Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Teen Beat - Instrumentals Of The Sixtiesdotdot
artworkThis is a really inexpensive collection, but here's the problem. This is from the K-Tel vaults, but doesn't tell you than when you're looking at buying it. These are almost all 1975 K-Tel remakes, not the originals. Most are substandard.
Picks: The Chantays - Pipeline, Johnny and the Hurricanes - Red River Rock, Bill Justis - Raunchy, Sandy Nelson - Teen Beat, Let There Be Drums, The Routers - Let's Go (Pony), Santo and Johnny - Sleep Walk

Track by Track Review

Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen - The Green Leaves Of Summer dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Yeah, OK... This is not a bad attempt at recreation, but it lacks something.

Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen - Midnight In Moscow
Jazz (Instrumental)

I never did like this, and still don't. Trad jazz with wallet carefully clutched. A remake to boot.

Mr. Acker Bilk - Stranger On The Shore dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is pretty close to the 1961 track, but isn't. Softer and less period sounding. It wasn't particularly cool in the first place.

Billy Joe and the Checkmates - Percolator Twist dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is pretty close to the original at times, though less saucy. The character of the sound is part of the not-like-the-original problem.

B. Bumble and the Stingers - Nut Rocker dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

I don't know if any of the original performers are on this track, but maybe. The original Rendezvous session had a lot more spunk, where this is more precise and less electric sounding.

Ace Cannon - Tuff dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Having none of the sleazy R&B flavor of the original, "Tuff" is just not very interesting.

Ace Cannon - Twist-Her dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Bouncy and a bit tough, but not as fun or genuine as the original.

The Chantays - Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is the 1975 K-Tel session, recorded for a concept collection called Rebel Rouser. It is very different than the original is sound, closer to the Ventures' version in some ways. It is precise, well played, and very solid. It's also quite rare on vinyl. The other remake version still remaining unreleased is the eighties remake that was issued on a high compliance super-vinyl label. This is worth having, for sure.

Bill Doggett - Honky Tonk (Part 1) dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is really close to the original, but is processed with reverb for a stereo effect. It has a lot of the character, but less energy. There are a couple of sax lines that give away its later date.

Duane Eddy - Forty Miles Of Bad Road dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Excessive stereo reverb mushes up what is already a much lower energy recording of Duane Eddy's classic "Forty Miles Of Bad Road." Clearly intended to ape the original. it misses by a mile.

Duane Eddy - Rebel-Rouser dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Duane's signature shimmer is here, but the rockin' edge of his backing band is not. A gentle backtrack with low energy makes this sound octogenarian. This sounds a lot like the 1980 Audio Media session.

Johnny and the Hurricanes - Red River Rock dotdotdot
Sax & Organ Rock (Instrumental)

The first of what would become their formula, public domain standards ominously rocked out with organ dominated evil sax instrumentals with great Dave Yorko guitar breaks. "Red River Rock" never sounded so cool! It was instro covers of public domain standards that originally influenced Paul Johnson, who used "Little Brown Jug" among others in the Belairs sets (and on disc).

Johnny and the Hurricanes - Red River Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The organ lead is all wrong, the sax is under represented in the mix, and the guitar solo is lower energy. The other big problem with this track is that it is listed as "Reveille Rock," but it's actually "Red River Rock."

Bill Justis - Raunchy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is actually not bad. Not as hot as the original, but it does groove and it has reasonable energy. Much cleaner and crisper than the original, and that's not a bad thing. It sounds a lot like the Audio Media remake from 1980, but may not be. It's sure not the original.

Sandy Nelson - Teen Beat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is not a bad rendering of Sandy Nelson's classic 1959 hit. It has a pretty darn genuine rock credibility, but not the chemistry of the original hit. Close to the original, but lacking the character of the original.

Sandy Nelson - Let There Be Drums dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty decent remake, with Sandy Nelson's drums in fine shape and sounding huge. The guitar is pretty unremarkable, but then this is percussion music. Infectious in it's own way.

The Routers - Let's Go (Pony) dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

I don't know which of the many post-sixties Saraceno sessions this is from, but it's not bad. It has quite different character from the original, but is pretty listenable. The sax particularly is very suitable. The over all energy is lower.

Santo and Johnny - Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Lap Steel Love (Instrumental)

On the one hand, "Sleep Walk" IS their big hit! On the other hand, it wasn't meant to be slushed up, or was it. If you merely remove the adolescence from it, you can well imagine what the grown up Farina brothers might be like.

This durable song retains the sweetness of the lap steel, though the volume induced distortion is gone, and the sultry melody is augmented with a housewife-dreamy backtrack. Still, it works surprisingly well.

Santo and Johnny - Tear Drop dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Not bad. This remake has much of the character of Santo and Johnny, though I still prefer the original.

The Surfaris - Wipe Out dotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

This is a 1975 remake recorded for K-Tel. Ron Wilson is not on the session, the sound is less crisp, and the bass is more upfront, but otherwise it's recognizable from a guitar standpoint as the Surfaris.