Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf! Sand! Sun!dotdotdot
artworkThis comp includes some of the standards, some semi-obscuros, and some cheesy remakes, plus a couple of modern surf tracks.

Vocals include Surfin' Bird
Picks: High Tide, Wipe Out, Let's Go Trippin', Underwater, Church Key, Mr. Moto, Surfer's Stomp, Bullwinkle Pt. II, Let's Go (Pony), K-39, Balboa Blue, Penetration, Mr. Mysterioso, Hawaii Five-0, Pacifica

Track by Track Review


High Tide dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the most infectious and fiery surf instros anywhere. It flies through a staccato lead line, and a softer break. Very powerful. This is one of my favorite classic surf tracks. (fake stereo)

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.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's August 1961 recording of "Let's Go Trippin'" is ahead of the surf sound, more a rock 'n' roll number than what would be later identified as surf. It is nevertheless a very important key to the development of the genre.

Dick's original Del-tones were a hell of a band. This session featured a seasoned Barry Rillera on sax, who had been in his brother Ricky Rillera's band the Rhythm Rockers (no relation to the surfband of that name), with whom Richard Berry had sung for over a year at Harmony Park between 1954 and 1955. It was at Harmony Park one Saturday night in 1955 that Richard heard them do Rene Touzet's "El Loco Cha Cha" for the first time, and was inspired by it's "duh duh duh, duh-duh" intro to write "Louie Louie."

Underwater dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Frogmen romp with "Underwater." It's very much a surf precursor, and important for that reason. Numerous of their tracks have appeared on various budget comps over the past few years.

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.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it, their claim to fame, their most familiar song, and the first surf release from May 1961 on Arvee Records. "Mr. Moto" is just about the most influential surf instro ever. "Mr. Moto" came to be a surf classic, and was recorded and released months before Dick Dale's "Let's Go Trippin'," before he opened the Rendezvous Ballroom, and before it was called surf. If you must draw a line in the sand, it must be drawn here. "Mr. Moto" was recorded at Liberty.

Covered by countless others, this song features 15 year olds Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand trading guitar parts in their trademark style on a prototypical PJ writing masterpiece. Jim Roberts' piano work is stunningly perfect for this song. A historical absolutely must have!

Surfer's Stomp dotdot
Big Band Surf (Instrumental)

Joe Saraceno's studio band the Mar-Ketts were quick to jump on the band wagon with Surf titles, laying down the nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfers Stomp." This is a rerecording, probably for some K-Tel TV infomercial compilation. It lacks the charm of the original, but is much crisper sounding.

Bullwinkle Pt. II dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This unusual track was featured prominently in the cult film Pulp Fiction, which thrust this otherwise little know band into the frontal lobes of the American conscience. The track is oddly structured, and very cool. I like the rawness of the original better, but the sense of ensemble here leaves this to be the over all fave.

Let's Go (Pony) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Intense lead guitar twang! The guitar tone owns you. This is as good as "Solaris Stomp." A bit of the Spanish influence, and off-the-scale infectiometer readings. Very rich tone.

K-39 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"K-39" is one of the best late Surf tracks. It is named after a Surf spot 39 kilometers south of the California-Mexico border. Hal Blaine's drumming is exquisite, and the melody is great. This is a true Surf classic, melodic, powerful, double picked joy!

Balboa Blue dotdot
Big Band Surf (Instrumental)

Like its A-side "Surfers Stomp," but even bore MOR / Big Band sounding, Joe Saraceno's studio session players were so far from surf on this, that you have to wonder if he had ever actually heard any. It's nearly Lawrence Welk forties imitation. This is remake.

Penetration dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of a handful of nationally successful surf single, this track has been covered more than "Miserlou," and in more varieties of rock styles. If you don't own this track, you have entered the surf idiom yet. This is one of the essential classics. The production is unusual and masterful, and the melody is simple and enduring. It spawned hundreds of covers, and is still quite infectious.

Mr. Mysterioso dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Super chunky ska based surf, with sax lead on a highly infectious track. The melody is strong, and itŐs hard to stand still while they rave up on this number. The middle break, with the pure surf tone, comes to a stop before slamming back into the sax ska. On the second pass through the break, the surf guitar drops onto the low-E and sports numerous powerful glissandoes. Great track!

Hawaii Five-0 dotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

Often covered TV theme song from the chameleons of instro rock from the 1968 TV series. This is a REALLY cheesy late period remake.

Pacifica dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunningly beautiful coastal song, with shear imagery and almost Polynesian twang. The track gives immediate warmth of the sun and a sense of a slight breeze on the face. Stunningly fluid track.