Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Legends [and Rumors]dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a reissue of one of the best vintage surf comps around, and it is a budget CD. When this collection was first issued, I was ecstatic. Not only was it loaded with rare and unreleased surf instrumentals, some were long-rumored to be killer, and others were completely unknown. Most are great. 26 amazing vintage surf tracks. The value of this compilation is very high, and it is a budget CD! You will find the Chevells, the Surftones, the Hustlers, the Rumblers, the Ramblers, the Revels, the Pastel Six, the Blazers, and the Chantays here. All from the original 2 & 3 track masters, all remarkable.
Picks: Cecilia Ann, Inertia, Surf Rat, Bangalore, Surfbound [Russian Roulette], Boss, Church Key, Pipeline, Twitchin', Night Scene, Downey Surf (High Roll), Hanging One, Comanche, It's A Gass, Let There Be Surf, Beaver Patrol, Hot Dogger, Destruction, Revellion, Summertime Blues, Don't Leave Me, Sound Of Mecca, Brahms' Nightmare, Mozart Stomp, Slippin', Inertia

Track by Track Review


Cecilia Ann dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one beautiful slow surf instro, and the melody line is really well constructed. It is so powerful that it has been covered by the Pixies and made even grodier by Chachi, Bobba Fett and the Wookiee. It flows, and it seeps into your soul. One of the great vintage tracks.

Inertia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track, both ominous and inviting. It has a unique rhythm, a simplicity that draws you in, and a magical sound. It has a delicacy about it, lurking under a quiet power. Like a swell, it rolls in poetically while hiding immense power just under the surface. The mid-fast tempo, and the tinkly piano break are too cool. Very nice.

Surf Rat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the most surfy instros the Rumblers ever cut. It has a simple progression, a whining sax in the background, and a "Let's Go" drum cadence. "Surf Rat" is actually called "Pack Rat."

Bangalore dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a MONSTER track! The Blazers were one hell of a surf band. The guitar tones are piercingly powerful, and the rippin' double pickin' is a sound to behold. It is melodic, hot, infectious, and among the best twenty vintage surf instros. Why it wasn't a hit, I'll never know. Totally great!

Surfbound [Russian Roulette] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

NOT FOUND

Boss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the Rumblers lone national hit, and was the basis for their follow up singles "Boss Strikes Back," "Son of Boss," and "Boss Drums." Heavily R&B based, rhythmic and grumbly, its catchy thump and honkin' grodiness are essential listening for ant fan of the genre.

Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Revels had been playing for quite a while before laying down the classic slang-for-can-opener titled "Church Key" with producer Norman Knowles' girl friend Barbara Atkins giggling away. Danny Darnold is the lead player here, and Norman does duty on the sax. If you're impressed with their edgy energy.

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it. This track defined surf. It is the archetype! Paul Johnson once told me that when first heard this tune on his car radio, he said Whoa! Wha-at is THAT?, and pulled over to the side of the road to listen. The Chantays defined the classic surf line up, 2 guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Glorious first use of glissandoes, first rhythm guitar dominance in the mix, and just plain essential.

Twitchin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Your basic progression, repeated repeatedly, creating a redundant redundancy. Fun frat dance thing with honky sax.

Night Scene dotdotdotdotdot
R&B Surf (Instrumental)

Simply the best damn tune the Rumblers ever laid down! It is slow, moody, saxy, and has a cool cadence. The Eliminators cover this extremely well. One hell of a great track. Magnetic.

Downey Surf (High Roll) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a alternate to the Teen-Beats single version, renamed to differentiate it from their Las Vegas roots and original title. It has a totally infectious and happy melody, which is probably what drew Rick Escobar of the Woodies to cover it so well. Wonderful must-have tune. Previously unreleased.

Hanging One dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Moon Dawg" influenced track from a band whose name is just too close to that of the Rumblers. Where the lead guitar would carry the day in "Moon Dawg," the sax does the honors here. They aren't, of course, but the confusion is quite natural. High energy, raging fun. A mostly chord driven number. Previously unreleased.

Comanche dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the tune that wailed in Pulp Fiction. Howling honking sax Indian flavored "Navaho Trail" kinda tune with major edge. San Luis Obispo's Revels cut "Comanche" with more guts and danger than just about anything else in their repertoire.

It's A Gass dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Another followup single that didn't make it. A sax driven surfy rod-based number. Way too fun.

Let There Be Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chevells were around for a while, but recorded little. "Let There Be Surf" is infectious. It has a melody line and rhythm interplay that stick with you. And the title...brilliant! This is one of the great lost infectious surf tunes. Above average pace with a great rhythmic and driving feel to it.

Beaver Patrol dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Many of the Surf bands (maybe most) from Southern California were teen bands, some not old enough do drive yet. The Blazers were a Fullerton teen band that just ripped. The recordings this band made were among the hottest most energetic of any band of the era, including the New Dimensions and the Fender Four. "Beaver Patrol" was banned here and there due to it's obvious slang meaning. It's raucous and mean and high energy. It ranks right up there with their incredible "Bangalore" and their beautiful "Sound Of Mecca."

Hot Dogger dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Bluesy club tune, simple progression nature, and more a backtrack than a song. Previously unreleased.

Destruction dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Those "Boss" men deliver one of their more ominous tracks. Tribal toms and long slow sax lines. It is all too evil. Previously unreleased.

Revellion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A less melodic more stompic "Church Key"-like tune. Very mean R&B rant.

Summertime Blues dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

It starts out with a cool jazz intro, but quickly evolves into a pretty straight ahead instro cover. Not inspiring, just rare. Previously unreleased.

Don't Leave Me dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Really slow and pretty number, that could have been a vocal, but thankfully isn't. It's nice and moody and romantic in a sad sorta way. It doesn't really seem to go any where. Previously unreleased.

Sound Of Mecca dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the VERY BEST Middle Eastern surf instros ever! The vibrato guitar is matched with the vibrato sax, for a mystical and mysterious air. Completely enthralling, and superbly played. What a wonderful track. Haunting desert caravan in a gentle breeze across the Sahara. A must have piece of history.

Brahms' Nightmare dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Take Brahms' lullaby, speed it up plenty, and you get the picture. Cute, but not great.

Mozart Stomp dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Chords and monotone sax grind out a Mozart theme. Uninspired.

Slippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool tribal saxy moody primal. Naturally, it's the Rumblers. Not like "Boss," but not dissimilar either. A progression for the sweaty. Previously unreleased.

Inertia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track, both ominous and inviting. It has a unique rhythm, a simplicity that draws you in, and a magical sound. It has a delicacy about it, lurking under a quiet power. Like a swell, it rolls in poetically while hiding immense power just under the surface. The mid-fast tempo, and the tinkly piano break are too cool. Very nice.