Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Ride The Wild Surf - Great Surfin' Hits
artworkHere's the deal - 41 tracks for not much, but then again, the vast majority of these tracks all pallid-to-pathetic remakes, fake bands like Rick Gale and the Surf Riders, or, in one case, the actual original. The Beach Boys tracks are fro the widely issued pre-Capitol Candix sessions. The one interesting remake is the resurfacing of The Chantays "Pipeline" originally cut for and issued by K-Tel in 1975. The only actual original surf instro is The Surfaris' "Wipe Out," and that's the DOT 45 edit.

Basically, Ride The Wild Surf - Great Surfin' Hits is a load of rubbish no matter how cheap - or put another way, it illustrates the difference between cheap and inexpensive.
Picks: The Beach Boys - Karate, The Chantays - Pipeline, Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Misirlou, Mr. Moto, Surf Rider, The Surfaris - Wipe Out

Track by Track Review


The Beach Boys - Surfer's Stomp dotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

Just learned to hold the instruments, no idea about the sense of ensemble required, or the need for a bit of soul in the playing, thus able to deliver an even less interesting and more stripped down rendition of a studio concoction. Historically interesting, but of no other value.

The Beach Boys - Balboa Blue dotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

Like "Surfers Stomp." Historically interesting, but of no other value.

The Beach Boys - Karate dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very simple progression played repeatedly, interrupted occasionally with cries of "Karate." Rhythmic back-grounder, just barely surfy. Historically valid, but unimportant. Will fit into a surf set as a break from the intensity and melodic power of the real thing.

The Chantays - Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is the 1975 K-Tel session, recorded for a concept collection called Rebel Rouser. It is very different than the original is sound, closer to the Ventures' version in some ways. It is precise, well played, and very solid. It's also quite rare on vinyl. The other remake version still remaining unreleased is the eighties remake that was issued on a high compliance super-vinyl label. This is worth having, for sure.

Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Misirlou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a low-fire version of "Misirlou." It's double picked, chopped and damped, but is not intense. A curious mix of power and restraint. Ed Quarry's keyboard swirls are really nice to hear. It's Dick Dale's single arrangement.

Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Let's Go Trippin' dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Much lower key than the Dick Dale and his Del-tones single, more like the Milt Rogers take. It has a groove, but I think I'll pass on it.

Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a million versions out there, it is only the CD's concept that requires it here. The keys play Jim Roberts' original lines really well, and it's in many ways among the most reverent covers. The sax is a bit subdued, but overall, this seems to be right out of 1961.

Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cross between the Lively Ones' signature tune and the Ventures' original, this is a true to form version with exceptional guitar work.

Rick Gale and the Surf Riders - Penetration dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low key, this is about the lightest weight cover of the Pyramids' "Penetration" I've heard in a darn long time. It makes a good party backdrop, but is just too restrained. This track includes a false start on the rhythm guitar.

The Marketts - Batman Theme
Surf (Instrumental)

Egad... The Neil Hefty TV theme is slushed and horned out with chorus. The electricity consumed to record this has to be of more value than the result!

The Routers - Honky Tonk dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

The sleeve says "Let's Go," but this is a lukewarm version of Bill Dogget's "Honky Tonk." Of unknown parentage, and if you never heard it, you'd not miss it. The musicianship is good, and track actually works well enough to fit into a blues set.

The Surfaris - Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

"Wipe Out" is simply the definitive drummer's badge of courage. If he can do a decent "Wipe Out," he's hired. Simple, and written and recorded in just minutes, this is an international classic that has sold multimillions of copies, and still does every year worldwide.

The Tornados - Telstar
Adult Contemporary Space Rock (Instrumental)

I don't know the vintage of this, but it's sure NOT from the band's heyday wit Joe Meek. Nearly adult contemporary!

The Ventures - Diamond Head
Disco Surf (Instrumental)

Wow, the really sucks! Everything you'd be afraid of happening in a merger of lo-end disco and surf is here. All I can say is DO NOT LISTEN!

The Ventures - Hawaii Five-0 dotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

This is a remake from who knows when. It's not terrible, it's just completely dismissible, with the exception of the percussion.

The Ventures - Walk Don't Run dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is just about the most tepid of the hundreds of versions The Ventures have recorded. Vintage unknown, energy MIA.