Gary "Pig" Gold Reviews Three Various Artists CDs (A.I.P. Records)
By: Gary "Pig" Gold
Various "Essential Pebbles, Volume Two"
Various "Exitos A Go Go: 60's Teenbeat South of the Border"
Various "SurfBeat Behind the Iron Curtain, Part Two"
[A.I.P. Records, PO Box 7112, Burbank, CA 91510]
Bless those beloved crazoids at Bomp! Records for not only keeping a full twenty-eight (Count 'em!) volumes of the original "Pebbles" series defiantly in print -- on VINYL no less -- since 1979, but more recently for collecting the best of these fuzz-drenched, one-hit wonderfuls onto a series of meticulously compiled, lovingly annotated compact discs. While "purists" may dare claim transferring such arcane slabs of two-minute plastic as these into the digital domain ultimately defeats the entire ultra-lo-fi Pebbles esthetic, look at it this way: Each and every pop, tick and scratch inherent in those original 45 RPM anti-gems is even more audible when transferred to the once pristine CD format.
All the better then to thrill to "Generation" by the Jelly Bean Bandits ("look to the skies -- the flying saucers will always be there!" someone, or something, screams as this track begins), "More Than I Have" by the Inmates (1966 New Jersey State Battle Of The Bands winners, I'll have you know), the Four Fifths' shockingly Mersey-esque "If You Still Want Me" (correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't these guys become The Rooks?!!), and a whopping fifty-two other bursts of Farfisa-drenched, sub-Kink 'n' Yardbird genius.
Meanwhile, the terrifyingly delicious "Exitos A Go Go" -- not to mention the almost-stereophonic subversion of "SurfBeat Behind the Iron Curtain" -- proves once and for all that America the Paisley did NOT hold the corner on this pock-faced genre during the holy years '64 thru '69. One listen to Con's Combo (of Argentina), Cornel Fugaru & Sincron (genuine Rumanian frat rock!), Los Sicodelicos (from Chile), George & the Beathovens (Polish-- and with such a cool band name to boot), Ruben y Sus Emocions (whose "Mari y Juana" may very well be the first Mexican drug song!), Los Canarios (from -- you guessed it -- the Canary Islands) and especially Uruguay's legendary Los Shakers will make good arguments that there wasn't a single teenager -- not to mention garage! -- immune to the Beatles or Stones ANYWHERE in the, um, civilized world during those dear dead days. Why, included herein's even a Russian cover of the British Beatles' German version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand": now THAT'S "world music"!
Please, though, if a second volume of "Teenbeat South Of The Border" is imminent, try to license at least one or two tracks from the pride of CBS (Mexico) Records, the fantabulous Teen Tops: their "Tutti Frutti," like much of the rest of the dozens upon dozens of delights on these three superb collections, absolutely defies rational explanation.