Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Collection: Wow, That Was The 60's
|This is an 8-CD set of top forty radio hits as they were in England mostly, so there are often local hero covers of American hits. Among the many tracks are a handful of instrumentals.|
Picks: Walk, Don't Run, Telstar, Apache, Kon-Tiki, Perfidia, The Cruel Sea, Foot Tapper, Dance On
Track by Track Review
Pre Surf (Instrumental)
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.
Space Rock (Instrumental)
This is it, the Tornados signature hit. Brilliantly filled with damped plucking, rhythmic churn, and whirring space. Joe Meek wrote this tune. It is utterly unique in the annals of rock. Meek was the UK master of thick completely filled sound, compressed until totally flat, and very cool. This 1962 release has been done by a bazillion surf bands. A must have for any serious instro fan. It is the Tornados signature tune.
While the US was treated to Jorgen Ingmann's superior version of this Jerry Lordan classic, and then later Sonny James' vocal rendition, Europe was bathed in the Shadows rendition. Different, and much less delicate than Lordan's version, and missing the fingered string swipe arrows entirely.
This is the closest they got to surf. It has an Adventures In Paradise melody structure, but paced a bit faster than that classic TV theme.
This is the followup to "Walk, Don't Run," in the same style and equally infectious. The lead is less up front, but the warmth of the whammy makes this an excellent pre-surf track. Great drums and picking. The combo really comes together in this track.
A great melody and British view of the surf. While it's not really surf per say, it's one of the best Brit-rock instros of the era. Over time, I've come to like this a lot. It's a ways from the surf idiom, but it's splashy and it's been covered by surf bands a lot.
Melodic MOR for those afraid of the power of the guitar. The orchestral accompaniment relegates it to the fair propagated on the Safeway (supermarket chain) Network. If you are a Shadows fan, I'm sure you disagreed. Most that I have talked to think of this as one of their best. I just don't see it.
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.
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.