Various Artists – Surfbeat Behind The Iron Curtain (Planetary Pebbles, Vol. 3) (1999)

FrontCover1.jpgPart one of this series got a little flak because about half the tracks were recorded by bands that were not from behind the Iron Curtain. No such problem with the follow-up; all 24 cuts were done by groups from East Germany, Russia, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Poland between 1963-1967. Many of them are instrumental, and despite the “Surfbeat” in the album title, it’s striking how much they’re influenced not by surf music or the Ventures, but by the Shadows. Those galloping rhythms, the tremolo-laden sound with hints of country and Hawaiian music — it’s beyond a doubt that the Shadows, through radio broadcasts or clandestine means, were getting heard in Eastern Europe. Of course the recording conditions and execution were more primitive in these socialist lands, which puts on a layer of spookiness that gives it a certain charm.

Karel Duba

There are also some vocal numbers that show the more expected British Invasion influence, like the Olympics (from Czechoslovakia) singing in very clumsy English on “Story of the Girl with the Bass Guitar”; the East German Team 4, who sound like a credible American folk-rock garage band; and Romania’s Mondial, who do a song that quite resembles Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Just Like Me.” Oddly, the T. Schumann Combo (from East Germany) do a pretty faithful and competent cover of Booker T. & the MG’s “Hip Hug-Her.” (by Richie Unterberger)

In other words: This album means fun, fun and much more fun !

BackCover1.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Singing Guitars: Torpedo 1.48
02. Singing Guitars: Perfida 2.19
03. Hungarian Ensemble: Konzerta marson 2.45
04. Satelliten; Scary night 1.51
05. Karel Duba & Guitarmen: Winnetou 2.28
06. Sputniks: So much love 1.36
07. Mefistos: I Am Coming Home Baby 2.57
08. Taifuns: The West Wind 2.33
09. Olympics: Story Of The Girl With The Bass Guitar 1.56
10. Spuzniks: Spanish Gypsy Dance 1.52
11. Karel Duba & His Big Band: Steps In The Sand 2.50
12. Theo Schumann Combo: Puszta Beat 2.21
13. Cornel Fugaru & Sincron: The Jodler From Gorj 2.32
14. Studio 6: Party Time 2.44
15. Illes: Oh mondd 2.23
16. Hungarian Ensemble: Rollin Rollin 2.23
17. Team 4: Ich hab ihr ins Gesicht gesehn 3.40
18. Sincron: Play With The Maiden 2.56
19. Olympics: Mary Mary 2.18
20. Theo Schumann Combo: Hackepeter 2.48
21. Amigos: Komm gib mir deine Hand 2.21
22. George & Beathovens: Lez blaznihevo basnika 2.35
23. Mondial: Omule 3.00
24. Mondial: Orbul 3.27

AllTracks

*
**

Theo Schumann Combo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.