Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lively Ones - Hang Fivedotdotdotdotdot
artworkDel-Fi is ridin' the wave of surf consciousness to the hilt. They were thee Surf Label in the sixties, and the Lively Ones was their flagship act. This CD is a very well selected cross section of Lively Ones vintage surf tracks. If you don't own any Lively Ones, buy this, then get the rest of their reissues anyway. This CD even includes their lone Smash Records single which was issued after leaving Del-Fi towards the end of the surf era. Exceptionally good liner notes and great pictures just add to the value of this compilation.
Picks: High Tide, Walkin' The Board, Goofy Foot, Surf Rider, Misirlou, Chicken Scratch, Surf Beat, Exodus, Caterpillar Crawl, Telstar Surf, Mr. Moto, Cryin' Guitar, Livin', Guitarget, Crazy Surf, Paradise Cove, Bustin' Surfboards, Rawhide, Shootin' The Pier, Forty Miles Of Bad Surf, Rik-A-Tik, Happy Gremmie, Night and Day, Hey Scrounge

Track by Track Review

High Tide dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Walkin' The Board dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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.

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.

Chicken Scratch dotdotdotdot
Surf Blues (Instrumental)

No Chicken Bop here. A bluesy rendition of Freddie King's "Heads Up" in a plucky arrangement.

Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Exodus dotdotdotdot
Soundtrack Tango Surf (Instrumental)

A Tango backtrack, major whammy stingers in the intro and outro, and the infectiousness of a familiar hit melody reworked into a fiery and piercing track!

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.

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.

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.

Cryin' Guitar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Livin' dotdotdot
Bebop Surf (Instrumental)

A Be Bop inspired track with organ and little interest.

Guitarget dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Crazy Surf dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A strange barely surf instro that's not very interesting.

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.

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.

Rawhide dotdotdot
Link Wray 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 the original. This was also released as "Surf Drums."

Shootin' The Pier dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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

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

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.

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.

Night and Day dotdotdotdotdot
Cole Porter Surf (Instrumental)

If anyone suggested that Cole Porter wrote surf tunes, you'd probably laugh. While it certainly wasn't his intent, when the Lively Ones reworked it, they owned it and it was moved to sit squarely in the middle of the surf idiom. This is the lone post-Del-Fi single they recorded for Smash Records (Mercury). A master work.

Hey Scrounge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The B-side of "Night And Day," this is relatively non-surf track. It's a great infectious recording, and is quite fun.