Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Duane Eddy - Ghostriderdotdot
artworkDuane Eddy was once very influential in instrumental rock. He took the big guitar sound developed by Al Casey and Jody Reynolds, and made a career out of infectious tunes with lots of rebel yells. That was 40 years ago. Duane can still obviously play, but the spark seems to be gone. "Ghost Riders In The Sky" is respectable, though the orchestral keyboards and commercial studio session sound just don't do it for me much. The rest of the CD is makeovers and (shudder) Mike Curb disco treatments. You'll live without it, lest you are a Duane Eddy completist.
Picks: (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Rebel-Rouser, Return of the Avenger, Dreams of Home, Sidewinder, Cannonball, Peter Gunn, Forty Miles of Bad Road, Because They're Young, Ramrod / Fanny Mae, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky [Dance Mix]

Track by Track Review

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Slushy keys, artificial storms of pomp, Duane Eddy's big guitar, and disco beats from the bank role of Mike Curb. It's so bizarre to hear this raucous western classic smooshed into a faux power strange with the Village People just off stage. Very strange, yet somehow quite interesting.

Rebel-Rouser dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Big guitar twango, much like the original. It's not exactly a repro, but there's only a knife blade between the two from a production perspective. It's so close that one must question the point of re-recording it. The only thing lacking is the exuberance of youth, Steve Douglas' sax wail and the acoustics of the original room.

Return of the Avenger dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Film score sadness floats across the scene before Duane Eddy's vibrato tone cuts the air with an all too simple riff. It's just, but hardly essential.

Dreams of Home dot
Twang (Instrumental)

There's a place between R.E.M. sleep and the waking state where dreams turn to fluff. This isn't it. This is where tomato movies float their every sappy credits. An elevator would be a step up. Old fart slush.

Sidewinder dot
Twang (Instrumental)

Bluesy twango for the sidewalk salesman... more hokey than interesting, more a riff than a song. The strings are just too much.

Cannonball dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

The lifeless drums serve only to point out how much time has passed, and how little some engineers have learned through the marvel of technology. Clean and crisp, and lifeless when compared to the original RCA sessions.

Peter Gunn dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Master Gunn would wonder how all the nasty escaped from his theme... oh, it's a bit raspy and all, but it's just too sterile. Still, it's way more gutsy than the rest of the tracks here, and it is "Peter Gunn" fer chrisakes.

Forty Miles of Bad Road dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Not unlike the original slam dunk single, except for it's much more subdued energy level. Quite listenable, just not the rippin' masterpiece from Duane Eddy golden days on the Jamie label.

Because They're Young dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Back from the teen theme graveyard comes this even sappier rendition of Duane's hit. Just can't get into it.

Ramrod / Fanny Mae dotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Not as tuff as the "Ramrod" hit single, and much more jammy. It sorta cross fades into an ultra jam version of Buster Brown's "Fanny Mae" that lacks focus. Probably fun in a club, but on disc, it's just a bluesy jam.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky [Dance Mix] dotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This is the big dance floor mix, just hoping against hope that Studio 54 would reopen and all would be right with the world. The production is imaginative, even interesting, but it has none of the flair and fire of Jon and the Nightriders' "El Paso."