CK DELUXE MAGAZINE

Various Artists
Hold the Vocals...A Tribute To The Instrumental
Hits of the 50's 60's 70's

It wouldn't be difficult


Various Artists
Hold the Vocals...A Tribute To The Instrumental
Hits of the 50's 60's 70's

Some of Seattle's more offbeat rock acts contribute to Hold The Vocals, a tribute album dedicated to well-known instrumentals- most originated by bands with memorable singers. So although there are takes on such wordless rock classics as "Telstar," "Rumble" and "Sleepwalk," the concept extends to include Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds," Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross," and Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain." The obscurity of the contributing bands and the strange sonic uniformity of the tracks might lead a person to believe that Hold The Vocals is a put-on. But credible documentation exists on more than a few of the musicians. The Squirrels (who shoehorn "Hawaii Five-O" and "Take Five" into a 90 second freak-out) are well-known pop jokesters in the Pacific Northwest, and there are cult followings for Bill Wolford's Head (the psychedelic outfit who attempts "Moby Dick) and d.A. Sebasstian (performer of "Rumble" and the brains behind this entire project). It's just that vocalists are such a defining part of who most bands are that their absence tends to smooth out the differences between artist. Which is part of what this entertaining little compendium is about- showing how, out of their usual context, both Dave Brubek and Edgar Winter can each swing their own way.


Various Artists
Hold the Vocals...

Go-Kustom Records

Ahhh, summer's just about here and if you want something to put in your CD player that doesn't require too much mental space, put on Hold the Vocals... This CD offers instrumentals from the '50s, '60s and '70s that independent artists have chosen to cover. A must-have for music fans of all styles and genres, this album is a great compilation of tracks that for the most part you'll recall. For the songs that you don't remember, it offers a great topic of discussion over dinner. Some songs are done straight ahead as the originals. Starting the disc is the Squirrel's kitschy take on the theme from Hawaii 5-0 appropriately called: "Hawaii Take 5-0." It starts off with a throaty voice singing, "Try not to hold on to problems that upset you, Mother can I..." This tongue-in-cheek nod to The Doors' "The End" then segues into the Dave Brubeck Quartet & Morton Steven theme song. Most songs you'll recall from your formative years in your mom's wood-paneled station wagon like Freedirt's version of "Telstar" (The Tornados) [trust me, you'll know it when you hear it]. Think back to your kindergarten years and you'll remember Hotbutter's "Popcorn." Redone by the group Swedish Whistler, the song has a funny electronic flavor. Some classic instrumentals from the '50s like Link Wray's "Rumble" as re-done by d.a. Sebasstian simply smokes. Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk" done by Adam & His Ballard Playboys is ultimately dreamy. Beach Boys' fans will enjoy Mike Bristow's version of "Pet Sounds." If you want something on the funkier side check out Elvis X's take "Outaspace" (Billy Preston). Some unique twists are Clang Quartet's funky electric version of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" and Bill Wolford's Head's electronic spin on Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" which samples "A Whole Lotta Love." Ending the disk is Peter Aldrich's version of Funkadelic's psychedelic and eerie "Maggot Brain."

-Hope Lopez


GLASS EYE

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Hold the Vocals (Go-Kustom)

I really enjoyed this tribute -- a unique mix of seventeen instrumental hits of the '50s, '60s and '70s covered by today's bands and artists. Some of the classic hits covered are "Telstar," "Hawaii 5-0," "Popcorn" and "Pipeline," alongside more unusual fare like Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," Winter's "Frankenstein," the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" and Fleetwood Mac's "Albatros." Many of the artists doing the covering here have rebuilt the songs with different styles and changed the atmosphere of the song; others have stayed right on course. To its credit, much of the music included has a surf or rockabilly quality to it. It all adds up to a fun release; one you don't have to take too seriously! Featured artists include The Squirrels, DA Sebasstion, Bill Wolford's Head, Alonzo "Blind Pineapple" Phillips, and the Exploding Pintos. Ed Shimborske Jr.



THE NIGHT OWL

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Hold the Vocals
A Tribute to the Instrumental Hits of the 50's, 60's & 70's

(GO-Kustom)


Tribute CDs are usually a hit or miss affair. This one's a bit different. Rather than concentrating on one artist, or a specific genre, Hold the Vocals salutes the instrumental tunes that were hits during the 50's, 60's and 70's, and overall, the results are quite good. Most of the bands featured here will be unknown to the masses, but don't let that keep you from checking out this disc. Independent/obscure artists are often just as enjoyable (sometimes more so) as their über-moneymaking peers. As for the artists being covered here, you can't get much more variety: how about Captain Beefheart, Henry Mancini, Led Zeppelin, Funkadelic, & The Beach Boys for starters?

The Squirrels get the award for the most innovative tune (or tunes, in this case) for their mixing of "Hawaii Five-O" and Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." This may seem like an unlikely combination, but it really works. Waterdogs turn in a fine cover of Henry Mancini's theme from the Blake Edwards movie, Experiment in Terror. Ever wonder what The Allman Brothers Band would sound like as a surf band? Check out Hugh Jones' cool take on "Don't Want You No More" and you'll get a good idea. Jones never strays too far from the classic ABB sound, but he gives you an idea of what they could sound like.

Bill Wolford's Head serves up a funked-up rendition of Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," only instead of the drum solo, Wolford throws in orgasmic moans and samples of "Whole Lotta Love." Link Wray, who is probably best known as the man responsible for inventing the power chord, is ably represented here by d.A. Sebasstian's with his version of Wray's "Rumble." Things quiet down a bit on tracks by Adam & His Ballard Playboys (who contribute a beautiful cover of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk") and Michael R. Bristow (with his acoustic version of The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds").

Over the course of the next three tracks, this CD is all over the musical palette--from rockabilly (The Exploding Pintos' cover of Jeff Beck's "Jeff's Boogie") to electronica (on Swedish Whistler's version of Hot Butter's "Popcorn," complete with the sound of popping corn at the end) to ambient trance (on Trance to the Sun's ethereal take on Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross"). On Alonzo "Blind Pineapple" Phillips' "Pipeline," the song sounds like something out of a spaghetti western instead of the surf classic made famous by The Chantays and later by Dick Dale and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The only two tracks that don't measure up are Elvis X's unrecognizable cover of Billy Preston's "Outtaspace" and Clang Quartet's butchering of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein." The drum solo sounds like it's being played on coffee cans Maybe that's the idea. The rest of the songs on the CD are at least worth a listen, and in most cases, more than one. If you're a fan of cover songs or any of the bands covered here, Hold the Vocals will make a great addition to your collection.

© 2001 Steve Marshal


SHREDDING PAPER

V/A -" Hold the Vocals...
A Tribute to the Instrumental Hits of the 50's, 60's & 70's"
CD 17/56:34


Looking for a side trip? Not easily embarassed at parties? Get off on strange cover? You've found Nirvana! This collection sports 17 covers of songs you've heard before. A few straight covers, but most meander through the backwater of your mind. It's like hearing the world through a blender or dirty windows. Amazing things happen when you groove to "Hawaii Take 5-0" from the Squirells or the loungy "Telstar" from freedirt. The trance version of Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" sends shivers through your neurons, as does Alonzo "Blind Pinapple" Phillips flighty treatment of "Pipeline" by The Chantays. On the heavy side of your nightmare are Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" from the Clang Quartet, and Funkadelic's chilling "Maggot Brain" by Peter Aldrich. Not for the tame hearted. - Phil


V.A.
"Hold the Vocals...A Tribute to the Instrumental Hits of the 50's 60's 70's
"

[6/2001]

I'm 42.  When I was a kid growing up in New York, I remember whistling with my Dad in the car as we listened to AM radio.  Listening to this collection covers of of songs from my childhood and youth - alternately scary, amusing, reverent, and satirical - took me straight back to the front passenger seat of that '68 Ford sedan.  Seventeen different takes on familiar, nearly archetypal American instrumental melodies of yore; the only exception being an instrumental version of Captain Beefheart's Frying Pan, originally a song with vocals from his earliest A+M singles sessions.  Some, few, of the versions suffer from deitude - aping the original songs.  You'll hear varied reactions to the following: Hawaii Take 5-0 (a collage of the tv show theme and the Brubeck standard), Mancini's Experiment in Terror, Link Wray's Rumble, Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick, Hotbutter's Popcorn, The Chantay's Pipeline, and scads of other well-known songs.  The vast majority of these tracks smack of originality, courage, and confidence.  Go-Kustom is an interesting label in Seattle, piloted by d.A. Sebasstian, which has on its roster many other interesting artists, as well as several other good tribute discs (Johnny Cash, The Who..) worthy of your ear.


Phil Dirt - Reverb Central

Various Artists 
Hold The Vocals... A Tribute to the Instrumental Hits of the 60's 70's 80's ***

Looking for a side trip? Not easily embarrassed at parties? Get off on strange covers? You've found Nirvana! This collection sports 17 covers of songs you've heard before. A few are straight covers, but most meander through the backwater of your mind. It's like hearing the world through a blender or dirty windows. Amazing things happen when you groove to "Hawaii Take 5-0" from the Squirrels or the loungy "Telstar" from freedirt. The trance version of Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" sends shivers through your neurons, as does Trance To The Sun's flighty treatment of "Pipeline" by Alonzo "Blind Pineapple" Phillips. On the heavy side of your nightmare are Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" from the Clang Quartet, and Funkadelic's chilling "Maggot Brain" by Peter Aldrich. Not for the tame hearted.

Picks: None
Label: GO-Kustom GKR 008-2 CD
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THE SQUIRRELS "Hawaii Take 5-0" ****

WARNING:
The surgeon General has not determined the latent damage caused by the sinisterly strange in audio. Listen at your own peril! Take yur average expectation of a medley of "Hawaii 5-0" and "Take Five," and scrap it, cuz the Mighty MIGHTY Squirrels. have slaughtered not only these two venerable old workhorses, but any notion of your sanity as well. The horn section works overtime merging the two melody lines mid-line - [H5-0] Duh-duh-duh-dah- [Take 5] tah-TAH-tah-tah-tah... - utterly amazing! If you recall the Lawndale merger of "Take Five" and "Whole Lotta Love," it goes one better, and the horns supplanting the expected guitars makes it even more surreal. The acid test of successful weirdness is when three of the engineers at KFJC all came in with maximum grins when I played it... awesome.
Lounge Jazz Near Surf Instrumental
Performance: Notable Production: Effective Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Miserable Without It
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ERIK 4-A AND FRIENDS "Frying Pan" ***

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
's "Frying Pan" gets a traditional harmonica blues treatment, full of drive and sixties British Blues sound. Pretty darn cool.
British Blues Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production:Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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THE WATERDOGS "Experiment In Terror" ***

Henry Mancini
's moody number finds yet another venue in yet another arrangement. The lead is fuzzy, but it's nothing like Davie Allan's version. Lumbering with anticipation and sadness, "Experiment In Terror" flows very smoothly, with the guitar delicately delivering an emotional appeal for the fear to end. Very cool.
Dramatic Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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HUGH JONES "Don't Want You No More" ***

Hugh Jones
does a flippant version of the Allman Brothers' instro. Smooth and listenable, but not particularly unusual.
Blues Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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FREEDIRT "Telstar" ***

Even in the darkest regions of space, there are trendy bars sporting bad lounge. I don't know what else I can say about this beyond that. Bouncy, cheesy, and without redeeming social value. In other words, unpretentious white bread fun.
Lounge Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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BILL WOLLFORD'S HEAD "Moby Dick" ***

Led Zeppelin
's "Moby Dick" gets the seventies disco guitar treatment, while retaining the heavy handed rhythm section. Grin bearing psychedelic dance floor weirdness.
Seventies Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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D.A. SEBASTIAN "Rumble" ***

This is a pretty straight treatment of Link Wray's classic. Not a spec of originality, aside from the swirl of the keyboard accompaniment, which borders on space rock cheese. Still, it sports quite a bit o' the old edge-n-thump.
Rock Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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ADAM AND HIS BALLAD PLAYBOYS "Sleep Walk" ***

This is a purist treatment of Santo and Johnny's "Sleep Walk." The arrangement remains relatively unscathed, while the soul is less evident. There's more of a sock hop beat to it.
Rock Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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MICHAEL R. BRISTOW "Pet Sounds" ***

Acoustic guitar delicately plays a solo rendition of the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds." While quite pleasant, it's not very interesting, and the "Unplugged" trend is a decade past.
Unplugged Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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PETER PARKER "Haunted Castle" ***

This is a thick and headachy rendering of the Kingsmen's "Haunted Castle." Aside from the dungeonesque qualities, it's just a throb away from boring, and the vinyl scratches from the source are quite annoying.
Dungeonesque Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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THE EXPLODING PINTOS "Jeff's Boogie" ***

Routine guitar blues. The Exploding Pintos don't take this classic any further. Just a cover.
Blues Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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SWEDISH WHISTLER "Popcorn" ***

Missing the coy strangeness of Hot Butter's original, this is tame and almost lamenting. The orchestral keys give it an O.M.D. quality, but that's as far as the innovation goes.
Synth Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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TRANCE TO THE SUN "Albatross" ***

Peter Green
's amazing "Albatross" is regenerated in a floaty trance arrangement. Born of sleepcore, trance attempts to sedate, hoping for an out-of-body experience. Instead, it bores all but the true believers. Yawn.
Sleepcore Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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ALONZO
BLIND PINEAPPLE PHILLIPS "Pipeline" ***
Drenched in an echoey wash of third eye sensory environs, the Chantays' "Pipeline" becomes a natural vehicle for a dream time journey. Mystical, white light drugged out, and flighty. All that, and yet there's still the sense of the surf. File under "hmmm."
Third Eye Surf Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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ELVIS-X "Outaspace" ***

Oddly interesting, this space rock interpretation of Billy Preston's "Outaspace" drifts between bad disco and space rock ethics. I can decide if it's awful or cool.
Disco Sludge Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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CLANG QUARTET "Frankenstein" ***

From the bowels of synthesized death metal disco comes ultra dark sludge. Quite nasty, intense, and humorous. Must be the result of some form of outercourse.
Death Sludge Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have
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PETER ALDRICH "Maggot Brain" ***

Echoes of damp dungeons, post surf guitar, psychedelic swirls, demented dreams, and harsh respect for Funkadelic. Maybe a little like what would happen if Voodoo Child or the Bevis Frond got a hold of it. Cool.
Dungeonous Psychedelic Instrumental
Performance: Natural Production: Average Stereo Gotta Have It Factor: Great To Have