Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Surf And Drag
|This is a 20 track LP from 1978 aimed at the hit-fan masses. There are the predictable Jan and Dean and Beach boys tracks, along with two of surf-instro's biggest chart busters from The Surfaris and The Chantays, plus Lonnie Mack, The Ventures and The Mar-Kets. Relatively ho-hum.|
Picks: Lonnie Mack - Memphis, The Surfaris - Wipe Out, The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run
Track by Track Review
This is it. This track defined surf. It is the archetype! Paul Johnson once told me that when first heard this tune on his car radio, he said Whoa! Wha-at is THAT?, and pulled over to the side of the road to listen. The Chantays defined the classic surf line up, 2 guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Glorious first use of glissandoes, first rhythm guitar dominance in the mix, and just plain essential.
Like the Surfaris' "Wipe Out," "Memphis" and "Wham!" were recorded to consume twenty minutes of leftover studio time. Both were solid hits in 1963. This is a highly rhythmic track, infectious and playful in a post Chuck Berry world.
The Mar-Kets - Surfer's Stomp
Sub Surf (Instrumental)
The Mar-Kets created this nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfer's Stomp." Simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.
"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.
The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run
This is essential. The Ventures were one of the two bands that served as the model for early surf bands, the other being the Fireballs. This was their first single, and is an absolute standard. It was based on the early fifties Chet Atkins arrangement. This is their signature tune, a solid and enduring cover of Johnny Smith's jazz classic. Rhythmic, solid as a rock, and very warm with pre-surf whammy. Only the Pink Fairies' vocal version is better than this. Great classic pre surf.
"Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia" were recorded a year before there was such a thing as surf music. Totally vintage and majorly important to the birth of surf, this Ventures single is still their hallmark and best effort. Every collection requires this track.