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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No wonder these tracks are "rare", 8 Mar. 2010
A. J. Bradbury "Andy B." (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals (Audio CD)
Having bought the ACE "Birth of Surf" collection I was prepared to really enjoy this compilation. After one listening I'm taking it to the charity shop!

No wonder these tracks are rare - most of them are totally uninspired, and VERY few of them even sound like surf music, despite the names of the groups involved.

One problem may be that ALL of the tracks were put out on Titan Records, which means you get a pretty limited range of sounds right from the off. In fact it looks like most of the tracks are the A side and the B side of the same records.
So what? You may ask. The Surfmen are just one of the acts featured on this album, and they made "El Toro" - surely an authentic "surf sound".

And the answer is "yes", but that's one of the best tracks in this collection which even the Surfman don't equal in any of their other appearances. In fact one of their tracks - 'Malibu Run' (Titan 1727, 1962) - sounds like nothing more than a lightly edited version of their slightly earlier 'Paradise Cove' (Titan 1723, 1962).

Another problem is that this isn't really a collection of surfing records, IMO.
The front cover describes the CD as "Rare West Coast SURF Instrumentals" - which is kinda strange given that the far more accurate back cover description has a heading that reads: "Rare West Coast Surf and Rock'n'Roll Instrumentals making their first-ever CD appearance".

IMO there's a LOT more rock'n'roll than surf, not to mention the fact that two of these "instrumentals" actually feature vocals sung by Gary Usher (both from the same record: Titan 1716, 1961).

So, if you like West Coast Rock'n'Roll of 1959-1963 this might be just the thing you've been looking for. If you're after the surf sound you might be rather disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cashing in, 10 May 2012
This review is from: Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals (Audio CD)
In 1963 LPs were coming out here on cheapo cheapo budget labels like Allegro with no info on the sleeve and aimed at casual buyers.
Nothing was known about the groups and there was nothing like today's information.
What we've learned since is that these were actually studio concoctions mostly created by now known names like Gary Usher and had the same impact and intention in the States on labels like Titan and Custom.By the 70s they were being offloaded into the UK being used as ship ballast.
Woolworths sold the Allegro label while in the States the LPs would be used for rack jobbing.
It wasn't just surf but general instrumentals and the only way they were surf is because it may have said so on the sleeve but these were cashins same as the Bell label had been issuing in the 50s as a series of EPs.What became big business in the States created an entire family of labels from its parent one Spar which culminated in the HIT label.
Today the CD Age has made these collectable and we know just who the names were behind the Soundalikes.In a reversal of the usual the CD reissues are worth more than the vinyl
The Storms however were real enough-they were the road band of Jody Reynolds with a pre fame Bobbie Gentry in the lineup while the Strangers-one of many of this name-were founded by one Joel Hill,a country star who was the cousin of Jeanette Hicks who made duets with George Jones and for who he played lead guitar on the Louisiana Hayride.Closest they came to a hit was Caterpillar Crawl-originally called Cockroach but they were ordered to change it as the title was considered to be in bad taste!Hill would eventually end up in an early lineup of Canned Heat but this set of Strangers were sued twice by other groups and another one claimed Caterpillar Crawl was the subject of a law suit where a group whose name has been lost to history claimed they'd copied it off them.Which is neither here nor there.
None of this info was known in the early 60s when these opportunist budget albums were being sold as rack jobbing and this makes them to my mind worthless as Ace provide a 15 page booklet of fax and info.
Some may wonder just how Riitchie Blackmore comes to be on a surf collection but this is on account of Kim Fowley who spent half the year in the U K and assembled this group known as the Lancasters-who were probably not the same ones who later covered We'll Sing In The Sunshine for Pye but in 1963 the 2 tracks were issued on Titan
Titan was founded by one George Brown who was a partner in Demon Records hence the Jody Reynolds connection-on Endless Sleep part of the deal was he should receive a co writer credit so used his wife's maiden name as Dolores Nance
Jody Reynolds had achieved the near impossible by becoming a One Hit Wonder with the song which has garnered over 2 dozen covers to date
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Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals
Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2001)
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