Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Shadows - In The Sixtiesdotdotdot
artworkThis is an excellent cross section of the sixties output of the Shadows. They influenced a generation of European guitarists. Europe was not blessed with the wide variety of guitar heroes that the US was. Here, players and writers like Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale, Paul Johnson, Jim Masoner, Tommy Nunes, and Dave Yorko complimented the studio pristine sounds of Duane Eddy, Al Casey, Tommy Tedesco, and the Stringalongs. Included in this set are a few vocals, like the spongy "Mary Anne," the old fart rendering of "Don't Make My Baby Blue," best covered by the Move, the misnamed "What A Lovely Tune," a plunky post Fireballs two-step fluff overdubbed with a silly narrative, a tepid rendering of the Buddy Holly cover of "Bo Diddley," and the sappy "The Bandit."
Picks: Dance On, Foot Tapper, Guitar Tango, Man Of Mystery, The Stranger, Midnight, 36-24-36, Peace Pipe, Stars Fell On Stockton, The Boys, The Frightened City, The Savage, Shindig, The Breeze and I, All Day, Quartermasters Stores, Little 'B', South Of The Border, Shazam

Track by Track Review

Dance On dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is the other really cool track on this CD, and was also well done by the Challengers. It has a great melody line, and is infectious, the sort of thing you can really dig while cruising down PCH with the top down.

Foot Tapper dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is a light weight but very enjoyable and melodic rock instro number. It's warm and friendly. I think that the Challengers version of this is better.

Guitar Tango dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Listening to this, it's really hard to imagine that the Challengers actually covered it with more edge and energy than the original, a situation that is the reverse of their usual ploy. Sadly lacking in energy and interest.

Man Of Mystery dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Intense sounding lead and a simple progression. It's nice enough, but so what. OK, so I enjoy it. It's just not very intriguing.

The Stranger dotdotdot
Euro Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Spaghetti Western-esq tune with a cool melody and a gentle energy.

Midnight dotdotdot
Islandic MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Semi islandic MOR track, with very nice guitar work, but so tame it could please old granny in the rest home. As a side bar to a great set from a real surf band, this would work fine, but within a set of relatively boring tracks like much of this, it just doesn't stand out. I could see it in a surf set, but not as a featured item.

36-24-36 dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Dream on Bubba... with a meaningless track like this, you'll only see that kinda figure in your imagination, or on the pages of that mag you subscribe to in lieu of having a life. This is definitely NOT music to GET the girls by.

Peace Pipe dotdot
MOR Noodling (Instrumental)

Slow MOR noodling. Too pretty and tepid for words. Boring.

Stars Fell On Stockton dotdot
MOR Country Noodling (Instrumental)

Likely not titled for California's Central Valley town, though it does sport a certain cowtown feel. "Stars Fell On Stockton" is an MOR track with whistling and soft tones. It's god a nice enough melody, but of the sort that the K-mart radio network likes.

The Boys dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

Like "F.B.I.," this is a melodic and playful track with warmth and friendliness, but little edge. Well written, and entertaining. Cool kettle drums.

The Frightened City dotdotdot
Euro Whammy (Instrumental)

"The Frightened City" is a jerky tune with maximum whammy action. It's ominous and gentle too. Intense tone without quite getting in your face.

The Savage dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

With a melody closer to "Music To Watch the Girls By" than the savage title would suggest, this slightly aggressive track is a cut above the usual MOR fair from these guys. The tom-tom intro is sorta tribal, and the trotting rhythm track is sorta outdoorsy, but otherwise, it's pretty tame compared to the edge you'd expect from the name.

Shindig dotdotdot
Euro Fifties (Instrumental)

Big chord intro, and a pedestrian fifties structure and a cool melody line. Nice enough, and with it's rhythmic nature, it is enjoyable.

The Breeze and I dotdotdot
Euro MOR (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty MOR rendering, with that standard Hank Marvin tone and whammy. While quite nice (except for the cheesy MOR flute), it doesn't hold a candle to either the Vibrants' or the Emporers' versions.

All Day dotdotdot
Euro Sidewalk Cafe (Instrumental)

Pre-jangle ringing guitar tone, and a sidewalk cafe holiday in Spain feel. OK, but unremarkable.

Quartermasters Stores dotdotdot
Military Rock (Instrumental)

Excellent military trumpet based rock. It doesn't have the power or charm of Johnny & the Hurricanes' "Reveille Rock," but it is very cool. Rhythmic and playful.

Little 'B' dotdotdot
Euro Rock (Instrumental)

Plunky playful riff rock, with some drum solo stuff that's a bit disjointed and a mediocre melody line.

South Of The Border dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Only a Brit that has never been to Mexico could render this bit of Latin fluff with such non-Latin sound. Really gutless and not particularly interesting either.

Shazam dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A pretty standard cover of the Duane Eddy song. Nothing special or memorable.