Sound — 10
Surfbeat was recorded before the big surf explosion (it was actually one of the reasons for it). It's tracks are number by Duane Eddy, The Fireballs, Dick Dale and other groups who formed the roots of surf music, paving the way for guys like The Astronauts and The Chantays. The rhythm guitar is now and quiet, Glenn Grey's elad guitar is dry, loud, and heavy on reverb. Jim Roberts's piano and organ work adds an occasionally bluesy texture. Richard Delvy's drumming is typical jazzy surf work. The sound quality is good, first rate for 1963. Two tracks are in mono, the rest in stereo.
Lyrics — 1
This is an instrumental album. Unless you count the "Aaaaah" chorus on "Miserlou," there's no lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
The Challengers were formed by the keyboardist, drummer, and bassist of the famous, but short lived Bel-Airs. Two new guitatists were added, plus a saxophonist and voila! This album, their debut, was recorded in three 1/2 hours. It was the first all instrumental surf album, it ended up as th best selling of the genre. The group went from playing local fairs and schoo, dances and soon had their own TV show. The album is full of early surf classics and great playing. Highlights include the boogiefest "Ramrod," the eerie blues of "Vampire," and a great cover of Dick Dale's "Miserlou," on the best in fact. Glenn Grey's guitar and Jim Robert's keyboards really bring the music to life. It's definately one of the best surf albums of all time. Of all classic surf records, this is the big must have.