Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Beach Boys - Original 20 Hitsdotdot
artworkThis Beach Boys release fails to mention that it's really a compilation of the Beach Boys, the Frogmen, and the Mar-Kets. The Beach Boys masters are their pre-Capitol sessions, and include "Surfin'" and "Luau."
Picks: 409, Wipe Out, Surfer's Stomp, Tioga, Karate, Beware Below, Underwater, Balboa Blue

Track by Track Review


409
Rock (Instrumental)

Under the name the Surfin' Six, the Mar-Kets cut this truly lame version of "409." Slow, lifeless, and without redeeming qualities of any sort.

Wipe Out dot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really weak version of "Wipe Out." Not an ounce of power, not a beat of soul.

Surfer's Stomp dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Kets created this nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfers Stomp." Frankly, Susan and the SurfTones do the best version of this song. Simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.

Tioga dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frogmen recorded in what is now thought of as the traditional surf sound, with reverbed guitars, etc., and before either the Belairs or Dick Dale. This was their follow up to "Underwater" and was issued in '61. It is one of their more average sides.

Karate dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very simple progression played repeatedly, interrupted occasionally with cries of "Karate." Rhythmic back-grounder, just barely surfy. Historically valid, but unimportant. Will fit into a surf set as a break from the intensity and melodic power of the real thing.

Beware Below dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tom toms and a chunky guitar beat are the signatures of this tribal stomper. Piano glissandoes and jammy twang abound.

Underwater dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frogmen romp with "Underwater." It's very much a surf precursor, and important for that reason. Numerous of their tracks have appeared on various budget comps over the past few years.

Balboa Blue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

That most humorous concept band, the Mill Valley Taters (drum machine and all), slip into a white water swirl with this surfy instro, structured somewhat like a Torpedoes tune, though less power driven. Nice work, and good listening.