Quite a Party! 24 Great Instrumental Bands Play the Fireballs
While the Fireballs had some success as an instrumental rock group back in the late '50s and 1960s, you'd be hard-pressed to say they were an especially influential group. Even in the world of instrumental guitar rock, the Ventures, for instance, were far more influential both in the U.S. and overseas. So it's a bit of a stretch to put together a 24-track compilation of covers of songs that were recorded by the Fireballs (and, usually, written by the Fireballs' George Tomsco). Mixing together obscure Fireballs covers from the early '60s with much more recent interpretations by more modern bands, it's something of a mix of a '60s instrumental rock compilation and a tribute album -- but not quite either. For that reason alone, it's rather uneven listening, and it's fair to say that most of the relatively small band of people who collect Fireballs releases in the first place will be more interested in the vintage material than the newer items. Accepting all these limitations, this is an adequate testament to the modest influence the group had, and continues (in a very low-scale cultish level) to have, with their Tex-Mex-flavored brand of instrumental guitar rock. It did reach as far as covers by two of the biggest bands in the genre, the Ventures (who did "Bulldog") and the Shadows (who covered "Find Me a Golden Street"), with both tracks presented on this CD. Other '60s cuts by names who will be known to instrumental rock aficionados are here as well, via surf bands the Lively Ones, the Belairs, the Challengers, and the Tornadoes. The most unusual of the '60s rarities, however, is the amateurish version of "Torquay" by the Electras, with future presidential candidate John Kerry on bass. The more recent material, recorded shortly before the release of this CD, fits in pretty well, even if it lacks the kind of weird spontaneity that was much more evident in actual '60s instrumental rock recordings. Like, for instance, the murky 1960 demo by the British instrumental band the Scorpions, which despite its lo-fi production is one of the most satisfying cuts.
- Release Date:
- Ace Records Uk
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