Both of the Rip Chords' mid-'60s albums are combined onto one disc on this 30-song CD, which despite the large number of tracks, lasts just over an hour. While this does offer almost everything the Rip Chords ever recorded, it's probably too much for everyone except completist surf and hot rod collectors. Although the hit "Hey Little Cobra" was one of the greatest Beach Boys/Jan & Dean soundalikes, much of the rest of their output, unfortunately, reminds you that they weren't as good as Jan & Dean, let alone the Beach Boys. None of the songs exclusive to disc are outstanding, some of them displaying an unexpected taste for doo wop and even country music. All things considered, Sundazed's more selective Summer U.S.A.!: The Best of the Rip Chords is a better deal, especially as it includes all of the group's best and most successful tracks, far more comprehensive liner notes, and three previously unissued cuts. Also note that one of the better songs, Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston's ballad "Beach Girl," has notably inferior sound quality on this release, sounding as if it was mastered from a source running at an irregular speed.
Hey Little Cobra and Other Hot Rod Hits/Three-Window Coupe
The Rip Chords
Hey Little Cobra and Other Hot Rod Hits/Three-Window Coupe Review
by Richie Unterberger