Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Ultra-Surf Presents: Catch A Wavedotdotdot
artworkThis mp3 comp has some good instros on it, some pop surf vocals, and some real mung. It's entirely culled from the Capitol vaults, who are also the releasing label.
Picks: Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Tidal Wave, Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Banzai Washout, The Fender IV - Malibu Run, The Pyramids - Penetration, John Severson - Locked In, The Super Stocks - Oceanside

Track by Track Review


Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Tidal Wave dotdotdot
Swell Surf (Instrumental)

Based on Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn," "Ground Swell" is an ominous low-E and sax track. Quite derivative, but cool. "Tidal Wave" is "Ground Swell" remixed.

The Back Wash Rhythm Band - High Rise
Surf (Instrumental)

Though credited as "High Rise" by The Back Wash Rhythm Band,

Jerry Cole and his Spacemen - Pipeline dot
Surf (Instrumental)

Never let it be said that Jerry Cole was even a prince of the surf guitar. Listening to this version of "Pipeline," you quickly notice he got the melody wrong. Argh! Makes me crazy! Incidentally, Jerry was one of the studio regulars in Hollywood, and was reported to have played guitar in lieu of the Beach Boys on many of their early studio tracks.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Banzai Washout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A really unusual sound for Dick as he mimics with increase bell-like tone the super and obscure Catalinas track written by mister studio sax player Steve Douglas, who played on most of Duane Eddy's tracks, as well as the Challengers and others. It's a great flying raging surf monster played in the mid registers with stellar guitar tones. Most unique. This track comes from Dick's last studio album of the sixties "Summer Surf."

The Eliminators - Lonely Surf Guitar dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The water breaks on the shore, the vibrato distortion guitar plays a surf-free riff, and the backtrack oozes anything but surf. Then, the overbearing chorus comes in... egad... are the Swingle Singers in the hall?! On the other hand, the melody line could actually be developed into a surf tune.

The Fender IV - Malibu Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Malibu Run" of the best examples of how ska was creeping into the surf instro sound just before it ended. This is a fine, very melodic, and rhythmically infectious track. Mid tempo magic. Brilliantly melodic and surfy. Check out the more ska-centered cover by the Halibuts. "Malibu Run" is a beautiful rolling song with a great melody line. It was the B-side of "Everybody Up in February 1965.

The Pyramids - 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.

John Severson - Locked In dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is texturally and rhythmically interesting, and the jazz flute in the middle adds a curious Charles Lloyd feeling. Surprisingly cool, in a post beatnik kind of way. If not labeled surf, "Locked In" would interesting bachelor bad rock.

The Super Stocks - Oceanside dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richie Podolor's pristine guitar tones and the fine melody from a collaboration of Gary Usher and Richard Burns combine to make a fine instro. It is very much typical of the classic Super Stocks sound at it's best, defined by Podolor's guitar and the rhythmic underpinnings of Sandy Nelson or Hal Blaine (drums), Richard Burns (bass), and Leon Russell (piano). Podolor's addition to this group made an immense difference. This track is a splendid surf tune, displaying both a gentle sound and a powerfully rhythmic nature.

The Ventures - Wipe Out dotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Highly uninspired dry rendering of the Surfaris classic. Mel Taylor's drums are way weak when compared to Ron Wilson's.