Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Catch A Wave (And You're On Top Of The World) - Surf Essentialsdotdotdot
artworkTypical of the un-hip compiler putting together tracks in a theme, this set is clearly not essential or even surf in lots of ways. Among the tracks however are some real surf items for your pleasure. This is an Amazon - iTunes - Rhapsody marketer mp3 set.
Picks: The Belairs - Mr. Moto, Bruno and the Gladiators - Istanbul, The Challengers - Miserlou, The Surf Riders (Cornells) - Ten Tons Of Wet, The Surfriders [Paul Johnson] - Surfbeat, Thom Starr and the Galaxies - Chiflado, Jim Waller and the Deltas - Surfin' Wild

Track by Track Review

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it, their claim to fame, their most familiar song, and the first surf release from May 1961 on Arvee Records. "Mr. Moto" is just about the most influential surf instro ever. "Mr. Moto" came to be a surf classic, and was recorded and released months before Dick Dale's "Let's Go Trippin'," before he opened the Rendezvous Ballroom, and before it was called surf. If you must draw a line in the sand, it must be drawn here. "Mr. Moto" was recorded at Liberty.

Covered by countless others, this song features 15 year olds Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand trading guitar parts in their trademark style on a prototypical PJ writing masterpiece. Jim Roberts' piano work is stunningly perfect for this song. A historical absolutely must have!

Istanbul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a paradoxical rendering of the classic "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Paradoxical because the pumped up energy and surf guitar rock hard, while the console organ is just too mall rat cheesy. High energy and an infectious beat, with no shortage of charm.

Foot Tapper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A decent cover of The Shadows' "Foot Tapper" with a dry straight sound. Nicely played, but less interesting than either the original or The Challengers' cover.

Wipe Out dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

No one covers this well, and no one does Ron Wilson's drumming, and when you further get the melody wrong (or morph it into an unrecognizable and not very good form), well... it all adds up to a no way Jose thing.

Miserlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very unlike Dick Dale's version of this Greek pop song. The guitar is dry, and Glen Grey's playing is nothing like Dick's. He's p[laying his heart out, but the tones, meter, and delivery are considerably less. The voices in chorus go "ahhhh" while the bridge is played. Still, it's quite a nice track.

Moon Dawg dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Though listed as "Tidal Wave," this is "Moon Dawg." Derry Weaver's classic presurf monster, done with great reverence. A Theremin opens this track, but after that, it's a pretty straight cover of the Gamblers' classic. The added organ and subdued chorus are the essential variations, as well as the cleanliness of the track. Good performance and worth a spin.

Fugitive dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Percussive piano riffin, sax progressin', and energy, but nowhere near as interesting or fun as "Freeway." Pretty Standard, like a tame Little Richard piece without the vocals.

Ten Tons Of Wet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with a whammy chord, this is a dry surf number, among the surfiest on the album. It's rhythm and riff orientation, accented by a wailin' sax break is prototypical surf single fare. A nice track. "Ten Tons Of Wet" is a re-titled "Beachbound."

Surfbeat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's "Surf Beat" is dry and rhythmic, with solid drums and great plinking piano. Pretty fun.

Chiflado dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mirror image of the Belairs' version of this fine instro, and very well played. It's so close, it could easily be mistaken for an alternate take.

Goofy Foot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Goofy Foot" is a minor variation on

Surfin' Wild dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This was a single for the Deltas. It is very Hammond oriented, and quite a melodic jazz combo number.