Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Car Trax - California Cruisin'dotdotdot
artworkThis seemingly crappy collection of too-often reissued tracks is actually worth searching out if you're a completist. Both the Chantays, Marketts, and Surfaris tracks were cut for K-Tel in 1974 or 5, and have only appeared on CD on the Kahuna Classics comp.
Picks: Pipeline, Hawaii Five-O, Out Of Limits, Wipe Out, Percolator

Track by Track Review


Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it. This track defined surf. It is the archetype! Paul Johnson once told me that when first heard this tune on his car radio, he said Whoa! Wha-at is THAT?, and pulled over to the side of the road to listen. The Chantays defined the classic surf line up, 2 guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Glorious first use of glissandoes, first rhythm guitar dominance in the mix, and just plain essential.

Hawaii Five-O dotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

Often covered TV theme song from the chameleons of instro rock from the 1968 TV series.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of several remakes Joe Saraceno recorded using his original studio name. There's no way of knowing who is on the session, but the variations in the lead run add something and keep it fresh. Still, it's less electric than the original.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

This is a 1975 remake recorded for K-Tel. Ron Wilson is not on the session, the sound is less crisp, and the bass is more upfront, but otherwise it's recognizable from a guitar standpoint as the Surfaris.

Percolator dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

This gimmicky postsurf period instro was based on a Maxwell House Coffee TV ad running at the time. The lead simulates the gradual escalation of the coffee bubbling up into the glass dome in the top of the coffee pot. It was an instant success, and is still pretty darn fun. It's not surf, but it sure endures well.