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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #31 
Well, lots more good surf rock instrumentals, in addition to all the new comments, from Larry, t, David, stkilda, and Verden. Thanks to t, stkilda, David, and Verden for casting your considered votes on the four battle songs.

Larry, in addition to all the interesting songs you come up with, you also find some fascinating information, such as the Surfers Pajama Party Centurions/Bruce Johnston mixup. Quality control at Del-Fi must have been a bit loose in those days, at least regarding some of the widespread surf rock bands. Bruce must have made his rounds before finally joining the Beach Boys after Brian quit touring. I had to check out the background of some of the artists you included in this round, learning that the Space Cossacks were a surf rock group from Washington DC of all places in the late 1990s. And based on listening to your Surfaris songs, especially "Waikiki Run", it was apparent that they were still quite dependent on their "Wipe Out" hit sound. 

Thanks also for including the Beach Boys rare original surf rock instrumental, "Surf Jam", an early Carl Wilson contribution from their heavily instrumental (mostly cover versions of other artists' songs) second album, Surfin' USA. I considered using that song for this week's battle, but it had already been used in an earlier year's weekly battle.

David, thanks for standing up for the Shadows with your vote and your added videos. It still amazes me that this week's battle is the first time the Shadows have been a featured artist in our nearly nine years of weekly BOTBs. Thanks also for sharing "Wonderful Land", one of their biggest international hits, as well as the tasty solo effort by ex-Shadow Jet Harris.

I really enjoyed your later inclusions of "Surf Man" by Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers and "Moon Probe" by the Vulcanes. I also found interesting musical bios for both. Richie Allen (real name, Richard Podolor) co-wrote some of Sandy Nelson's hit recordings, such as "Teen Beat" and "Let There Be Drums" before he had his own surf band, he also worked as a recording engineer and studio musician for a number of major artists, and he later produced albums for a number of major groups, including most of Three Dog Night's hit albums, as well as some for Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, Souther Hillman Furay, and others. 

And sax player/multi-instrumentalist, Don Roberts from the Vulcanes went on to do a lot of LA session work in the 60s, toured with Chicago, Loggins & Messina, and was a member of Elvis Presley's touring band for several years during the mid-70s. After that, he became an instrumentalist for Manhattan Transfer for 15 years, then he subsequently became a longtime member of the Brian Setzer Orchestra. 

You never know what a humble beginning in a lesser-known surf rock band may eventually lead to!

stkilda4ever and Verden, even though your respective rankings were very different, I'm glad you both enjoyed all of this week's battle songs. I narrowed them down from a broad list of possibilities, thinking that each artist and song had something distinctive to offer, and that has proven to be the case based on this week's voting so far. 


As we come down the home stretch of this week's battle, it's only fitting that we also showcase some more of those early Beach Boys instrumental cover versions in addition to "Surf Jam"  from the Surfin' USA album, along with the original versions that inspired them. Here goes:

"Let's Go Trippin'" (Dick Dale 1961, Beach Boys 1963):



"Misirlou" -- based on a traditional Eastern Mediterranean song and covered by numerous western artists dating back to the 1940s (Dick Dale 1962, Beach Boys 1963):



"Honky Tonk" (Bill Doggett, Parts 1 and 2, 1956; Beach Boys 1963):



"Moon Dawg", from the Beach Boys' first album Surfin' Safari (Gamblers 1960, Beach Boys 1962):



And finally, "Stoked", a Brian Wilson solo composition for the Beach Boys Surfin' USA album:



Keep those votes, songs, and comments coming before our battle wraps up later tonight (Sunday night US time). For anyone who has not voted yet, don't forget to do so soon. I'll plan to post results on Monday morning US time. 


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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #32 
Oh, yes, my own votes this week, after a good deal of going back and forth on possible rankings:

Gold -- "Bombora", the Atlantics. Back before the week began, I wasn't sure at all how this song would rank for me. Both the artist and the song were new to me, but after many listenings the song continued to grow on me. It seems the essence of early surf rock -- fast paced, intense drums, fascinating speed guitar interplay, and a melody that grew on me. I now understand better why it became so popular in Australia. 

Silver -- "High Surf", Miami Dan & the Hayes Street Band, featuring David Marks. This lovely surf instrumental really appealed to the more mellow side of me. It has a very upbeat mood and resolves into a very emotionally satisfying ending. I love the interplay of all the guitars, keyboards (Jez Graham), and drums. And guitarist B. Keith Williams is the real thing -- his are a number of key riffs in the song, along with David Marks' notable contributions.

Bronze -- "Kon-Tiki", Shadows. Though perhaps not as "surfy" as some of the others, the musicianship of this instrumental group is quite apparent, and their larger body of work is quite impressive over many years. I hope they make further appearances in some future battles; they deserve the broader recognition, perhaps especially among our North American participants.   

Tin --"Wedding Cake Island", Midnight Oil. I was so surprised when I found this unanticipated song from a group we don't normally associate with the surf music sound. I came to like this song a good deal, but it couldn't quite overcome its opposition this week. Lovely guitar work and atmospheric synthesizer effects.


While I'm here, why not toss in a few more lesser-known surf rock instrumentals before our week closes out tonight (US time):




The final song above, "Big Wednesday" by the Rip Chords (who included Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston for a period of time) is from their Three Window Coupe album, and according to Wikipedia is actually performed by the Wrecking Crew.
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #33 
Been out trying to catch a wave.  Have had to doggy-paddle back in.

GOLD - Midnight Oil.  Most enjoyed.  Biggest wave.  Had no idea this existed.  Another Tom song to put in my playlist.

SILVER - Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band. (Although I'm sure there is more than one Dan in Miami)  A nice rolling wave that doesn't break until it reaches the shoreline.  Pretty.  Great to know that David Marks is on this one.

BRONZE - The Shadows.  I like this, not too surfy.  Ripples.

TIN - The Atlantics.  Cool surf instrumental.  Good stuff, but not something I'd come back to.  Don't even require floaties for this one.


Really hoping Lee weighs in.


Thanks Tom.



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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #34 
GOLD Midnight Oil.  That's a very high theremin-y sound.
SILVER Miami Dan. 
BRONZE Atlantics
TIN Shadows


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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #35 
Tom, re: your votes, is that a tie for Bronze or a tin for the Oils?

Enquiring minds want to know. 
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liamios

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Reply with quote  #36 
Gold: “Bombora”, the Atlantics (1963) - The drums become very hypnotic half way through the song, with the whole melody washing over you in the process. Very enjoyable. 
Silver:  “Wedding Cake Island”, Midnight Oil (1980) - When thinking of Midnight Oil, surf instrumentals are not what immediately jumps to mind, however I genuinely didn't mind the song, and found the melody to be enjoyable! I assume while Peter Garett was busy with the NDP they wanted to keep writing songs even while he wasn't around? Not sure about that, someone will have to let me know. 😉
Bronze: “Kon-Tiki”, the Shadows (1961) - I wasn't aware the Shadows had been around so long. 61! The song certainly isn't one of their catchiest, but it's not terrible.
Tin: “High Surf”, Miami Dan & The Hayes Street Band, featuring David Marks (2018) - Felt like a rather standard, 12 bar blues progression that got quite repetitive after the second listen. 
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Deb#1

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Reply with quote  #37 
Ding, Dang is it Sunday already? Wooo

Gold - Midnight Oil - Wedding Cake Island
Silver - The Shadows - Kon Tiki
Bronze - Miami Dan and the Hays Street Band - High Surf
Tin - The Atlantics - Bombora

All these song were very good. Miami Dan's was so close to The Shadows I really had to choose for second. Kon Tiki seemed a little more surfy to me. High Surf was too orchestrated in spots.

I wonder how The Atlantics got their name if they are from Australia.

I had a chance to meet and greet Dick Dale a few years ago. I asked him if he preferred the guitar to the drums as I was aware of his early drumming on the Tarabaki. He said piano. It put him in a whole new light for me. Afterword I wondered if he could play surf piano music.

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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #38 
Thanks for catching my oversight, Darren. "Wedding Cake Island" is my Tin. I've added that to my votes above. 
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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #39 
Thanks to bonnie, DAN, liamios, and Deb for coming in with your votes and comments as we came down toward the finish line of this past week's battle of the surf rock instrumentals. 

The final votes are in and it looks like the Aussies led the way this week, garnering the top two spots:

Gold -- "Bombora", the Atlantics, 43 points (7 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze, 3 tin). This high-energy surf rock instrumental led the way throughout most of the week. No wonder it's a classic in Australia, and now more of us have become fans too. 

Silver -- "Wedding Cake Island", Midnight Oil, 40 points (6 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze, 5 tin). Propelled by a late surge in votes (four of the final six voters gave it their gold vote), this song edged ahead of our bronze choice to earn silver. Nearly everyone was surprised to hear a surf rock instrumental from Midnight Oil, and most liked it!

Bronze -- "High Surf", Miami Dan & the Hayes Street Band, featuring David Marks, 35 points (1 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze, 3 tin). Few people gave this lovely instrumental their top pick, but it came in solid overall with the most silver votes and the second most bronze votes. For much of the week it ran in second place until the late surge for Midnight Oil. 

Tin -- "Kon-Tiki", Shadows, 32 points (1 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze, 4 tin). A solid enough instrumental but not quite surfy enough for most voters. The Shadows are one of the all-time most popular instrumental groups from England with a lot of hit songs from the 60s and 70s, so perhaps they'll make a return appearance in some future battle. 

Before I pass the torch over to Darren for any final comments and analysis, here are a few more surf rock instrumentals for your listening pleasure to wrap up this past week's battle:





And, finally, this contemporary surf rock instrumental, "Sir Surfalot", from Elliot Easton's Tiki Gods (featuring Nick Walusko from Brian's band on guitar) which was featured in one of our battles a couple years ago:



Please be sure to check out and support Al Forsyth's new battle of the lead vocals for our Week 33!
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #40 

Well done, Tom.

And congratulations on selecting four acts (and four songs) with no previous Battle history.

The scores have been posted on the ‘Season IX’ post, which currently sits almost halfway down page 2 of this forum.

‘Bombora’ is the ninth Australian record to win a week here. (See last week’s summary for the full list.)

It is the sixth time from those nine weeks that an Australian record has also won the Silver. 

‘Kon-Tiki’ is a chance of making the Tin Play-Off.


Please keep supporting our hosts. 

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