Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instrumental Surf Partydotdotdot
artworkThis collection of tracks from the Capitol Records vaults was issued as part of Toshiba's Catch A Summer '84 series. At the time, much of this was unissued. Even today, some tracks appear here in a stereo form not released since or before. The album was pressed on blue vinyl.
Picks: Diamond Head, Beach Party, Surfer's Stomp, Pipeline, Mr. Rebel, Wild As The Sea, Balboa Blue, Kickstand, Surf Beater, Night Surfin', Let's Go Trippin', Walk, Don't Run '64, Out Front, Surfers Slide, Toes On The Nose, Wipe Out, Flash Falcon, Canadian Sunset, The Rising Surf, Theme From 'The Endless Summer'

Track by Track Review


Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Hamilton's classic instro, and among the very few surf singles the Ventures issued. Classic.

Beach Party dotdotdotdot
Cocktail Surf (Instrumental)

Spiffy Latin percussion, exotica tall cool one slurping, picturesque island guitar sounds, and solid musicianship. This is a fine track, playful and whimsical, almost martini proof. Nice work, boys.

Surfer's Stomp dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Kets created this nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfers Stomp." Frankly, Susan and the SurfTones do the best version of this song. Simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures recorded "Pipeline" with no reverb, and very uneven glissando meter, plus little of the emotional beauty of the Chantays' original classic. It's a flat-pickers rendition, not particularly interesting.

Mr. Rebel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Eddie and the Showmen's third single was a tribute to KRLA DJ Reb Foster, who also owned the Revelaire Club, where Eddie Bertrand found themselves to be the house band for a while. This is one of the great surf singles, sporting a totally infectious and optimistic melody and beat.

Wild As The Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow and familiar tune, with a wistfully breezy lilt to it, and an almost siesta imagery. It's not fast, but rather a romantic mid tempo number. Nice listening.

Balboa Blue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

That most humorous concept band, the Mill Valley Taters (drum machine and all), slip into a white water swirl with this surfy instro, structured somewhat like a Torpedoes tune, though less power driven. Nice work, and good listening.

Kickstand dotdotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Bikerisms abound in this Venturization of the Davie Allan sound. OK, but not overly interesting.

Surf Beater dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rock oriented, poundy, energetic, and with the pace, an odd use of melody. This tune is also know as "Surfers Delight." It's a totally fun choppy tune with lot's of pickage and a wailing' sax bridge. The double picked transitions are speedy, and there are touches of Chuck Berry through out. A good track.

Night Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This band has grown a lot. Their early few-and-far-between tracks were unmelodic and mere progressions, but this has a nice surf feel, a simple but effective melody, and twangy thin surf guitar sound. This is a moody track, a little brittle sounding, but entertaining and solid.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Chord Rock (Instrumental)

This is a moderately interesting track, progression based, with a clean guitar and too much dependence on lead chords. It's almost surfy, but not quite. Inadequately recorded.

Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures had already become the chameleons of rock by the time surf came along a mere few months after they cut "Walk, Don't Run" in 1960. They adapted quickly, morphing their crown jewel tune into a surf classic by adding reverb and glissandoes. It's way fun.

Out Front dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spy theme near surf, almost quirky space single music. It's rhythmic, infectious, and fun. It has a rolling party sound, with an Inspector Clueseau kinda sensibility. Intriguing, and playful, almost silly, but sane enough to keep you from straying.

Surfers Slide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A surf film style instro, great to drive to... light and airy and happy. Cool plucky piano. Also released as "Not So Quiet." Great to drive to.

Toes On The Nose dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the only stereo source for "Toes On The Nose." One side of the first single, this is a really grand number, with unusual use of glissandos. It's choppy, powerful, and very infectious.

Wipe Out dotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Highly uninspired dry rendering of the Surfaris classic. Mel Taylor's drums are way weak when compared to Ron Wilson's.

Flash Falcon dotdotdot
Surf Pop (Instrumental)

This is your typical studio progression filler instro, slightly more melodic than that might imply, but even slightly like a surf tune or developed like a song exposed to an audience over time would be. It crawls along, plodding through a high school marching band with guitar sound, augmented with the Dead Man's Curve French horns. At least there's vibrato on the guitar.

Canadian Sunset dotdotdot
Surf Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Link Wray's lumbering classic, is sustained to the nth degree, and played with high compliance reverence. The guitar effects are sorta swirly garage, giving it a slightly haunted neo-metal quality, without detracting from the power. There are some noodly guitar bits, but mostly, this is credible and enjoyable left turn on the Link Turnpike. Like an updated and slightly subdued Uli Roth period Scorpions interpretation might have been.

The Rising Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Pure Gorgeous Surf (Instrumental)

Among the prettiest surf instro tracks of all time, Richie Podolor's composition is stunningly crystalline and well crafted. This track delivers imagery of the surf beginning to rise from a placid state, promising but not yet delivering big surf. The tones are characteristically clean and pure, and the melody is most memorable. Thoroughly engaging and emotionally charged!

Theme From 'The Endless Summer' dotdotdot
Classic Film Score Surf (Instrumental)

"Theme From The Endless Summer" is a world renowned tune. It incorporates nontraditional instruments and has been an influence to many others. The use of melodica is particularly interesting.