Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Duane Eddy - Tokyo Hitsdotdotdot
artworkWell now, you'd think this would be boring, but it's quite interesting how Duane Eddy's approach to Japanese pop is relatively psychedelic with surfable elements at times. This CD reissue has 4 extra tracks in mono, including a Japanese girl vocal called All Night Long, which is nothing if it's not cute.
Picks: Monsoon, Ginza Lights, Be My Bride, The High Lonesome, Blue Eyes, The Blue Stardust, Like A Rose, Frankie And Johnny

Track by Track Review

Monsoon dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Monsoon" is lovely right from the outset. The mix is a little atmospheric, but Duane Eddy's twang is a superb vehicle for Japanese instrumentals. It's more easy than rock generally is,but it has guts and a superb arrangement. Part psych, part Asian, and part twang, this is a splendid track.

One Lonely Girl dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

This is more like a Nashville country track than a Tokyo hit. Tremolo guitar, country piano, and a Floyd Cramer feel. Pretty for sure.

Ginza Lights dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures covered this of course, and hearing Duane Eddy play against glissandos and muted rhythm is quite interesting. Duane's guitar is tremolo drenched low-E charming, and he even employs a whammy dip or two. "Ginza Lights" is pretty surfy.

Crying Again dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

"Crying Again" is country charming slow dance romance music. While very pretty, it's also quite unremarkable.

Be My Bride dotdotdot
Country Rock (Instrumental)

The backtrack here is pretty interesting, and the melody is quite close to "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" at times. Gentle, tremolo drenched, and very easy to take, but it's the drums and picked bass that are right out of sixties sessions that give this its attraction.

If You Can't Hold Your Man dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Rich twang and picked bass are charming, and the melody is quite pleasant, but "If You Can't Hold Your Man" is more formula than memorable, except for the whammy dips. The piano break is quite nice.

Gigolo dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fifties style rocker with honking sax and flat dynamics, and it's in mono. Perhaps it's from eons ago - it sounds like it from many perspectives.

The High Lonesome dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

This instro seems loosely based on cowboy themes and spaghetti westerns. It's moody and dramatic at times, and upbeat fun at others. The chorus diminishes the affect some, but it's fleeting. Really a fun track.

Blue Eyes dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The arrangement and production on "Blue Eyes" are a lot like they are on "Monsoon," but it's a little less lush and more bluesy, especially where the whistling organ chimes in.

Wishing On A Star dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

"Wishing On A Star" is a lightly floating number with a pretty melody and sound, and very nice piano. While quite easy to listen to, it's not really memorable.

The Blue Stardust dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Muted rhythm guitar, cool drums and picked bass, and a rich tone are compelling, and the piano break and fun arrangement really fit the song. "The Blue Stardust" borders on surf.

Sunset Stripper dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Sunset Stripper" is an easy moving, slightly jazzy number, with slithering whammy chords and a light weight backtrack. The piano break is quite nice.

Evening Glow dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

"Evening Glow" is just as easy as the title expects, though the twang is bolder than many. Quite pretty, with luxurious guitar, and a clinically Nashville sounding backtrack. Fine piano, though.

Like A Rose dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Like A Rose" opens with the same riff as The Ventures' "Slaughter On 10th Avenue," but is much less spunky. Occasional glissandos give it just a touch of surf feeling. The piano is really strong.

Frankie And Johnny dotdotdotdot
Exotica (Instrumental)

This is funky and fun, and sounds like it's from a fifties Duane Eddy session. The percussion is particularly cool, and the melody quite good. "Frankie And Johnny" is done with serious originality. It also fades quickly short of what sounds like a natural point.