Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lively Ones - The Great Surfin' Hitsdotdotdotdot
artworkA stellar collection of Lively Ones tracks, and in better fidelity than the US issues. Solid packed with 20 tracks. The purplish cover art is really cool!
Picks: Misirlou, Telstar Surf, Soul Surfer, Bustin' Surfboards, Surf Beat, Shootin' The Pier, Mr. Moto, Surf Rider, Surf Drums, Hotdoggin', Let's Go Trippin', Goofy Foot, Wipe Out, Walkin' The Board, Rik-A-Tik, Pipeline, Hillbilly Surf, Surfer Boogie, Tranquilizer, Paradise Cove

Track by Track Review


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.

Telstar Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Tornados had a major hit with Joe Meek's tune, and the whole world discovered Joe's formula super compression and fill every nook and cranny production techniques... a sort of British Phil Specter. This coexisted with the surf movement in the US, and so it was adapted to surf by many a surf band. This version is not the best out there, but certainly is among the top ten.

Soul Surfer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wetter tones and thinner sound than the Johnny Fortune original, but it's a good take, with really strong double picked bridges.

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.

Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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.

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.

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."

Hotdoggin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This required repertoire number has been covered and covered, and then covered some more. No one does it like Ron Wilson. Still, this is a serviceable rendition.

Walkin' The Board dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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.

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Probably the best period cover of the Chantays' surf archetype. The dribbling glissando opener is stunningly effective, and the whole track reeks power and speed. A totally great track.

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.

Surfer Boogie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Tranquilizer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the most infectious and fiery surf instros anywhere, otherwise known as "High Tide." It flies through a staccato lead line, and a softer break. Very powerful. This is one of my favorite classic surf tracks. (fake stereo)

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.