Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hot Doggers - Surfin' U.S.A.dotdot
artworkThe usual suspects (Steve Douglas, Leon Russell, Hal Blaine, Billy Strange, Glen Campbell, and Carol Kaye among others) directed by Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher deliver mostly tepid surf wannabe music. Nothing to write home about, except from a historical perspective.
Picks: LetÕs Go TrippinÕ, Balboa Blue, The Original Surfer Stomp, Pipeline, Miserlou, SurferÕs Stomp, Walk, DonÕt Run, Quasimoto

Track by Track Review


LetÕs Go TrippinÕ dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Tis is a very tepid version of Dick Dale and his Del-tones' "Let's Go Trippin'." The lead is weak and buried in the mix, and the textures and arrangement fairly unsympathetic to the song. There's plenty of spirit, and the sax rips, but it just doesn't really gel.

Balboa Blue dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This is little more than a minor variation of the Mar-Kets' session. Except for the reverb on the claps and deviations in the sax line, it's hard to distinguish.

The Original Surfer Stomp dot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Just imagine a less surf and less spunky version of Bruce Johnston's "The Original Surfer Stomp." This is it, and it fades half way through to boot. This is a studio session without value beyond the historical.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

There were a number of pallid studio session covers of the Chantays' "Pipeline," with this one being the one that seemed to try to replicate the original arrangement most seriously. The textures are different, and the melody line is not exactly correct in places, but it does stand up pretty well.

Miserlou dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This studio session of Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher is closer to real surf than anything else they did together. The performance is tight and the arrangement pretty standard. The trumpet is not fiery as required, and the lead guitar seems like it was played at too low a volume. Some nice piano work, however.

SurferÕs Stomp dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Like "Balboa Blue," this is a very strait copy of the Mar-Kets' original session. Nothing to crow about.

Walk, DonÕt Run dot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This is a reasonable instro cover of the 1960 Ventures rendering. Neither original nor interesting.

Quasimoto dot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This is the same instro that the Astronauts' did under this name, but it's a far cry from being as interesting as that. It sounds more like Bruce Brown soundtrack fair than surf music.