Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Let's Go Surfin - Far East Collection '63~'65dotdotdot
artworkThis is a great compilation of Japanese early sixties instro bands, and some priceless vocals as well. Excellent rare stuff, most of which is very good. On the vocal side, Danny Iida and the Paradise Kings do a Japanese language version of Jan and Dean's "Surf City," Three Funkys have fun with "Summer Means Fun," Karen," "GTO," "On The Beach," and "Do The Clam," and Yuyu Uchida does wonderful pop variations on "Run Run Run" and "Roll Over Beethoven."
Picks: Movin', Misirlou, The Cruel Sea, Squad Car, Kickstand, Wipe Out, Living Doll, King Of The Surf Guitar, Ride The Wild Surf, Diamond Head, Tragic Wind, Sakura Sakura

Track by Track Review

Movin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very smooth cover of the Astronauts / Surfaris (Lee Hazelwood) tune. It's fluid and spiffy, with energy and a snappy arrangement. Some embellishment in the guitar lines and the console organ take this into different territory.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Boy, is this different. The fiery double picked lead guitar is there alright, but the rest of the track is totally different, from the long drum and dramatic big chord intro to the organ and the accompaniment chords and the non-surf beat, and then the nearly traditional arrangement mid stream. Exceptional.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast drums rage into this small combo arrangement of the Dakotas' B-side. The mix is odd, with the guitar quite subtle, but it somehow works. This nice variation on a commonly covered tune sports driving drums with a rockabilly snare snap and plenty of energy. Really cool.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting version of the Eddie and the Showmen hit. The siren is most disturbing, and the thunder of the tom toms is very powerful. The guitar texture is in some ways like the original Belairs demo. The organ gives it a different edge. Delicate yet powerful.

Kickstand dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This just flies! Raging drums, pumping damped guitar, an almost wah wah sax, and a ton of energy. This version of the Ventures tune is insanely driven. I am assuming that Terumasa Hino

Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a high speed firebrand rendering of the first Surfaris hit. The drums rage instead of flail, and the guitar nervously issues a flood of double picked notes. Damped, furious, and way fun. Quite different.

Living Doll dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This approaches MOR with a vengeance. It's a bit chunky, but mostly just poppy.

King Of The Surf Guitar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Dickster's ode to himself arranged without the Blossoms singing his praises and without surf tone as well. It's interesting to hear it done by someone else. Dry and spunky. Still, how can you live without those immortal words "all the kids in old LA love to hear Dick Dale play."

Ride The Wild Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool treatment of the Jan and Dean classic. Echo replaced reverb, and the backtrack is pretty strange. The organ in the break is weird, but otherwise, this is cool.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a darn spunky version of the Ventures hit. Well played and full of spit and vinegar. Great twang and excellent energy. The big whammy is cool.

Tragic Wind dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a more edgy cover of the Chantays tune. The tones are so different from the original that it takes on a new life. Real power in the second guitar and glissandoes. Very nice.

Sakura Sakura dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tasty near carnival keys under a a Ventures styled melody. This is very friendly and easy to enjoy. Solid drums and excellent energy. Rhythmic and good for the open road cruising.