Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lively Ones - Surf Rider / Surf Drumsdotdotdotdot
artworkA coupling of two of the best from one of the best (clever, eh?). This is better fidelity than the US issues, and not as good as the Japanese.
Picks: Surf Beat, Let's Go Trippin', Misirlou, (Dance With The) Guitar Man, Caterpillar Crawl, Walkin' The Board, Paradise Cove, Goofy Foot, Surf Rider, Happy Gremmie, Hotdoggen, Surfers Lament, Tuff Surf, Rik-A-Tik, Wild Weekend, Bustin' Surfboards, Stoked, Surfer Boogie, Surf Drums, Shootin' The Pier, Mr. Moto, Rumble, Forty Miles Of Bad Road, Hillbilly Surf

Track by Track Review


Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A less gutty sound than the Dick Dale original, but a cool track anyway.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pretty standard cover of Dick Dale's first instro hit.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

No match for the Dick Dale version, but a damn fine rendition anyway. This has something magnetic about it, even though it is in some ways light weight.

(Dance With The) Guitar Man dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pedestrian cover of the Duane Eddy ego salve single, just with more reverb, without Steve Douglas' flair on sax, and sans the chorus, thank you very much.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Strangers had recorded this before there was surf. Their version is quite dry, and much less glorious than this stellar performance. Remarkably pure and ominous.

Walkin' The Board dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Happy pumpin' tune with a raspy sax in the back. Rollin' tune that carries you right along.

Paradise Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Before the Lively Ones, there were the Surfmen. One of their singles was "Paradise Cove." When their lineup evolved and they looked for a new label and a new deal (Del-Fi), they ran into legal issues of ownership of the band name. So, they became the Lively Ones. This version is a bit more polished and prettier than the original, and has remained one of my favorite slow island surf classics.

Goofy Foot dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A high power track is an essential part of any vintage surf collection. This is just about the best Lively Ones track ever! Fast, powerful, high energy, ripping good guitar work, ample changes. Stunning! It's been covered, but never matched.

Surf Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what happens when a real surfband covers a Nokie Edwards (Ventures) tune that had no relation to surf as written. In fact, it started life as a Potato concept song called "Spudnik." This is the grand and beautiful song that runs under the ending credits of Pulp Fiction. This is the full length version, not the single edit.

Happy Gremmie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fiberglas dum-ta-dum-de-dum. A humorous sounding track, not unlike the sorta thing the Halibuts would cover. Nice.

Hotdoggen dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the happiest of surf tracks. An infectious tune that's just plain delightful. Great sound and fun!

Surfers Lament dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Paradise Cove" inspired track with a sadness and beauty all it's own.

Tuff Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sax rant with great surf guitar backtrack. It has a quirky melody line, and a sax feel like Ace Cannon's "Tuff.." I usually dislike sax lead instros, but this is damn fine.

Rik-A-Tik dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs's were closer to the surf sound than any other pre-surf instro band. This tune was quite dry and much less interesting than what these guys did with it. It's just about the happiest surf rave anywhere. An absolute must have classic track.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A credible surf cover of the DJ theme turned hit single from the Rockin' Rebels.

Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The (Hollywood) Tornadoes had a national hit with this tune. Here, the Lively Ones perform it with a quite different feel than the gutty ominous original. Great track.

Stoked dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sax number in the Bill Black vein. Bluesy and OK. Not the Beach Boys' tune.

Surfer Boogie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A spirited surfization of Frank Virtue and the Virtues' "Guitar Boogie Shuffle," fast furious, and way happy fun.

Surf Drums dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In the beginning, there were eleven guitar heroes: Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Dave Yorko, Al Casey, Duane Eddy, James Burton, Jody Reynolds, Santo Farina, Johnny Farina, and George Tomsco. In the early formative days of surf, these guys influenced more surf bands than anyone else. Naturally, the Lively Ones included their work in their sets too. Here, they honor Link with a grand cover of his classic. It's cool, and quite different than Link Wray's original "Rawhide."

Shootin' The Pier dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great surfization of Freddie King's "San Jose," infectious and totally natural. Great.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among the first bands labeled as a Surf Band, the Belairs first single (recorded in May 1961, three months before Dick Dale's first surf single) became a fixture of the set lists of nearly every surf band in the world. The Lively Ones took it a step further, playing with more speed and fire than anyone at the time. Great version. Quite intense.

Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A faster lighter variation on the Link Wray definition of ominous rock instro. Cool, but no where near as great as the Linkster.

Forty Miles Of Bad Road dotdotdot
Duane Eddy Surf (Instrumental)

Pre-surf guitar hero Duane Eddy's classic, surfed up for maximum enjoyment.

Hillbilly Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rousing surf treatment to the western folk standard. It must have been a hoot to watch the surf kids slamming to this. Fast and furious, and wailing sax lines.