“The Birth Of Surf Volume 2” follows the pattern of Vol 1 in taking a slice through the timeline of rock instrumental history leading up to and on through the first surf era. Influential artists such as the Ventures, Wailers and Revels are joined by early examples of the sounds that became surf such as the Scarlets’ ‘Stampede’, the Rockin’ Rebels’ ‘Wild Weekend’ and the Busters on ‘Bust Out’.
Presented chronologically, the CD then moves on to early surf titles commencing with one that helped define the genre: ‘Surf Beat’ from Dick Dale, the irrefutable King of the Surf Guitar. Four other hit-makers are represented by their equally exciting follow-up singles: the Surfaris with ‘Point Panic’ (which also charted), the Chantays on ‘Monsoon’, ‘Hot Doggin’’ by the Astronauts and ‘Midnight Run’ from the Pyramids. Rather bizarrely, those last three were not included on any of the groups’ 1960s LPs. Unusually for that time the Centurions released an LP yet never had a single issued. But that didn't stop Quentin Tarantino from recognising the power of their track ‘Bullwinkle Pt II’ and using it on the soundtrack to his 1994 film Pulp Fiction where it is heard to great effect during the infamous shooting up scene.
The Trashmen had a big vocal hit with ‘Surfin’ Bird’ but they loved their surf instrumentals and they are represented here by their magnificently surfed-up arrangement of ‘Malaguena’ from the “Surfin’ Bird” LP. Bobby Fuller had his hits with the Bobby Fuller Four two years after releasing his classically surf-styled ‘Our Favorite Martian’ as by Bobby Fuller & the Fanatics. Jim Messina also had to wait for his recognition when he later joined Buffalo Springfield, formed Poco and then Loggins & Messina with Kenny Loggins. But it was as Jim Messina & the Jesters that he secured an album release in 1964 titled “The Dragsters”, ‘The Thing’ being a particularly potent example of the group's high energy approach. This track is being made available again for the first time in over 45 years.
As if all those big names weren’t enough, “The Birth Of Surf Volume 2” features no less than five more first-time-on-CD rarities. ‘Enchanted’ (the Pagents), ‘Baggies’ (the Bel-Aires), ‘Crash’ (the Creations), ‘Cloudburst’ (the Kan Dells) and ‘Unknown’ (the Vy-Dels), none of which have been released in any form since they first surfaced on small independent labels in the 1960s.
With still more rarities such as ‘Golash’ by the Intrepides and ‘Mr X’ by the Velvetones plus the original version of ‘Theme From The Endless Summer’ by the Sandals, this collection is at least a match for its successful predecessor. It’s an exciting listen, an attractive purchase for the casual buyer, and is sure to be an essential acquisition for collectors. By Alan Taylor