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Surf & Instrumental Music

Instrumental Rock'n'Roll

Before the British Invasion, instrumental groups owned an immense popularity in the U.S. and throughout the world. Those bands were wild, young and savage and spread the true spirit of Rock'n'Roll music into the worldwide music scene. Most bands acted completely without vocals and added at least one instrument taking over the 'singing' part - mostly hot electric guitars. And Teenagers kept on dancing – who would need lyrics anyhow?! Recent years have seen a huge amount of CD reissues in that field and a great amount on vinyl! Nevertheless, the few adult exponents of that style, Link Wray, Duane Eddy and The Ventures, should not be neglected! 

Woodies, Boards and the Fiberglass Jungle - Roots of the California Surfin' and Hot Rod Scene

At this stage we could just copy the wonderful books about the California music scene written by John Blair (Check 'em out in our mailorder) Well, we're not talking about Surf music sung with nice voices like The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean did, we're talking about the real Surf style and that is? Bingo! Instrumental Surf! A broad trend that dominated grassroots teenage music in America during the years 1961-1965, actually creaks down into four distinct phases. It started as early as 1961-1962, with such transitional records as 'Mr. Moto' by The Belairs (on Felsted label), 'Stick Shift' by The Duals (on Sue label), 'Moon Dawg' by The Gamblers (World-Pacific label), 'Church Key' by The Revels (on Impact), and 'Fiberglass Jungle' by The Crossfires - later to become The Turtles - (on Capco) which had what later would be called a surf sound, but no overt connection with surfing. This was instrumental music, a direct outgrowth of the hard rock, sax-and-guitar instrumentals that were 1959's biggest trend (Duane Eddy & The Rebels, Johnny & The Hurricanes, The Viscounts, The Ventures, The Rock-A-Teens, The Royaltones, The Fendermen etc.), a style taken over by local dance bands everywhere.

Dick Dale - The Guitar Legend

The catalyst that turned these thousands of instrumental bands into surf bands was Dick Dale, whose Eastern-influenced, staccato guitar sound with reverb was designed to simulate the feel of being on a surfboard riding pipelines and tubes. Dale's popularity at Southern California dances became immense in 1961 and 1962, and he was soon imitated by a whole wave of surf bands including The Chantays, The Rumblers, The Tornadoes, The Pyramids, The Marketts, The Surfaris, The Challengers and Dave Myers & The Surftones. This music established the audience for surf-related music, in California at least. Dale perfectionized his instrumental reverb sounds throughout the sixties in creating amplifiers (Fender Showman) and guitars for Leo Fender's company.

California Style

But it took Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys to give it a commercial cast to which the rest of the world could relate. They pioneered surf lyrics in songs that were about going to the beach, surfing, partying, etc. In short, they had built surfing into a universal metaphor for being young and having fun. Their inspiration, however, had come from The Regents - Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara Ann - and of course Jan & Dean, whose truly pioneering 1959 records such as 'Baby Talk' (on Dore label) had introduced the California style of falsetto and doo-wop-derived nonsense phrases used heavily in the early Beach Boys records. The vocal surf bands who followed made up the golden age of surf music. Even Hollywood followed with easy Teenage Beach Party movies starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon with tremendous commercial success. 

   
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Spellbound & The Mullet Monster Mafia: Clash Of The Irresistible (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDDBR20066
 

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(2013/Drunkabilly) 14 Tracks - Spellbound vs. The Mullet Monster Mafia - Rockin' Psycho vs. Brute Surf!

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The Sentinals: Sunset Beach - The Best Of The Sentinals (CD)
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(1999/Del-Fi) 27 furious surf classics (58:24). Original 1960s Del-Fi masters with 8 page notes and discography by Bruce Ciero.  - Original, new warehouse stock copy with small mark in barcode (see picture).(Bear Family Records)

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(2016/RockBeat) 15 tracks (39:53) - US Pressing - Recorded 1996.

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(2017/NPR) 20 Tracks 2017 release from Herbert Hooke's solo Project "The Cruncher". Surf-Guitar Music at its best.

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(2017/Stag-O-Lee) 32 tracks (74:40)  - Two vinyl volumes on one CD into a 32 track monster! The first 16 tracks come courtesy of London based music fanatic, DJ and dedicated 45rpm record hound, Diddy Wah. Two City of Angels record demons combine to unearth 16...

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Ace Cannon: The Tuff Sax Of Ace Cannon - Two Original Albums (CD)
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(2017/Jasmine) 28 Tracks - Original Hi recordings, 1961-1962! The wild Mississippi sax man with the Memphis Beat! Superb collection of alto saxophone and a must for instrumental fans of Jazz, Pop and Rock'n'Roll music! MM/Bear Family Records

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Al Caiola: The Caiola Connection (2-CD)
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(2016/Jasmine) 50 Tracks - Original 1950s RCA Victor, United Artists and Savoy recordings! The Creative World Of Al Caiola!

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Maxwell Davis: Batman And Other Themes By Maxwell Davis - The BGP Sound Library Presents (CD)
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(2006/ACE) 13 tracks (33:09) recorded by the legendary Los Angeles producer Maxwell Davis in 1966. - 1966 saw an upsurge of interest in Batman as the ABC TV network started broadcasting, in primetime, a brand new series of the adventures of Batman and Robin. Within...

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The Spotnicks: The Spotnicks 1997 (CD)
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(1997/Riverside) 16 tracks

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Jacques Denjean & Son Orchestre: The Big M - Madison Time (CD)
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(2016/Magic) 25 Tracks - Original French Polydor recordings 1961-1964! Perfect for your 1960s Dance Party Contest!

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Peter Williams: Sunday Night Inn (CD)
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(2016/PW) 18 tracks

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David Marks: Back In The Garage (CD)
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(2016/Lion & The Pigeon)) 11 tracks - A+ Surf and Garage Rock 'n' Roll stuff, gfeaturing the A-Bones as the backing band!

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Link Wray: Link Wray & His Raymen - Music From The Motion Picture 'Pulp Fiction' (CD EP)
Art-Nr.: CDRE501
 

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​(1994/Roller Coaster) 4 Tracks - Original Swan recordings 1963-1966 that were used in the movie but missed on Quentin Tarantino's original motion picture soundtrack album 'Pulp Fiction'! This is the alternate Pulp Fiction soundtrack! 4 tracks, 2 songs, means issued...

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(2016/Wild) 12 tracks, their new fantastic Garage Surf album! Rocks the meat off your bones!

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The Ventures: The Ventures' Christmas Album (CD)
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(2016/Real Gone) 24 tracks. There are some albums that should never go out of print. And by the beard of St. Nick, the greatest instrumental rock 'n' roll Christmas record of all time is one of them! 1965's The Ventures' Christmas Album was and is an absolute...

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The Fantastic Baggys: Tell'Em I'm Surfin' (CD, Japan)
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Various: Golden Summer Vol.3 (CD Japan)
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(1989/Capitol Japan) 26 original master tracks (59:74) with lyrics. Originally sealed new stock. ​ - superb, high quality series 'catch a wave' price while stock last!****** (Bear Family Records)

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Various: Golden Summer Vol.2 (CD Japan)
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(1989/Capitol Japan) 27 original Liberty master tracks (62:48) Originally sealed, new stock copy. Top Sound quality plus lyrics!

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The Beach Boys: For The Girls On The Beach (CD)
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(1993/Capitol Japan) 16 tracks

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(1991/Capitol Japan) 16 tracks

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(1991/Capitol Japan) 20 tracks - original sealed new stock copy

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(1990/Capitol Japan) 12 tracks - original sealed , new stock copy.

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(1995/Go Cat Go) 30 Tracks - A Japanese rarity that includes Wray's favorite Swan and Epic material 1959-1964!

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Frank Virtue & The Virtues: Frank Virtue & The Virtues (CD)
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​(1991/Virtue Records) 22 Tracks - Rare self-produced Rock'n'Roll classic!

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The Ventures: On Stage - Around The World (CD Japan)
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​​(1990/EMI Japan) 10 tracks - Stereo. Very rare original first pressing - jewel case - original sealed!

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(1984/EMI Toshiba) 20 Tracks - Original Liberty recordings 1962-1964! Rare Japan CD! Sealed Stock Copy!

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The Shadows: Live In Japan - Pops In Japan (CD, Japan)
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(1991/EMI Toshiba) 26 Tracks, rare Japanese CD reissue! Factory sealed!

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Dick Dale: Live On The Santa Monica Pier (2-CD)
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(2016/Floating World) 30 tracks. EU Pressing. Recorded 1996 (CD 1) and 1994 (CD 2)

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(Surf) 60 Tracks - Anthology 1960-65!

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(2008/Crazy Love) 18 Tracks - French band that emerged from the late great Lone Star Trio (Rockabilly) to The Astro Zombies (Surf Punk & Psychobilly)! Produced by P. Paul Fenech!

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(2016/Guitaracula) 13 tracks - Fantastic Guitar Surf Rock 'n' Roll album! A+ and highly recommended!

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Brian Setzer: Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! (CD, EU Version)
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(2011/Surfdog) 11 Tracks (34:43) - Digipak. special price - while stock last

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The Beach Boys: The Beach Boys Singles Collection (3-CD Box, Ltd.)
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(1993/Capitol Japan) 70 Tracks, Complete singles 1961-1968 - Contains a 40 page picture sleeves booklet plus a 34 page booklet with liner notes in Japanese language! Extremely rare limited edition Japan CD box!

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(2016/Jasmine) 32 Tracks - Hot Instrumental Hits 1956-1962!

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(2014/Sam Sam Music) 24 Tracks Fantastic instrumental guitar Rock'n'Roll sixties series! Great tunes by different artists from various countries! Recommended not only to fans of great instrumental guitar music!

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Various: Guitar Mania Vol.27 (CD)
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(2015/Sam Sam Music) 24 Tracks Fantastic instrumental guitar Rock'n'Roll sixties series! Great tunes by different artists from various countries! Recommended not only to fans of great instrumental guitar music!

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Various: Guitar Mania Vol.28 (CD)
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(2015/Sam Sam Music) 24 Tracks Fantastic instrumental guitar Rock'n'Roll sixties series! Great tunes by different artists from various countries! Recommended not only to fans of great instrumental guitar music!

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Various: Guitar Mania Vol.29 (CD)
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(2016/Sam Sam Music) 21 Tracks Part 29 of a fantastic instrumental guitar Rock'n'Roll sixties series! 21 great tunes by different artists from various countries! Recommended not only to fans of great instrumental guitar music!

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Various: Guitar Mania Vol.30 (CD)
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(2016/Sam Sam Music) 24 Tracks Part 30 of a fantastic instrumental guitar Rock'n'Roll sixties series! 24 great tunes by 9 different artists from various countries! Recommended not only to fans of great instrumental guitar music!

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(2016/NPR) 20 Tracks, Herbert Hooke's instrumental project, Surf instrumentals recorded in his home studio in Wilhelmshaven, Germany!

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(2015/NPR) 18 Tracks, Herbert Hooke's instrumental project, Surf instrumentals!

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(2005/NPR) 19 Tracks, Herbert Hookes instrumental project, Surf instrumentals from the tiny North German label NPR Records - Highly recommended! MM/Bear Family Records​

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The Trashmen: Comic Book Collector (CD)
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(1995/NPR) 11 Tracks - Reissue of the 1988 vinyl album! The Trashmen reunited!

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Counterpoint: Now And Then - Anthology 1986-1994 (CD)
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Jerry MacNeish: Quite A Surf Party (CD)
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Jerry MacNeish: Jerry MacNeish Plays The Fireballs Songbook (CD)
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​(1994/NPR) 21 Tracks - Great adaption of Fireballs instrumentals into Surf sound! 

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Floyd Cramer: On The Rebound - The Nashville A-Team Collection (2-CD)
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(2016/Jasmine) 66 Tracks - The Floyd Cramer Story 1954-62!

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The Ventures: Twistin' 62 (2-CD)
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(2016/Jasmine) 62 Tracks - 5 original LPs plus bonus tracks!

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(2016/Jasmine) 24 Tracks - Both 1961-1962 Mercury albums were recorded together with the cream of Nashville's studio musicians containing the greatest guitar instrumental hits now reissued together on one CD!

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Takeshi Terauchi: Nippon Guitars (CD)
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(2011/Big Beat) 25 tracks. Instrumental Surf, Eleki & Tsuigaru Rock 1966-1974.

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Link Wray: Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDCHD1460
 

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“This Ace album has it all. If you only have to have one Link Wray album this is it.” Bobby Gillespie  Listening to this record gives me the same feeling as Ritchie Valens’ brilliant instrumental ‘From Beyond’ – recorded in 1958, the same year ‘Rumble’ was...

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Various: Guitar Player Presents: Legends Of Rock Guitar, Vol.1 - The 50s (CD)
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Laika & The Cosmonauts: Absurdistan (CD)
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(1997/Fazer Records) 13 Tracks - Surf Instros from Finland - Rare CD!

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The Ventures: EP-Collection Vol.3 (CD)
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(1998/See For Miles) 26 tracks.

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Various: Les Geants De La Guitare - Sixties Guitar's Giants (4-CD)
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The Shadows: The Final Tour - Essential Collection (2-CD+DVD)
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