Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surfin' Oldiesdotdotdot
artworkSome of the tracks here are surf, some are not. All except Gene Gray and his Stingrays' "Surf Bunny" are quite obscure. While this is not an introduction to surf kinda comp, it does sport some tracks to help fill those voids in your collection. All tracks are from vinyl sources, and the sound has little high end.
Picks: Surf Rock, Moon Guitar, Surfin' Delilah, Quiet Surf, Space Race, Johnny Guitar, Surf Bunny, Rumble at Newport Beach, Give The Ball To Calhoun, From Russia With Love, Plunkin' Party, Ciricahua, Summertime, Mandrake

Track by Track Review


Surf Rock dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

With echoed "cricket chirps," this pre-surf fifties styled whammy bar instro grooves like a classic B-side. Nothing about it is surf, but then it does have a friendly and semi watery sound. So, dig it and enjoy the whammy.

Moon Guitar dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

European polished guitar and almost violin-plucked accompaniment in a very light weight and frothy sounding arrangement. As close to MOR as you can get without being MOR, or maybe it is.

Surfin' Delilah dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

A shimmering vibrato guitar plays a haunting Euro melody line in a gentle and sophisticated setting. While miles from the nearest coastline, "Surfin' Delilah" does fit into a surf set of lagoon numbers segued to soothe the savage soul. Very pretty.

Quiet Surf dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

Shiny throbbing vibrato lead work portraying a light evening affair at a villa in the south of Italy somewhere. Pretty, but not really memorable. Not the Richie Podolor tune.

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.

Johnny Guitar dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

A million version of this MOR classic... and this is merely one. Nothing special.

Surf Bunny dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Bunny" is one of the great surf obscuros, full of raw power, spirited vocal eruptions from Gene, and a really grungy sound. This record has been on my top 20 list since it's release in '63.

Rumble at Newport Beach dotdot
Fifties Rock (Instrumental)

This is very much rock instro of the melody free progression variety, like so many fifties instros. It has no relationship to surf, other than the presumed title link. It's just a party jam. Mike Gordon wrote "Out Of Limits" for the Mar-Ketts.

Give The Ball To Calhoun dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aside from the moronic ghetto mimicry in the opening, this sports an occasionally double picked low-E guitar with surf tone, set in what sounds like a studio jam setting. Better than many such tracks.

From Russia With Love dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Ventures' drummer Mel Taylor surrounded by Ventures sounds... nicely played, but fairly tame, almost MOR with the chorus and swirly mall organ.

Plunkin' Party dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Dean Hightower plucks out a nifty little guitar instro which straddles the line between rock and country. It's sorta cool, but pretty restrained.

Ciricahua dotdotdot
MOR Surf (Instrumental)

Its hard to listen to surf guitar, however uninspired, played against a chorus, and augmented by a limp sax. The piano is cool, but mostly this is soft rock for the waves. The theme is not very "Indian" sounding.

Summertime dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting version of the George Gershwin tune. The rhythm track is kinda spunky, while the guitar delivers a pretty smooth melody line. It's pretty cool, despite the light weight. Pretty Euro, and a little surf.

Mandrake dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

raw tones and distant reverbed surf guitar. "Mandrake" is interesting enough, and surfy enough as well. The melody line is pretty unusual,and the arrangement pretty chunky. It ends with a quick whammy chord.