Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Ultra-Surf Presents: Hang Ten!dotdotdot
artworkLike their other comps, Ultra-Surf Presents: Hang Ten! includes some genuine surf gems, some OK stuff, and a bunch of mung too. It's all from Capitol's vaults.
Picks: Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Surfers Slide, The Beach Boys - Stoked, The Belairs - Mr. Moto, Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Surf Beat, Eddie and the Showmen - Toes On The Nose, The Super Stocks - Newport Beach

Track by Track Review


Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - Surfers Slide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A surf film style instro, great to drive to... light and airy and happy. Cool plucky piano. Also released as "Not So Quiet." Great to drive to.

The Back Wash Rhythm Band - In The Curl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bongos make "In The Curl" sounds like film music. Of course, it is from the soundtrack to Golden Breed, and The Back Wash Rhythm Band are actually The Riptides. It verges on cool sometimes, but the bongos just overwhelm.

The Beach Boys - Stoked dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track sports is a nice progression, and a simple melody line. It's mostly rhythmic, and sounds like the studio required them to "play quietly," as was the standard of the day among the white lab-coat boys. "Stoked" is perhaps the Beach Boys best original instro.

The Belairs - 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!

Jerry Cole and his Spacemen - Power Surf dotdot
Studio Jam (Instrumental)

The opener is sorta cool, but this quickly deteriorates into a no melody jam wanna be.

Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Demonstrating the power of CHUNK in surf, "Surf Beat" lent it's name to the genre, and clearly is a standard. A great performance captured live at the Rendezvous Ballroom and issued in 1962. This is the embodiment of rhythm based surf chunk.

If you want to play the chords right, when the lead and rhythm both play together, the rhythm guitar would "push" the chord downward, while the lead must "pull" the chord upward - remember, Dick Dale played left handed and used a right handed guitar upside down without restringing. That meant when he pushed the chord, it was the same as pulling it. I verified this with Dick personally in '88, so there ya go.

Eddie and the Showmen - Toes On The Nose dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One side of the first single, this is a really grand number, with unusual use of glissandos. It's choppy, powerful, and very infectious.

The Marketts - Surfer's Stomp dotdot
Big Band Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfer's Stomp" is simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.

John Severson - Goofy-Foot Glen dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is very pretty, sorta Spanish island holiday, with tremolo guitar and Champs-style horns. It is, however, very forgettable.

The Super Stocks - Newport Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sad and ominous minor key marvel, distant and infectious. Very nice writing from Usher & Burns and extremely fine playing by Podolor. Moody and mysterious, with a dramatic piano riff and haunted guitar.

The Ventures - Ten Over dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A landlocked surf tune with whammy and a stop-start beat, A little too herky jerky and unmelodic.