The Astronauts

Surf Party

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This compilation of 20 songs from their 1963-64 heyday features the best of their sleek instrumentals and raucous R&B-influenced numbers. "Competition Coupe" (written by surf scenesters Christian and Usher) stands up well to early numbers in the same vein by the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, but covers of classics like "Around And Around," "Twist And Shout," and "Susie-Q" are lead-footed. And the group original "You Gotta Let Me Go" is a transparent ripoff of the Beatles' "I'll Be Back." The instrumentals on this collection have a gloriously supple power, though. Besides "Baja," highlights include the instrumental themes to the obscure films Surf Party and Ride The Wild Surf, the latter of which was written by Roger Christian, Brian Wilson, and Jan Berry.

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