Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Megatones - Les Megatones 1962 to 1969dotdotdot
artworkThese remastered tracks date from 1962 through 1969. The band plays more or less lightweight guitar instros, some verging on surf, and some really cool. This is a solid collection of this Canadian band's tracks, with only a handful of tracks that are just too tepid for my taste.
Picks: Rideau S.V.P., Ebb Tide, Funiculi-Funicula, Diane, Monsieur Solitaire, Nut Cracker, Megatwist, My Blue Heaven, Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White, Night Train, Unchained Melody, Silver City, Chalala, Telstar, Rinky Dink Dink, Mexico, Ski Bum, Altitude 3000, La Casa Cha-Cha, Priere D'amour, Jeunesse Jump, L'aventure, Twist des Copains, Ton Image, Guitare Limbo, Theme D'amour, Zebra Twist, Les Amours de Jeunesse, Viva les Copains

Track by Track Review

Rideau S.V.P. dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spirited guitar instro with a melody line and style that seems to straddle traditional rockabilly and an almost presurf mentality. Spunky and very cool, "Rideau S.V.P." flies by, leaving you wanting another go at it.

Ebb Tide dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

"Ebb Tide" is slowly played with a large amount of tape echo on the guitar. Verging on MOR, yet retaining just enough rock credentials to stay afloat.

Funiculi-Funicula dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This traditional song has seen light rock treatments a few times. Most often, the emphasis is on the "light" and not on the rock. While this is a long way from loud, it's spirited, and very credible. "Funiculi-Funicula" gets a new lease on life!

Diane dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slow and echoed intro thankfully yields to an uplifting arrangement. Delicate damped plucking on the second guitar beneath the over echoed lead creates an interesting contrast. Poppy, yet credible.

Monsieur Solitaire dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

A grand damped second guitar very similar to the guitar in the Valiants' "The Valiant" drives the rhythm as a fluid echoed lead plays a somewhat moody melody line. Verging on surf, "Monsieur Solitaire" is a mighty nice track!

Nut Cracker dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is an almost splashy guitar translation of B. Bumble and the Stingers' way cool "Nut Rocker," with great drums and bass rumble beneath slightly restrained infectious guitar work.

Megatwist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This theme song sports a circular melody line and a basic groovy rock beat. Entirely fun, if not overly inventive, "Megatwist" stays with you and rolls with solid energy.

My Blue Heaven dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fats Domino's "My Blue Heaven" gets a fairly strait instro treatment. Cool, kinda cute, and very listenable.

Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

A billion elevator artists cut "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," virtually none with even vague rock credentials. It's orchestral nature never quite translated across the generation gap. While this is relatively tame, it also has a nice rock groove to it.

Night Train dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

James Brown's bitchin' R&B groove "Night Train" has been done a lot by rock bands of various styles, from the Rumblers, the Renegades, the Virtues, the Surf Riders [Cornells], the Bobby Fuller Four, and the Ventures, to Travis Wammack, the Viscounts, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Champs. Each of these bore the mark of the artist. This is perhaps the straightest rock instro treatment. Twang, whammy, echo, and a simple GGBD lineup. Quite cool!

Unchained Melody dotdotdot
Near Surf MOR (Instrumental)

This often covered vocal found a billion arrangements applied to it in the late fifties/early sixties, from the sappy to the blue-eyed soul of the Righteous Brothers. This is almost surfy, and is a simply tasteful.

Silver City dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

A cowboy beat and a playful Broadway western kinda riff makes for an entirely enjoyable track. Not really memorable, yet really fun and well played. More than Nashville twang or TV western, less than cactus rock, and simply cool.

Chalala dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Damped second guitar plucking beneath an almost gutsy lead guitar playing twin note riffs. It's really cool until the dreadful chorus comes along. The whistling would have been tolerable, but that chorus!#@$%. After that, it dives quickly into old folks rock.

Telstar dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Aside from the fun of the long pick slide intro, this is about as tame as "Telstar" gets. The guitar tone approaches surf at times, but the light weight delivery just doesn't keep it in the rock vein.

Rinky Dink Dink dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Dave "Baby" Cortez's "Rinky Dink" starts out as if it's going to be cool, but that chorus$%^)&!

Mexico dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Bob Moore extra cool "Mexico" is done in a light near surf style that's pleasing. It's a light weight approach, but very cool! I wanted to dismiss it because of the delicate low energy, but found instead that I really liked it.

Ski Bum dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Yodeling intro and "Mule Skinner Blues" (Fendermen) "ha-ha-ha" call and response over a simple backtrack that is so close to surf (but still in a rockabilly vein) that it begs a real surf treatment.

Altitude 3000 dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Post rockabilly guitar instro spunk and fun front an infectious drum and bass track. "Altitude 3000" is lots of fun, but a ways from the surf idiom.

La Casa Cha-Cha dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Moving ever closer to MOR, yet retaining just enough edge to keep afloat, Les Megatones play a catchy and slightly sad song with a bit of a stiff arrangement.

Priere D'amour dotdotdot
Near Surf Spaghetti (Instrumental)

A bit of French or Italian sidewalk cafe double picking, a fifties slow drama riff, a sad lead line, and a soft MOR delivery combine to create a pleasant track. You can well imaging this being stellar at the hands of someone with the sense of suave and humor or Drew Weaver and the Alvarados. It grows on you, like a sad spaghetti western.

Jeunesse Jump dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

A pre surf guitar and some interesting rhythm and piano work fill out a melodic track with cool drums and an infectious little sound. A busy and cool bassline with great drums. Fun and memorable.

L'aventure dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fine piano work supports a dry guitar that's not really out front at all. Its almost surf lines are hidden by the dry tone and the dominance of the cool piano work. This is a very original variation on the theme to the TV series "Adventures In Paradise." A very fine track.

Twist des Copains dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is more basic and simple riff rocker, with thin guitar and some charm. The spunk is in the rhythm section, and the flair in the guitar work. Kinda catchy.

Ton Image dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A fifties pomp and circumstance cake walk intro, a classical piano circulating backup, a last dance drum beat, and an over echoed guitar line. Slow and pleasant.

Guitare Limbo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little like the Champs "Limbo Rock," this very fun track undulates with Mexican charm. On the light weight side, but very fun. The drums are very cool, and the bass lines very rhythmic.

Theme D'amour dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

As you might expect, "Theme D'amour" is a slow love song with a sad September feel. Pretty enough.

Zebra Twist dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Zebra Twist" borders on being little more than a jam. Competent, but just not moving.

Les Amours de Jeunesse dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Really cool damped second guitar, shallow vibrato lead, and a perfectly straight bass and drum track. "Les Amours de Jeunesse" is a really nice track.

Viva les Copains dot
Jam (Instrumental)

Jammin' riff rock with plinky piano and not a drop of distinguishing style.