Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfaris - Wipe Out, Surfer Joe and Other Great Hitsdotdotdot
artworkThis repro of the first The Surfaris album is, as was the original, mostly The Challengers, except for the double-a hits "Wipe Out" and "Surfer Joe," and the bonus track "Yep."
Picks: Yep

Track by Track Review


Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

"Wipe Out" is simply the definitive drummer's badge of courage. If he can do a decent "Wipe Out," he's hired. Simple, and written and recorded in just minutes, this is an international classic that has sold multimillions of copies, and still does every year worldwide.

Wiggle Wobble dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty strait cover of the Les Cooper hit, but is minus the infectious energy of that original upbeat sax lead instro dance soul groove. The Challengers are tight and precise here. It's a nice track, just nothing different or special.

Torquay dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Talk about strange. This has none of the flair or wetness of the Fireballs' original, and is arranged more like "Tequila" sans horns. It's a nice rhythmic rendering, quite different in character than the original, and not as infectious.

You Can't Sit Down dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Another pedestrian number. The hits of the day played for the sock hop crowd, neither original nor interesting. I didn't much care for the Dartells' original, and this is not up to that level.

Green Onions dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Relatively soul free cover of the Booker T. & the M. G.'s hit, with a more Hammond-like organ, and sax in lieu of the guitar. A backdrop for your frat party, but not the center of your attention.

Tequila dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Super chunky mean surf. The boys scream and shout relentlessly. The melody is shallow, but the ominous nature of the tune is very magnetic. This is a powerful and vicious surf track. It is also the Jesters' most familiar track.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tom tom tribal, damped reverb chunk, and a jam lead guitar. This is like a B section of an AABA song, extended to be the whole thing. Powerful, but lacking in focus. The drum solo is very strong.

Teen Beat dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is just about as powerful and fast as surf gets, spitting notes out like machine gun bullets. The melody is a fine infectious bit of writing. This high powered track is just about the best Jim Messina writing ever. Nearly every cover IÕve heard has paled to this and the Thimble version.

Yep dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funky soul groove surf, with motor sounds overdubbed. This could easily be an R&B track from Bill Black or Ernie Freeman, but it is from the mind of Messina. OK, but not remarkable.

Memphis dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The other great killer monster from the Jesters. This punishes the peace and quiet of an afternoon daydream with violently powerful double picking, and spectacular writing. The backtrack is not very Russian, but the melody is both eastern European and middle eastern sounding. Great track.

Surfer Joe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the flair of a Mexicano and the style of a hot roddin' surfnik, Jim Messina chunks out an intensely rhythmic and driving song. Strong and edgy, with plenty of surf reverb.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is faster and more spirited than the Ventures, but it is their basic arrangement. It's funny, but this is one of the few tracks that Delvy kicks butt with on the drums. Like the Ventures doing rockabilly. Cool track.

Yep dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the other track culled from the "lost" Dot sessions. It's a tame rendition of a Duane Eddy song. Not lackluster exactly, but pretty pedestrian. Great reverb and adolescent surf fun.