Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Dance On - Youth Club Classicsdotdotdot
artworkThis import CD contains most of the recorded output from England's Eagles circa '61-'63. Produced by Joe Meek, they were more than a Shadows clone and less than a surf band, though they cut a couple of classic surf covers included here. Some of these tracks are really lame top forty, others like the Brook Brothers' "War Paint" (covered by the Surfin' Lungs)are classic pre punk teen stuff, where the boys don't get it about the girls and their make-up. Six of the twenty nine tracks on this CD are instrumentals from the Eagles and the Saints.
Picks: Bristol Express, Johnny's Tune, Wipe Out, The Desperadoes, Dance On, Pipeline

Track by Track Review

Bristol Express dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Eagles had a heavier than the Shadows approach to Brit instros. Michael Brice, Terry Clark, John Payne and Rodney Meacham were the Eagles. This is a melodic track, with a warbly guitar sound from the Hank Marvin style string bending. It's a fine single.

Johnny's Tune dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a lighter weight tune, with great tom toms, and an almost surf richness to the lead guitar. The melody is less memorable, but the track is a solid joy.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Euro Pop Surf (Instrumental)

The Brits just never got what surf was all about in the sixties. Even this overplayed standard was messed up by lame guitar tones and horrid drum sounds. Joe Meek's super compression did not help surf, not that this was a surf delivery. The Saints' "Pipeline" is pretty credible. This is just an interesting insight into the UK surf mind-set.

The Desperadoes dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

This was an effort to cash in on the spaghetti western's popularity. This is a damn fine tune in that genre, with Joe Meek's dandy knob work. It whines and whammies, and sports a shiny flute for atmosphere. Very cool.

Dance On dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Being more Shadows than the Shadows, this is slightly darker, mostly due to the prominence ofd the bass guitar. It's quite a tasty recording, half way between the original and the Challengers cover.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Proving once and for all that the Brits of the early sixties didn't get the surf sound... loved it... just didn't get it. It's actually not a bad arrangement, using vibrato and echo, but without that Fender reverb tank, it's just rock and roll. Solid playing and chunky chops, but...