Boss guitar instrumentals from the original surf music era, including many rare and new-to-CD titles.
This third slice through the evolutionary timeline of 60s surf music follows the pattern of the previous volumes in the “Birth Of Surf” series by representing the influential pre-surf instrumental scene and then quickly moving on to the genre’s prime years of 1963-64 with a selection of hits and rare gems.
Presented chronologically, early examples of the sounds that became surf are included, such as the influential Johnny & the Hurricanes with ‘Sheba’, ‘Machine Gun’ by the Riptides and ‘Lone Survivor’ from the Beachcombers featuring Richie (Allen) Podolor on guitar. The CD then moves on through some early surf titles with the first version of ‘Moment Of Truth’ from the Original Surfaris, ‘Vesuvius’ by the Sentinals and the Chantays’ ‘Scotch High’s’. The latter was their follow-up to ‘Pipeline’ but it missed both the charts and inclusion on the group’s two LPs. Other charting acts such as Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, are represented while the Pyramids have their exciting non-LP single ‘Pressure’ and the Astronauts pump out ‘Surf Party’ from the film of the same title. Rarities include ‘On The Run’ by the Rondels, ‘Bacardi’ by the Torquetts, ‘Christina’ from the Charades Band and the Genteels with their ‘The Force Of Gravity’.
Joining those big names and hard-to-find items are seven tracks appearing on CD for the first time. These include the much sought-after ‘Bonzai’ by the Baymen, ‘Minor Chaos’ by the Treasures, ‘Take 7’ by the Novas (flipside of their hit ‘The Crusher’) and ‘Static’ by the Velvetones. To top it all there’s a previously unreleased gem from the deFenders. Aptly titled ‘More Surf’, it boasts a reverb guitar sound to die for. The album closes with the Surfaris’ fiery home recording of ‘Storm Surf’, their final surf instrumental. Unreleased in the 60s, the Surfaris’ use of a Fender 12-string reflects the changing music scene of 1965 but they harnessed it to provide an incredibly catchy rhythm as a counterpoint to Jim Fuller’s vibrant lead guitar.
“The Birth Of Surf Vol.3” is at least a match for its successful predecessors. It’s an exciting listen, an attractive purchase for the casual buyer and an essential acquisition for collectors.
Alan Taylor, Pipeline magazine