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Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals
     

Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals

 
All of the two dozen cuts on this anthology were issued between 1959 and 1964 on Titan, a small Los Angeles indie. Actually, a few of these -- particularly the pre-1962 cuts -- are not surf instrumentals so much as the pounding instrumental rock that was influential in the birth of surf music. But who's talking? Just one of these was a national hit, and a modest one

Overview

All of the two dozen cuts on this anthology were issued between 1959 and 1964 on Titan, a small Los Angeles indie. Actually, a few of these -- particularly the pre-1962 cuts -- are not surf instrumentals so much as the pounding instrumental rock that was influential in the birth of surf music. But who's talking? Just one of these was a national hit, and a modest one at that -- the Strangers' aptly named "Caterpillar Crawl" made it just inside the Top 50 in 1959. As a whole, the compilation's OK but nothing more: period instrumental and early surf music. Interestingly though, a few fairly big names pop up here and there. Joel Hill of the Strangers eventually landed in Canned Heat and the Flying Burrito Brothers in the 1970s, and plays some pretty wicked blues-rock guitar on the 1959 single "Hill Stomp," one of the few cuts here that transcends the generic. Davie Allan of "Blues Theme" fame is heard on his 1964 single, "War Path"/"Beyond the Blue"; these are among the better tracks in their sub-"Apache" style. The Playboys, heard on a not-bad 1963 single, are actually the same Playboys of Gary Lewis & the Playboys fame. Ray Hunt of the Surfmen would later join the Soul Giants, who would eventually evolve into the Mothers of Invention after he was replaced by Frank Zappa. Gary Usher, represented by a couple of dippy 1961 teen idol-type sobbers (which have vocals, despite the title of this CD), would become an important figure in California rock as a producer and songwriter for surf, sunshine pop, and folk-rock acts going all the way up to the Beach Boys and the Byrds. Also, a young Ritchie Blackmore plays on the Lancasters' single "Earthshaker"/"Satan's Holiday," which was cut in England by a studio band and sold to Titan by producer Kim Fowley. "Satan's Holiday" is a fine, menacing tune, with part of the songwriting credit going to James Phelge, the Rolling Stones' friend honored by half of the Nanker-Phelge pseudonym the Stones used on early group compositions. All that doesn't add up to much more than some interesting trivia; the music itself is mostly routine, of interest virtually exclusively to surf/instrumental rock specialists.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/12/2001
Label:
Ace Records Uk
UPC:
0029667180627
catalogNumber:
806
Rank:
49141

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