Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Decade Of Instrumentals 1959-1967dotdot
artworkThis 1987 compilation drags 22 (mostly) British instros together. Surprisingly, many are not compiled elsewhere. I expected to see most on the Teen Beat or Instrumental Diamonds or Highly Strung series, but alas only a couple show up. So, while only a handful rise to the level of coolness, this LP remains an oasis of unavailable instros.
Picks: Entry Of The Gladiators, Bongo Rock, Chariot, Taboo, Eclipse, Paella, Grumbling Guitar, Surfside, Saturday Jump, Stand Up And Say That, Night Train, Stand And Deliver, The Bogey Men, I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded, Fugitive, Song Of Mexico, The Trek To Rome, More Like Nashville, Savage Part 2, Pop The Whip, Mind Reader, Curly

Track by Track Review


Entry Of The Gladiators dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The circus song is big guitar twanged with a chumpy beat. Cutesy for a verse or two, and then it's just pedestrian.

Bongo Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Preston Epps' immortal "Bongo Rock" is nicely done with an edgy guitar and raging bongos. The sax break is a nonstarter, seeming out of place with the exotic nature of the song, though the sax does have its moments.

Chariot dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big guitar hero Rhet Stoller plays a silky twanger with a haunting melody line. Intense whammy, a groovy melody, and an almost Indian-western sound.

Taboo dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ernesto Lecuona's spooky "Taboo" gets a strange treatment, with an almost fuzz guitar, flighty flute, and tribal drums. This is a strange track for the Brits in 1962. Very interesting.

Eclipse dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties fluff rockin' jam for orchestra. This is a long ways from cool.

Paella dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Shimmering vibrato keys and racing drums present an almost carnival sound with MOR tendencies and rock sensibilities. I wanted to dislike it, but just couldn't. maybe it's the drums, but this is lots of fun and waiting for a surf cover.

Grumbling Guitar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A reverb crash opens! Yikes! Then a reverbed gutty guitar noodles all around while the K-C-Ettes like chorus does the dig the guitar thing. Very unusual.

Surfside dotdotdot
Oz Surf (Instrumental)

Islandic sock hop slow dance romantic guitar instro with surf sounds. It nearly makes it into the crying guitar category. Very pretty and smooth. Originally HMV single EA-4506, "Surfside" went to number one on the Australian charts.

Saturday Jump dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sucky sax nonsense from the mind of frat party honkin'.

Stand Up And Say That dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Piano and chumpy jam rockin'. This really doesn't go anywhere.

Night Train dotdotdot
Country Rock (Instrumental)

Lap steel intensely lays out "Night Train" over a quick and spunky backtrack. I think it can't decide if it's rock or country, but either way, it's a mighty strange track that's hard to dislike.

Stand And Deliver dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ostensibly live, the Snobs rock hard on this guitar twanger with sub surf sensibilities. Lots of energy and twang, and intense drums and relentless bass. Cool track.

The Bogey Men dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hokey twerpy fee-fi-fo-fum keys under near surf guitar plucking, which uses a dragged out chord progression to create a tweaky riff. The effects are cheesy horror stuff. It's a cool composition, but way too gimmicky an arrangement.

I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Soft rock with screams, based on a tepid interpretation of Duane Eddy. Wholly derivative!

Fugitive dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

TV theme stuff, with detective rhythms and harmonica. Not very interesting.

Song Of Mexico dotdotdot
British Big Bass (Instrumental)

"Song Of Mexico" is a Tony Meehan solo effort without Jet Harris. The lead has Jet's basic sound, and the melody is another of Jerry Lordan's. Fine material for a spaghetti western surf band to groove with, like maybe the Hellbenders. There's more MOR elements than I like, but it still works well.

The Trek To Rome dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Plucky guitar and a moderate beat, with a chumpy sound and intense guitar in places. Plinky piano and a fifties feel.

More Like Nashville dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

A bluesy instro of the jam variety. No direction or particular personality.

Savage Part 2 dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A bluesy frat party kinda thing, with plinky piano and loud guitar. Riff rock at best.

Pop The Whip dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Riff rock non-melodic guitar rock like American fifties b-sides from the Midwest. No particular attraction.

Mind Reader dotdotdot
Spy (Instrumental)

Big twang and sax, bongos and spy sounds. "Mind Reader" has potential, and has a friendly melody. The cheesy horns don't help. but otherwise, it's kinda cool.

Curly dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is John Mayall's band, lead by the guitar of Peter Green, with John McVee on bass and Mick Fleetwood on drums, who would become the nucleus of Fleetwood Mac in '67. "Curly" is a bluesy guitar instro with a thick and edgy sound.