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Cobra Beach

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Album Review

A mix of recent live tracks, archive recordings, and new studio recordings by the duo at the heart of the original surf and hot rod outfit from the 1960s called the Rip Chords, Richie Rotkin and Arnie Marcus, with help from Mitch Schecter (who produced this set), Freddy Brog and Bobby Scammell, and occasionally Amy Lynne and Tony Tuttle, as well, Cobra Beach is a fun if hardly innovative touch of surf nostalgia. A couple of the new songs, "Red Hot Roadster" and "Hot Rod Holiday," sound like they could have been on the radio 40-plus years ago, as does the surging instrumental title track. The real treasure here, though, is the inclusion of the 1959 demo "Lights Out," the first known recording of Rotkin and Marcus working together. It's a fun and funky little chunk of history and a nice example of early surf doo wop.


Formed: 1961 in California

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

Contrary to popular belief, the Rip Chords were actually a real group, a duo featuring Ernie Bringas and Phil Stewart, overdubbed into a bigger group sound by producer Terry Melcher and his partner, Bruce Johnston. After two failed singles, Melcher and Johnston took over the lead singing reins (and most of the backups as well) and the "group" suddenly had its first hit with "Hey Little Cobra." When original member Bringas left to study the ministry, Stewart brought in two new members -- Rich Rotkin...
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Cobra Beach, The Rip Chords
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