The Challengers

25 Greatest Instrumental Hits

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Drummer, manager, arranger, producer Richard Delvy was not hesitant about jumping on new trends. From their surf roots, Delvy's Challengers moved on to collaborations with Billy Strange and Lloyd Thaxton, as well as albums aimed at hot-rod enthusiasts and "sidewalk surfers." 25 Greatest Instrumental Hits is not a career-spanning retrospective, rather another attempt to garner more radio and television airplay with covers of "all-time" hit songs. Despite coming from such a cynical origin, 25 Greatest Instrumental Hits is a terrific album, arranged tastefully and subtlety by Delvy and rhythm guitar player Ed Fournier. They expand the Challengers sound with punch horn and organ parts and some beautiful, tremolo-laden guitar. Some of their versions cannot compare to the originals -- including a remake of their first hit, "K-39," but there are plenty of highlights.