Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Teen Beat 3dotdotdot
artworkThis is volume three in the series. More obscuros and hits, all without vocals, and nearly all worth a spin.
Picks: Quite A Party, Perfidia, The Slop Beat, Mau-Mau, You Can't Sit Down (Part 1), You Can't Sit Down (Part 2), (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Walking With Mr. Lee, Big Guitar, Woo Hoo, Stick Shift, Velvet Waters, Moovin' 'N' Groovin', Ramrod, Pipeline, Blue Jean Shuffle, Heat, Wipe Out, Yellow Bird, Baja, Twistle, Back Beat No. 1, Hot Pastrami, Brass Buttons, Sumpin' Jumpin', Wolf Call, Too Much Tequila, Telegraph, I Want To Know, Jay-Dee's Boogie Woogie

Track by Track Review


Quite A Party dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This track displays the first really nice panoramics on a drum kit that I am, aware of. The toms are panned, with snare and kick in the center. The bass is left and the rhythm is right, but because it's a gentle performance, it works ok. "Quite A Party" has been covered as "Quite A Surf Party" by Jerry MacNeish. Quite infectious.

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.

The Slop Beat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"The Slop Beat" is a minimal instrumental with a simple progression and a pre-surf rock'n'roll edge. It's pretty cool in a small town combo kinda way, and the drums are crisp.

Mau-Mau dotdotdot
Tequila-like (Instrumental)

While you might expect tribal thunder here, what you get is a "Tequila" like number. It's good, but doesn't quite sync with it's title. From 1964.

You Can't Sit Down (Part 1) dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Phil Upchurch cut this bouncy instro with organ whirling and jammin' guitar somewhat in the Wailers' vein. Infectious despite it's jam progression nature.

You Can't Sit Down (Part 2) dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Part two of Phil Upchurch's bouncy organ single is no more than a continuation of the track. The muted sax solo if pretty interesting, hearkening back to forties jazz.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Twang (Instrumental)

Al Casey and Duane Eddy's twang opened new trails in rock 'n' roll. The Ramrods took the Stan Jones cowboy classic and breathed new life into it with the big guitar sound, and amped it to the max with the overdubbed hoots and cattle calls. This is the version all the surf bands heard and were inspired by.

Walking With Mr. Lee dotdotdot
Sax R&B (Instrumental)

This sax instro is essentially the backtrack prototype for Clarence Frogman Henry's bullfrog song. Spunky with solid drums, but not really melodic.

Big Guitar dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Legendary session man and recording engineer Owen Bradley cut plenty of studio jam instros, "Big Guitar" among them. The guitar is not big, but the spirit of the track is.

Woo Hoo dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

It's had to call this an instro because of the relentless vocal chorus that sings "Woo Hoo" repeatedly. The raucous performance is accentuated with a spirited drum break and lots of fun. Melodic and infectious, it's long been a classic fave of mine. The Rock-A-Teens were from Richmond, Virginia. Incidentally, this was originally called "Rock-A-Teen Boogie."

Stick Shift dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This track defines early hot rod guitar instros. It opens with grumbling pipes and tire squeals, and move right into the simple but infectious melody line that fires off over the thumping bass and rocking drums. It is like an outgrowth of rockabilly, with the edges of the surf sound to come hiding in the weeds. A necessary pre-surf instro. Unlike the Collectables release, this is from session tapes.

Velvet Waters dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Indian tom toms, glissando piano runs, a soft clarinet carrying the melody... let the slush begin.

Moovin' 'N' Groovin' dotdotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Another frequently covered tune, this sports the original often borrowed effect of whammy dips, like in the beginning of each verse of "Church Key." It's also the basis for "Beat '65." If not for the catchy hook, it would be just another riff rocker, but that separates the men from the boys, doesn't it.

Ramrod dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al reportedly played lead on the Duane Eddy hit single, because Duane was on tour when the studio was booked. Al was his studio rhythm player, but seldom played live with him. This is the same arrangement, played with complete abandon.

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.

Blue Jean Shuffle dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Studio sax legend Plas Johnson cut this with many of the usual LA studio lizards. More a jam than a song, a groove rather than a tune.

Heat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Rockin' R's cut many crude guitar instros, most of which were more chord progressions than songs. "Heat," while chunky, is just a rock and roll grind.

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.

Yellow Bird dotdotdotdot
Exotica (Instrumental)

This beautiful melody is so sleekly played on the shimmering vibes that it almost slides right outta the speakers like water down a spout. The stunning purity and unassuming fluid music, while miles from the rock genres, simply captures your soul.

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Baja" displays power of their trademark three guitar line up, and shows what a few weeks at RCA Hollywood could do. Actually, having said that, I'd really like to remix this. The lead guitar is too loud in the mix. Anyway, if there's a list of the ten most significant surf singles, this must be on it. Hazelwood had a knack for melody, and the Astronauts had a knack for the sound, and together, look out!

Twistle dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is an odd track, with double picked dry guitar, tinkly piano, and a whistler carrying the minimal melody line. Highly original, interesting, yet with a Mayberry feel.

Back Beat No. 1 dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This fine obscuro, covered in several forms by the Cadillac Angels to such infectious effect, holds up well as a pre surf masterpiece. Very simple, yet catchy and vital.

Hot Pastrami dot
Rock (Instrumental)

The disco organ grind with the lame utterances of "Hot Pastrami."

Brass Buttons dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This is a much more moderate tune than "Wheels," with an even more MOR melody. Like "Wheels," this is also a Norman Petty composition. It has a similar lilt, and it is writing that gives them that Norman Petty Trio feel, even though they are instrumented differently. The infectious melody keeps this from being too sappy.

Sumpin' Jumpin' dot
R&B (Instrumental)

Jumpin' sax R&B instrumental progression rock, bar room groove... no memorable at all.

Wolf Call dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Mean and nasty, grodie and menacing, inspired by "Midnight Stroll" and werewolf movies. Gimmicky, but very cool for 1959!

Too Much Tequila dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

This is one of several follow ups to their "Tequila." It is a sax based number, slower than it's inspiration, and with more of an "El Rancho Grande" sound to it. The guitar break is acoustic and quite nice.

Telegraph dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This backwoods rocker is in the instro B-side mold, a jam without a melody or any real direction. Only the behind-the-bridge Morse code gimmick sets it apart from any other.

I Want To Know dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Prom night pumpin' organ and moderately smooth sax in an almost sideshow format.

Jay-Dee's Boogie Woogie dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

If Lawrence Welk rocked, this would be it... only the Lennon Sisters and the bubble machine are missing.