Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Neil Young - Early Years (1963-1968), Disc 1dotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD is available only from Warner-Reprise directly, unless you want the entire box set. It's available in Blu-Ray hi-def as Disc 0. Six tracks from The Squires, three of which are instros appear for the first time legitimately on CD from original masters, plus the Buffalo Springfield instro "Kahuna Sunset." By the way, these individual tracks are also available from iTunes.
Picks: Aurora, The Sultan, Mustang, Kahuna Sunset

Track by Track Review


Aurora dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Dark vibrato and some chamber reverb brings this pretty close to the surf envelope. Not as interesting as the A-side, but still a solid find. "Aurora" grows on you after a few listenings, with its merger of Jet Harris and Tony Meehan sounds with pre surf.

The Sultan dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is a great single. The sound is like a cross between the Shadows and surf, with cheesy gong bashing out middle eastern incense for the ears. The main part of the melody line is similar to the Torquays' "Escondido." Some high note picking completes the track. It's a splendid obscuro, with charm and real pre surf sensibilities.

Mustang dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mustang" has a very cool melody riff that's sort of bluesy desert mysterious, and hints gently at the Mediterranean via the rhythm pattern. The whammy is where the desert comes from. It's lighter and less dramatic than either "Aurora" or "The Sultan," but no less engaging.

Kahuna Sunset dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I never thought I'd hear Buffalo Springfield do a surf instro, but here it is. Tribal drums and Hawaiian guitar, a fine melody, shore break and birds calling, and surfisms throughout. Completely amazing! This previously unreleased track written by Stephen Stills and Neil Young, and was recorded in September 1966 at Gold Star. The band was in fine form, and the track is nothing short of charming and innocent.