Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfaris - Surfers Rule / Gone With The Wavedotdotdotdot
artworkThis 2 CD set is from the original masters, and from the sound quality, maybe for the first time. It combined two late seventies compilation LP's, both issued only in the UK. It's about two thirds vocals, and all from the Decca sessions.
Picks: Wipe Out, Murphy The Surfie, Miserlou, Point Panic, Waikiki Run, Surf Scene, Mystic Island Drums, Moon Dawg, Hot Rod Graveyard, Scatter Shield, Dune Buggy, Surfing Drums

Track by Track Review

Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Decca / Bud Dant rerecording of "Wipe Out," rerecorded due to the legal wrangling between Dot Records / Richard Delvy and the Surfaris. It has none of the character of the original, being softer and more controlled. Still, it's a fascinating glimpse into the world of surf recording.

Murphy The Surfie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cover of the Joy Boys' (Australian surf band) instro that Ron Wilson fell in love with when they toured there in the sixties. It's up beat, happy, and really fun. It rolls along like a military march in high gear. Infectious high spirited fun.

Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like "Surfing Drums," this is a more choppy cover of the standard surf monster. Solid, less dynamic guitar sound, but ample punch in the performance. A fine rendition.

Point Panic dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A-side of the follow up single to "Wipe Out." Great intro scream and tom toms. The fire in the bones of the band is clear here. High spirited, chunky, and rhythmic. Grand power glissandoes, and those wonderful Ron Wilson drums. Jim Pash's sax is most appropriate. Not often covered, but a really good tune.

Waikiki Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The boy's first hit with "Wipe Out" and "Surfer Joe." Their follow up single was "Point Panic" c/w "Waikiki Run," the B-side of which is this track. It's a great tom tom surf rave. The manic island drums are splendid, and the brilliant blend of musical elements shows off the prowess of this mighty band.

Surf Scene dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another odd track, the band had a knack of writing and arranging tunes unlike any other surf band. It's false pauses are so cool, and when they underlay the super simple bluesy melody, it all comes together in a grand track. Wonderful.

Mystic Island Drums dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In those days of obligatory drum solos, and particularly from the band that brought you "Wipe Out," it was mandatory for them to have a show off track for Ron. This features really heavy guitar chords and great drumming, showing just how much unique energy he had. Great fun.

Moon Dawg dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine cover of the Gamblers' 1960 hit single. This is the first time it was committed to disc all reverbed out. It growls and has a more menacing tone. Great track.

Hot Rod Graveyard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slow ominous number, featuring a very simple melody and cool vibes. It is dark, brooding, evil, and lurks in your closet when you're sleeping. A very cool track. The contrast between the simple guitar parts and Ron Wilson's bitchin' rolling drums is perfect. A great track.

Scatter Shield dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the best album tracks from this band. It was a single, and still carries a lot of weight with me. The engine rev up - clutch blow up sound effects at the beginning are cool. It's a good vehicle for Ron Wilson's drumming, and it's melodic and powerful.

Dune Buggy dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is one of the coolest and most unique vintage surf tracks ever recorded. It's marvelous blend of rhythm and melody is utterly infectious. I can still recall the thrill of hearing it for the first time. The rhythmic chunk, the tribal riffs, the melody that seems to only slightly drift off of a single note, the angry sax, all contribute to a masterpiece of instrumental music. Brilliant!

Surfing Drums dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A cover of Dick Dale's cover of Bo Diddley's "Hush Your Mouth" , with a lighter more choppy arrangement than Dale's. It sports a more mystic feel than Dick's, but retains the tribal drums. Fine track.