Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Quite A Partydotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a wonderful compilation. Not only is it past due that the Fireballs be tributed this way, but this is an extremely consistent set of songs. Consistently good sound, solid performances, and a lot of respect for the tributees. Mike Vernon (3 Balls Of Fire) compiled and annotated this release. Wonderful!
Picks: Quite A Party, Rik-A-Tik, Bulldog, Sugar Shack, El Ringo, Panic Button, Chief Whoop-In-Koff, Vaquero, Find Me A Golden Street, Torquay, Las Vegas Scene, Clink Clink Classic, Blue Fire, Moonshot, Dumbo, Nearly Sunrise, Fireball, Alone, Really Big Time, Foot Patter, Kissin', Bulldog, Torquay, Almost Paradise

Track by Track Review

Quite A Party dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a great rockin' rendering of "Quite A Party" from a guy with solid fifties-rooted style and rock credentials. This is a session cut for this release with 3 Balls of Fire backing him up. Wonderful playing from all, great spirit, and very clean.

Rik-A-Tik dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs's were closer to the surf sound than any other pre-surf instro band. This tune was quite dry and much less interesting than what these guys did with it. It's just about the happiest surf rave anywhere. An absolute must have classic track.

Bulldog dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' hit, rhythmically issued, less damped than the original, slightly drier. Pretty nice track.

Sugar Shack dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This marvelous instrumental cover was cut for this release. Just guitars and drums playing with extreme coolness. Very nice track!

Dave Wronski is guitarist-writer with Slacktone, and ex-Jon and the Nightriders. he is a superb player and writer. Pete Curry is a multitalented player, on drums here, on bass with Los Straitjackets, Rotundi, the Hillbilly Soul Surfers, and guitar with the Halibuts.

El Ringo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fireballs' "El Ringo" is delivered in rockin' style with lots of reverb and surf feel. The original is very cool, and this takes it into the surf for more fun and big twang. This track was recorded at the studios of CJCA.

Panic Button dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' "Panic Button" is a natural platform for the Belairs. The added piano really brings this song out. Rhythm and smiles all around.

Chief Whoop-In-Koff dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a wholly lovely cover of one of the most fluid of all Fireballs instros. The playing and sound are simply superb! The melody rings, the chords chime and twang, and the bass and drums are perfectly matched. Wonderful.

Vaquero dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vintage surf from one of the coolest surfbands of the sixties. Their version of "Vaquero" is a perfect fit for their raw approach, and the rhythm really makes this compelling. Totally cool!

Find Me A Golden Street dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty cover of the Fireballs' "Find Me A Golden Street" that invites you to gave quietly at a peaceful lagoon. Very very nice.

Torquay dot
High School Party Rock (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' great "Torquay" requires reverb to really work correctly. It also requires the delicate touch of a great player to keep it from being a low-end item. Stiff and soulless, with little to make it anything but dismissible.

Las Vegas Scene dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very fun cover of "Las Vegas Scene" that sports infectious piano and superb playing. This has such a simpler-days sound and very attractive rhythm. A splendid track.

Clink Clink Classic dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendidly played acoustic rendering of a fairly uncommon Fireballs song. These two players are very good, and they played this with extreme passion and prowess. Jon Blair is a consummate surf historian and leader of Jon and the Nightriders. Marty Tippens is a fine guitarist with his own band the Fabulous Planktones. Superb!

Blue Fire dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Spanish and cuts a very cool version of "Blue Fire." Liquid and shimmering with soul, the track moves slowly like a wide river on a summer's day. They have well capture the feeling of the Fireballs. Beautiful.

Moonshot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine choice. This particular track is a recent recording, though the band's roots go back to the early sixties. Pristine and capturing much of the spirit of the Fireballs, "Moonshot" is hard to resist liking. Really nice.

Dumbo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

George Tomsco's "Dumbo" is a perfect inclusion in the set of a band with the precision and delicacy of the Fireballs. The Torquays have backed Tomsco on occasion, and it must have been a perfect scene judging from this. Every note exactly right. Excellent!

Nearly Sunrise dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This Norman Petty tune was first cut by the Fireballs. Here, it takes on a much different feel, with a much gentler delivery and Jorgen Ingman "Apache" string swipes. It's curiously interesting despite it's mild arrangement. I think it's the odd string swipes that keep it alive.

Fireball dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This solo finds the exquisitely talented Paul Johnson accompanying himself on a brilliantly liquid portrayal of "Fireball." Listening to Paul play is an event in itself. His style is right from the heart and his playing incomparable. Stunning!

Alone dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A very pretty recording. The band plays this like they truly believe it. Lots of beauty and soul. This tracks is from the Spartans brief reunion in the nineties.

Really Big Time dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a superb track, with a well balanced and very respectful rendering of "Really Big Time." Pristine and quite good, and flowing with that Fireballs beat. Excellent.

Foot Patter dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the sound of the early Challengersin my mind. It's pretty well defined, the keys are cool, the guitar is precise, and it has a semi-Belairssound. The tune is a George Tomsco creation from the Fireballs. Midtempo coolness, rhythmic and most enjoyable. It's well played, with nice piano work, and ok organ. Clean, but not infectious.

Kissin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dick Stewart's reformed Knights go all the way back to '61. This track is new, and it's very reverent. It's a light romp through one of the Fireballs' more playful tunes. Quite nice.

Bulldog dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' rhythmic "Bulldog" is reverent without being a straight cover. Precise and infectious, and just plain groovy.

Torquay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the bass grumble of Bob Vaught and the Renegaids, and surf twang, plus gourds... quite an interesting and exotic cover of the Fireballs' "Torquay."

Almost Paradise dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Written in the Adventures In Paradise mold by Norman Petty, this is a pretty true to the source nod to the Fireballs. Very pretty, melodic, islandic, and flowing. This is not quite as interesting as Splashback's version, but is a good listen. This alternate version features the piano playing of Vi Petty overdubbed, using the MOR version. Pretty, but I still can't handle the faux-strings keyboards.