Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Hot Rod Rock Volume 3 Big Boss Instrumentalsdotdotdot
artworkUnusually diverse collection of mostly rod instros. Many of the tracks are surprising for this sort of mass market release. Overall, not a bad budget CD.
Picks: Booker T. and the MG's - Green Onions, The Deuce Coupes - Nite Prowler, Jack Nitzsche - The Last Race, The Super Stocks - Midnight Run, The Surfaris - Burnin' Rubber, The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run, The Wailers - Tall Cool One, Link Wray and his Raymen - Rumble

Track by Track Review

The Bill Black Combo - Movin' dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

R&B instro maker Bill Black did a lot of mediocre material, including this track.

Booker T. and the MG's - Green Onions dotdotdotdot
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

Classic organ progression studio creation that stretched the patience without pane. It's not often you even notice there's so little that passes for a melody, not unlike the infinite listenings afforded Bo Diddley even though he usually only used one chord, and two notes on his guitar.

The Darts - Top Eliminator dotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The Darts a.k.a. The Deuce Coupes or the T-Bones... The usual suspects were rounded up for a studio "band" to cash in on the ignorance of the listening public. Unremarkable.

The Deuce Coupes - Nite Prowler dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

This is quite dry, and the guitar tones are insensitive to the arrangement. The performance is technically good and emotionless, almost empty. It's worth a spin or two, but you'll forget it pretty quickly. Too much of a jam.

Willie Mitchell - Soul Serenade dotdot
Soul Single (Instrumental)

What does this have to do with hot rods? It's a then-trendy period R&B instro piece.

Jack Nitzsche - The Last Race dotdotdot
Hit Clone (Instrumental)

Speaking of studio lizards, Jack Nitzsche had a major AM hit with his low-E guitar and orchestra studio creation "The Lonely Surfer." This is just like that... a spinoff of the same idea. Jack Nitzsche was a producer. This is an interesting track for a few spins, but it is very derivative. This was the theme to the Village Of The Giants I think.

Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra - Theme From "Route 66" dot
Lush TV Theme (Instrumental)

Can you spell fifties MOR fluff TV show theme? Nelson Riddle did lush string music for the non-offensive middle of the road (MOR) crowd, and this is his signature piece. In those heady days of "adults" trying to quash anything rock-n-roll so as to not be offended, this was on the hit parade. How times have changed.

The Super Stocks - Midnight Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is THEE defining Super Stocks track. It is melodic, dramatic, emotional, powerful, dynamic, and highly melodic. It was written by Gary Usher, Richard Burns, and Roger Christian. It has one of the most infectious sounds of any of the more layered less assaultive surf instros. Totally great.

The Super Stocks - "T" Roadster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is a pretty standard progression much in the style of so many studio tracks, exhibiting little of the Super Stocks prowess. It has no direction, but some tasty sax work and great drums.

The Surfaris - Burnin' Rubber dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Burnin' Rubber" is one of those really catchy instros that marked the rise of surf. The gentle guitar lines are haunting. The song's structure is rhythm oriented, and the moderately modulated melody is very cool. It's songs like this that show just how powerful a simple melody can be when well written and well played. My hat's off to Jim Fuller, who made these sorts of track shine for the Surfaris. Ron Wilson's drum solo is short and tasty. Great listening... it'll get ya moving.

The T-Bones - Draggin' dot
Studio Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Aside from the cutesy TV ad theme based "No Matter What Shape (your stomach is in)" antacid commercial and the trendy "Percolator" coffee pot commercial, this studio amalgam never did anything worth a hoot, and this proves it.

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run dotdotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is essential. The Ventures were one of the two bands that served as the model for early surf bands, the other being the Fireballs. This was their first single, and is an absolute standard. It was based on the early fifties Chet Atkins arrangement. This is their signature tune, a solid and enduring cover of Johnny Smith's jazz classic. Rhythmic, solid as a rock, and very warm with presurf whammy. Only the Pink Fairies' vocal version is better than this. Great classic pre surf.

"Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia" were recorded a year before there was such a thing as surf music. Totally vintage and majorly important to the birth of surf, this Ventures single is still their hallmark and best effort. Every collection requires this track.

The Wailers - Tall Cool One dotdotdotdot
Pacific Northwest Bachelor Pad Club Instro (Instrumental)

The Wailers issued this and had a national hit with it in '59. It's a great honky tonkin' piano and sax squonkin' R&B track. Wonderful!

Link Wray and his Raymen - Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Classic Dark Rock (Instrumental)

The original street gang record. This drips juvenile delinquency and chains and knives and broken bottles. It's the first evil rock instro. Very powerful after 40 years! Link Wray is the originator of lead guitar instros, of the ominous guitar sound, of the use of extreme sustain for danger, of the tribal thunder and drama under rock instros, of the gradually changing effects to impose a rising threat, as he does by increasing vibrato at the end of the track. This is a must have for any self-respecting rock instro fan, and a definite requirement to understand the foundation that was laid for the later surf bands.