrumental treatment of the Johnny Burnette hit. High powered, relentless, and punchy as hell.
the Deoras present a beautiful arrangement of "Since I Don't Have You." Surf for the evening hours, cocktails and gowns flowing in the summer breeze. Very pretty.
The Atlantics applies their craft to the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" to fine effect. Ultra low gutty guitar (or is that a six string bass?) mixes with tight and tuff lead guitar. Bouncy and fun, with a Los Straitjackets kinda beat and feel. A fine track!
Soft shimmering vibrato guitar leads the way in this beautiful arrangement of "Crying In The Chapel." Lush and pretty, and very romantic. I can't say I've heard anyone do this better.
With all the finger finesse you'd expect from PJ, Shep and the Limelights' "A Thousand Miles Away" softly flows from his guitar. This is a very fine track, exquisitely played.
Garage Exotica (Instrumental)
Horror film organ opens, and soon enough Fifty Foot Combo takes the Memphis classic into distortionland. Bongos and a nearly complete rethinking makes it almost unrecognizable until they reach the bridge.
Slow sinewy percussion and unbelievably suave guitar take this doo-wop classic to a tropical island paradise. If Martin Denny had used guitar instead of vibes as lead instrument, he might have done it this way. Very nice!