Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Fictiondotdotdot
artworkThis CD is a nice package mostly derived from the GNP Surf Crazy disc. The vocals include Dick Dale and his Del-tones' 1975 version of "Peppermint Man," their '63 cut of "The Scavenger," the Surfaris [Jim Pash] 1981 live take of "Surfer Joe," the Breakers amazingly lame "Surf Bird" in stereo, and the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird."
Picks: Bustin' Surfboards, Hawaii Five-0, Let's Go Surfin', Space Race, King Of The Surf Guitar, Bongo Rock, Surfer's Stomp, Telstar, Wipe Out, Perfidia, Let's Go (Pony), Surf-Ari, Pipeline, Watermelon Man, Surfin' And Swingin', Peter Gunn, Walk, Don't Run '64, Soul Beat Pt. II, Latin'ia, Pachuko Soul, Tequila, Miserlou, The Ventrures Medley

Track by Track Review


Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bustin' Surfboards" is one of the most recognizable of the tribal surf instros from the sixties. It's drum dominated raw sound was nothing short of magical when I first heard it on KRLA. This is one of the essential surf instros, a desert island must-have.

Hawaii Five-0 dotdotdotdot
Horror Film For Your Ears (Instrumental)

"Binge and Purge" lumbers down a path not often traveled, where loungecore and private eye jazz blend into a new recipe for sludgomatic horror throb. Just short of monstercore, this slithers and sneaks in the back allies of your town, looking for a garage to sleep in. It can't decide if it's suave and cool, or dark and sinister. The conflict between the trench coated gumshoe and the sci-fi radiation byproduct ooze from the planet sludge is all too enticing. You can draw a slight parallel to the soundscape of the Reventlos' "King Kong." No surf in sight, but this is a brilliant track, like a movie with no scenes.

Let's Go Surfin' dotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Another of Jim Waller's originals, this is a nice tune with a nonintrusive comfort about it.

Space Race dotdotdot
Space (Instrumental)

This is a strange track from the studio side of things. It sports spacy electronic noises, some sounds of the surf, and some sounds of the surf, plus a really catchy riff delivered with dry guitar tones. This is the song the Ventures covered on In Space.

King Of The Surf Guitar dot
Surf (Vocal)

This take of "King Of The Surf Guitar" is less gutsy and more showband-like than the Capitol version. The Vegas showgirls chorus doesn't cut it, but then neither did the Blossoms when they sang over Dick's great guitar licks.

Bongo Rock dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is a marvelous and fun classic rock 'n' roll single. The rhythm is totally infectious, and the simple melody line sticks in your memory cells despite any attempt to clear your head. This has almost nothing to do with surf music, though it was a staple among some of the bands. It predates the genre, and has no reverb at all. It is important for a couple of reasons. It was the first rock instro featuring the bongo drum as a central instrument, and it was the structure of this song that was one basis for the Surfaris' "Wipe Out."

Surfer's Stomp dot
Big Band (Instrumental)

Frankly, Susan and the SurfTones do the best version of this song. This is 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.

Telstar dot
MOR (Instrumental)

The song's author Joe Meek would roll over in their grave. Where's the flair and guts of the London Tornados? It's merely non-offensive MOR, looking for a shopping cart.

Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf Revival Review (Instrumental)

Don Murray was a good drummer, but no one can do this like Ron Wilson could. Solid performance.

Perfidia dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the followup to "Walk, Don't Run," in the same style and equally infectious. The lead is less up front, but the warmth of the whammy makes this an excellent pre-surf track. Great drums and picking. The combo really comes together in this track.

Let's Go (Pony) dotdotdot
Cheerleader Rock (Instrumental)

Like many other hits of the day, beginning with Tommy Facenda's "High School USA," through the Beach Boys' "Be True To Your School," this was a cheer leader's dream, a ready made routine for mindless group think chants and clique spirit rallies. "Let's Go (Pony)" uses a simple riff, and an infectious pre-"We Will Rock You" anthemic chant.

Surf-Ari dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another Good Guys track. Not a very interesting melody, but listenable.

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.

Watermelon Man dotdotdotdot
Surf Latin East LA Mariachi (Instrumental)

Live at the Surf Battle, this shows the versatility and playing skills of the Rhythm Kings when they focus on West Coast Jazz. It's a fine cover with reverence for the hit.

Surfin' And Swingin' dot
Big Band (Instrumental)

No amount of name recognition will change an average Big Band track is not a surf track. The absurd addition of studio fuzz guitar just mocks the thing. Some fuzz, ambiently captured drums, and horns... Big band goes to the beach, but doesn't get tan. If not for the fuzz, "Surfin' and Swingin'" would simply suck.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn" has evolved only slightly over the years Dick has used it as an opener. He's in rare form here, playing it smoothly and with guts.

Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdot
Ventures (Instrumental)

Billy, Billy! When will we learn? The Ventures just barely get honorable mention in surf history, except as an influence. Covering their surfized classic with limp dry guitars is just wimpy.

Soul Beat Pt. II dotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

This is a sultry jazzy number with a very soulful groove. It drips liquid love and emotional well-being. So cool is that the Ray Beats covered it in a merger with Intoxica on their It's Only A Movie album.

Latin'ia dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Easily one of the most beautiful Latin surf instros ever recorded. Tommy Nunes' writing and guitar wizardry were unsurpassed. I'd sure like to hear what he's doing now. This song shimmers. It's been on my top ten surf instro list for 33 years.

Pachuko Soul dotdotdotdotdot
East LA Latin Mariachi Pachuko Soul Surf (Instrumental)

The cool handclaps, the great mariachi-like horns, the shouts, and the "Watermelon Man" party ethos are infectious and crystal clear. Simply cool party fun. What a sensational groove!

Tequila dotdotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

This is their BIG HIT!. It is a sax based number that was probably the frat house standard, long before "Louie Louie" was. The spoken "Tequila" at the end of the lines has become a standard of Latin party rock. Very infectious.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is not the hit single. It's also not the Rendezvous version. This is from Dick's 1975 sessions at GNP, not far from when he recorded those ridiculous demos for RCA... The performance is very good, but the mix is less than energetic. Well worth having. This is it! There is nothing else after this! The first record of it's kind. The ripping monster of all time!!!!!

The Ventrures Medley dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of a billion variations on medleys from the Ventures, this one includes "Wipe Out," "Walk, Don't Run," "Pipeline," and "Hawaii Five-0."