Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Songs Man Or Astro-MAN? Taught Us Volume 1dotdotdot
artworkThis is a broad collection of mostly instrumental tracks that Man Or Astro-MAN? covered. It's an interesting slab of goodies in this context.
Picks: The Avengers VI - Time Bomb, John Barry - Goldfinger, The Breakers - Jet Stream, Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Taco Wagon, Eddie and the Showmen - Squad Car, Edwin Astley Orchestra - High Wire, Bobby Fuller and the Fanatics - Our Favorite Martian, Jack Marshall - The Munsters Theme, The Motivations - The Birds, The Original Surfaris - Surfari, Terauchi Takeshi and Bunny's - Test Driver, The Ventures - Dick Tracy, Journey To The Stars, Link Wray and his Raymen - The Shadow Knows, Deuces Wild, Zorba and the Greeks - Shockwave

Track by Track Review


The Avengers VI - Time Bomb dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid original, with drum fury and a magnetic melody line that is quite sad. The organ and guitar trade roles from verse to verse. Minimal, but really cool.

John Barry - Goldfinger dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the film score, with big guitar and that glorious melody line. John Barry's playing and arranging were well suited for spy music - practically invented it. Always a pleasure!

The Breakers - Jet Stream dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Jet Stream" is a very fine typically surf structured and delivered tune, with solid double picking, and jet engine sound effects overdubbed. The ringing whammy and the melodic lead progression are perfectly set for a surf ride across your speakers.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Taco Wagon dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Despite it's oomp-pa-pa quality, this is one heck of a great song. It's from the Mr. Eliminator album, and has been covered frequently. "Taco Wagon" has more Mexican flavor than the nachos at Taco Bell... really. It's a great track!

Eddie and the Showmen - Squad Car dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is THEE Eddie & the Showmen song, and their second single. Written by Paul Johnson, it totally shreds. The best news is it finally appears in stereo.

Edwin Astley Orchestra - High Wire dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big brassy cheesy orchestral fair largely inspired by the piano magic of Al Hazan as B. Bumble & The Stingers. Fun with great drums.

Bobby Fuller and the Fanatics - Our Favorite Martian dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller played some of the best surf instros on the gentler side of the track. This recording is essential to any surf collection. It begins with a slowed reverb kick, and moves right into one of the most recognizable of the more obscure instros. The structure and sound are perfectly surf, and the energy and style are exquisite. This is the full track, without being faded for the single, including the post performance tape echo swell.

Jerry Goldsmith - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Film score with big kick drum and bass sync. Bold and brassy.

Hanna Barbera Curtin - The Jetsons dot
Surf (Instrumental)

The cartoon theme with that terribly thin and cheesy TV sound from back in the day.

Yo Yo Hashi - Yo Yo's Pad dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Faux oriental music with cheesy voicings. More gimmick and jam than song.

Henry Mancini - Touch Of Evil dot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Touch Of Evil" is too pompous for my taste. Bongos and exotica gone orchestral.

The Marketts - Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mid seventies K-TEL recording. Less emotional, more sterile. As an alternate version, it will be necessary for you collectors out there to have.

Jack Marshall - The Munsters Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jack Marshall's cover of the tv show theme that Vic Mizzy made so famous. Short and cool!

The Motivations - The Birds dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool semi surf riff with really cool effects from the echo plex and the outboard reverb, and a menacing meanness. The chunky damped surf rhythm guitar keeps it in focus, and the drums provide the thunder. Very cool track.

The Original Surfaris - Surfari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Surfari" is a really cool high energy number that has been only narrowly circulated and covered even more rarely. It has a bunch of energy, great low-E double picked leads and a solid helping of hooks. Great track

The Original Surfaris - Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' "Bombora" is one of the great surf pounders, with it's heavy tom tom action and low-E lead growling away. A great and essential track.

Pylon - Italian Movie Theme dotdotdot
Guitar (Instrumental)

"Italian Movie Theme" sports an eighties beat and thin bass, and fronts this track with a very eighties guitar line that's somewhat melodic, but is held back by the relentless repetition of the rhythm track. It's not very Italian (spaghetti) sounding.

Thee Shatners - Green Blooded Love dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fairly mindless riff rocker with reverb. Not melodic at all. Injected with half hearted shouts of "Green Blooded Love."

Terauchi Takeshi and Bunny's - Test Driver dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great drums open this semi-psychedelic song. "Test Driver" is riff dominated, accented with near zero whammy dips and thick textures. An interesting track.

The Ventures - Dick Tracy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big drums, detective cutesy rock, and a very rhythmic backtrack. A mixed bag, with a solid low-E lead and an infectious rhythm guitar.

The Ventures - War Of The Satellites dotdot
Space Rock (Instrumental)

"War Of The Satellites" is just too cutesy for my taste. Childish space effects and arranging.

The Ventures - The Heavies dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Just so-so rock format choppy instro fare. Not interesting.

The Ventures - Journey To The Stars dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Pumped and deliriously solid, this sports major edge and really fine playing. The thunder is less than the studio track, but the menace is still there. Very strong!

Link Wray and his Raymen - The Shadow Knows dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Opening with the classic instro lines from the old time radio show, this dark brooding Rumble like number uses big ringing chords, sustained and distorted, and a thundering tribal backtrack, with evil laughs interspersed. A very slow pained and evil number. The lumbering pace gives it more darkness, as do the rhythm sections relentless runway grind. Quite nice.

Link Wray and his Raymen - Deuces Wild dotdotdotdot
Essential Rock (Instrumental)

The rolling tribal drums are very cool, organically grown jungle rhythms under the grode Link Wray long note guitar voicing. A very fine track.

Zorba and the Greeks - Shockwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool tune. The organ comes in notably late in it's first note, but the extended reverb kicks are too cool, and the reverb lead is quite nice. The melody is friendly and fun. This tune is infectious and seems to stay with you. It stands up to multiple listening. The label was Golden State Recorders, a San Francisco based label run by the legendary Leo de gar Kulka. I don't know if they were locals or just came to the city to record.