Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Bobby Fuller Four - I Fought The Lawdotdotdot
artworkThis CD includes the I Fought The Law album plus a whole mess of singles and live recordings. There are no instros on the I Fought The Law album, but there are quite a few within the "extra" tracks.
Picks: Thunder Reef, Wolfman, Our Favorite Martian, Shanghi'd (Shanghaied), The 1000 lb. Bee, The Chase

Track by Track Review

Thunder Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thunder Reef is a riff-rockin' surf instro, with not much reverb, and little melody. The stompin' sensibilities are dominant, and the rhythm is infectious. A fairly tame track over all.

Wolfman dotdotdotdot
Border Radio Surf (Instrumental)

This is very similar to The Lonely Dragster, with Bobby's Wolfman Jack imitation overdubbed, and wolf baying added. It's pretty surfy, chunky, and moderately paced. It's a cool track, dripping the early sixties border radio days when Wolfman Jack was on XERB beaming into California (and on XERF and others along the border as well). Saturday nights, car radios were tuned to XERB, KRLA, KFWB, KHJ, KAFY, KFXM, or KGFJ, from which oozed out the surf, the rock, and the R&B that drove a generation.

Our Favorite Martian dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Fuller played some of the best surf instros on the gentler side of the track. This recording is essential to any surf collection. It begins with a slowed reverb kick, and moves right into one of the most recognizable of the more obscure instros. The structure and sound are perfectly surf, and the energy and style are exquisite.

Shanghi'd (Shanghaied) dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This live track was recorded in Texas (or California depending on the historian). It's a cover of the Wailers' track, and sports a slightly distorted lead guitar. The performance is soulful, and there is plenty of edge.

The 1000 lb. Bee dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the same tune that the Ventures cut. It's pretty repetitious and playful, but there is plenty of raw energy.

The Chase dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the lone stereo track on this 2 CD set. Very nice Bobby Fuller & the Fanatics / BF4 soft surf sound. The lead could have been more present, but this is a great track. The lead is Bobby's Southwest sound over heavily reverbed and damped rhythm guitar. Bobby is playing a nine string guitar!