Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Ziggy Played Surf Guitardotdotdotdot
artworkZiggy Played Surf Guitar is an inventive David Bowie tribute in surf territory, and it sports some really fine tracks. Most of the bands crafted very effective and original arrangements, and all delivered great performances. Well worth your time!
Picks: The Breakaways - Cat People (Putting Out Fire), Los Fantasticos - Lady Grinning Soul, The Glasgow Tiki Shakers - All The Young Dudes, The Green Windows - The Gospel According To Tony Day, The Incredible Mr. Smith - Heroes, The Insect Surfers - Speed Of Life, Alan Jenkins - The Laughing Gnome, The Lost Boys Of Penzance - The Man Who Sold The World, The Mighty Surf Lords - China Girl, Monkey Versus Robot - The Jean Genie, The Muffinmates - Did You Ever Have A Dream, Pollo Del Mar - Panic In Detroit, The Pterodactyls - Surfer Jet City, The Razorblades - All The Young Dudes, The Red Planets - Rebel Rebel, The Swamp Coolers - Modern Love, The Thurston Lava Tube - Ziggy Stardust, The TomorrowMen - Moonage Daydream, The Vara-tones - Starman

Track by Track Review


Let's Dance dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow and smooth, maybe a bit loungy, with big organ that's too far out front I think. While "Let's Dance" sports a fine performance, it didn't really stick with me or call me back.

Cat People (Putting Out Fire) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmer and bongos perfectly support haunting guitar in this gentle cover of "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)." Wonderful dripping muted reverb patterns and long sustain leads. The easy pace and solid arranging make this really work well.

Lady Grinning Soul dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow with trumpet, dramatic like a bull fight, and verging on lush. "Lady Grinning Soul" moves slowly like a fifties orchestral hit, and sports dribbling surf guitar. Quite fun.

All The Young Dudes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Glasgow Tiki Shakers continue to warm my heart with very nicely done music. Here, they surround David Bowie's intent with coastal scenery. While very respectful, it's also inventive and taken to a different frontier.

The Gospel According To Tony Day dotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

"The Gospel According To Tony Day" is based on a surfable riff, and the two surf guitars exploit that structure. The psych organ and fuzz add a combo swirl. This is a cool track with cross-genre charm.

Heroes dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Rockin' with spunk and soaring guitars, "Heroes" is large and epic, with a spacy sound. Part way through, dark double picked surf guitar takes the break on a fine surf ride. Very cool!

Speed Of Life dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave Arnson and company play with "Speed Of Life" employing spacy effects and ska rhythms. It's a little off their usual sound-path, but still clearly theirs. It's fanciful and playful, psychedelic, and very interesting. I'm liking this a lot.

The Laughing Gnome dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Partly dark, partly flippant, with charm and panache. "The Laughing Gnome" has some lovely Pollo Del Mar chords, and some gritty double picking. This is a very interesting arrangement. Nicely done for sure.

The Man Who Sold The World dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmered and gently haunted, "The Man Who Sold The World" is just lovely. Layered with tone and texture in a well thought out arrangement, the song is compelling and easy, while retaining grit. Quite nice.

China Girl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big grins as a delightful muted Asian rhythm pattern runs along side the melody. "China Girl" is a perfect vehicle for surf, or vice versa. Richly rhythmic and catchy, and really hard to dislike.

The Jean Genie dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

This is a fairly crude garage session with some interesting feedback and angularity. Its ugliness suggests a cleaned up Blue Cheer at times. I can't quite decide if I love it or am just enamored with the howling guitar.

Did You Ever Have A Dream dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very much on the playful side, sounding maybe as though The Thurston Lava Tube actually cut this, especially in the lead guitar tone and organ. That aside, the rough glissandos and light hearted energy, along with the horns give this big grins.

Panic In Detroit dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and arranging, with exuberant delivery and soaring leads. There are plenty of guitar changes, with surf, rock, space, and more. Must be 5 guitar parts. It's a very engaging arrangement. I love this!

Surfer Jet City dotdotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Dark fuzzy garage grind makes it difficult to recognize "Surfer Jet City," which is not to say that they don't rock it out. Heavy, angular, and thick. Very cool!

All The Young Dudes dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The extreme energy and power of The Razorblades is well applied to "All The Young Dudes." Once past the intro, the pomp and glam are replaced by serious surf drive. Superb power and a giant grin. Over the top!

Rebel Rebel dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of Bowie's most engaging songs, "Rebel Rebel" is slowed and slithered with tremolo and haunted guitar. Replacing the tramp ethic is romantic coastal imagery. This is really lovely.

Five Years dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Slow, with long chords and a lazy afternoon gate, "Five Years" moves across the setting sun with near surf sounds. 'Tis very pretty.

Modern Love dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Chop chords and ringing tone, with moody bass. Very modern tonally, and large enough to fit in with the original. Scenic and a bit psychedelic.

Ziggy Stardust dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yeah, well, he melody certainly lends itself to an instrumental treatment. Solid drums and bass, and guitar sparkle smoothed by atmospheric keys. "Ziggy Stardust" is an interesting choice, and is very well done.

Moonage Daydream dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The TomorrowMen tear up "Moonage Daydream" with high energy and chemistry. Long panned pick slides and splashy exuberance, along with chop chords and muted reverb enhance the track considerable.

Starman dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Always amazing, The Vara-tones rich tone and vintage roots are perfectly deployed in reinventing "Starman." It sounds almost as if was written to be done this way. Bill Epps's wonderful dribbling glissandos and perfect meter really make this shine, as does the cowbell. Glorious!

Life On Mars dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Ringing chords and round tone bring forth a modestly paced intro to "Life On Mars," which becomes an almost surf instro. Soft organ and an easy pace support an enjoyable interpretation.