Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Twangdotdot
artworkA gaggle of major label famous guitar players tackle the most famous British instro act ever, adding a different spin on the commerciality of the Shadows. Some solid tracks, some just what you'd expect.
Picks: Apache, FBI, Wonderful Land, The Savage, The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt, Midnight, Spring Is Nearly Here, Atlantis, The Frightened City, Dance On, Stingray, The Stranger

Track by Track Review


Apache dotdotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

Corporate metallic, and yet interesting. It's funny how even the most commercial sounding recording can be endearing when there's actually a melody and some real feeling in the performance, instead of the hit-on-command delivery usually characteristic of hit factory artists. Ritchie Blackmore is not guitar slouch. Some of his earliest sixties recordings were instrumental. His talent has just been applied in an are I'm not usually interested in. Here, he creates an interesting blend of the quaint intent of the song and the level intensity of a major label artist.

FBI dotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

This plods right along with pretty trad arrangement, then gets uncomfortably turned up at the board as young mister May kicks in the metal effects. It's interesting, though more commercial trite than I'd like. Lots of guitar hero noodleage.

Wonderful Land dotdotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

A slow buildup of eerie keyboard sounds, ominous backdrop edge, then major commercial metal chunk. Big, brutal, and an odd arrangement of an MOR song. Highly commercial, to say the least.

The Savage dotdotdot
Latin Acoustic (Instrumental)

Some acoustic noodleage eventually leads into an almost tango acoustic adaptation that's inventive, original, extremely well played, and interesting. This has the mark of creativity. Instead of stamping it with a trademark formula, it's reborn with loungie bongos and Latin flamboyance. A very nice track!

The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt dotdotdot
Big Rock (Instrumental)

Hank Marvin may be a Shadow, but that in and of itself does not equate to greatness in a track. This is a funny blend of the Shadows and a big hall sound. Talented, yes, but interesting, not here. Sorry Hank, but this didn't hold my interest at all.

Midnight dotdotdot
Smooth Guitar (Instrumental)

Lush harps, slithery island guitar sounds, an almost Adventures In Paradise feel, and that smoother than smooth Peter Green delivery. Very pretty.

Spring Is Nearly Here dotdotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

The mark of Neil Young is all over this, smoothed out by the influence of Randy Bachman. It ends up like neither one, which is too bad, because I'd love to have heard a pure Neil rendering a la "Cowgirl In The Sand." It's still a good track, just less than I hoped for.

Atlantis dotdotdot
Sinewy Guitar (Instrumental)

Delicate like the original, with an orchestral feel. It is as gorgeous as Knofler's guitar usually is. He's a natural for this sort of thing. Maybe someday he'll actually record some real surf.

The Frightened City dotdotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

A day at the stadium... oh, please show me the way. Nothing special or interesting going on. No imagination or creativity, just formula worship.

Dance On dotdotdot
Reggae Twang (Instrumental)

This most infectious of all Shadows tracks is given a pretty strait treatment, but with a reggae backtrack it takes on a new dimension. Imaginative, pretty, infectious, and loungie hokey fun. Good track.

Stingray dotdotdot
Reggae Eccentric (Instrumental)

Big guitar echo, severe techno reggae backtrack, highly unusual treatment. A for creativity, C for coolness and durability.

The Stranger dotdotdot
Major Label (Instrumental)

An almost steel drum banjo sound, a jazz-reggae bass line, and a fusionistic feel. This is pretty cool. Your lounge life could be overcome with the use of the likes of this. Fun and interesting.