Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Marlow Stewart and the Illusions: Earthquake!!/The Frantic Illusions: Ooh Poo Pah Doo # III (Variety Production VP-201)

This 45 has a curious history. It was put together when this Bellflower, California surf band hooked up with a DJ who offered the group their own radio show if they agreed to record a record with his son. The band's drummer, Tom Brown, told "Surfin' Guitars" author Robert J. Dalley that only one mike was used to make the recording. So, if you hear this and it sounds noticably crude, that's why. But it kind of adds to the charm.....

You certainly can't fault the band for trying, especially on the instrumental "Earthquake!" It opens appropriately enough with chaotic noises, then settles into a rockin' groove in which Marlow and the boys whip out some tasty surf licks before it settles back into the same chaos that the song began. Also appropriately, the record sounds like it was recorded in someone's basement.

The Illusions alone run through "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" (mysteriously labeled "#III" for some strange reason) and give it the usual frat rock paces. For someone who could only run the band through one mike, it sure sounds like they spared no expense on crowd noises. And they have better fidelity than any of the songs!

Uhh.....I should explain at this point that I'm not downing this record at all. I dig it a whole lot, crudeness and all. It's still got a lot of whomp to it and that's what counts. But some of you may not appreciate that, especially in this age of "crystal-clear" (sterile, more like it) technology.
So, let's just say that if you love crude-sounding records, no matter how crude, then shoot your rating of this record to the sky! It's your call.

NOTE: This originally came in a really cool picture sleeve, which, wouldn't you know, I don't have.

1 comment:

Ratfinkie said...

I just found this 45, and a another one by "Marlow Stewart and his 4 Guitars" at my local Thrift Town for 29 cents each. Thank you for this post.