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The Lonely Surfer

Jack Nitzsche

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Album Review

Jack Nitzsche had one brush with greatness early in his career, apart from his job as Phil Spector's arranger — "The Lonely Surfer," a classic of the surf music genre. This album attempted to extend his solo career beyond that of a one-hit wonder, with mixed success. The best cuts are songs that are in the same surfer mold: "Puerto Vallarta," "Baja," and "Beyond the Surf." Nitzsche had a gift for melodramatic, ascending arrangements that rose to dramatic crescendos, underpinned by rumbling basslines and clanging percussion. Less successful are a super-slow take on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and remakes of easy listening and soundtrack hits such as "Ebb Tide" and "More," which are given a precious sheen of strings. The one exception is a rather rocking version of Elmer Bernstein's "Magnificent Seven," which sounds like it was made for dancing. This is a pleasant, if not exceptional, set of music for fans of surf instrumentals.

Biography

Born: 22 April 1937 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An important behind-the-scenes figure in popular music for 40 years, composer/songwriter/producer/arranger/studio musician Jack Nitzsche served a crucial function in 1960s rock & roll, bringing a trained musician's know-how to bear on the work of more instinctive rockers in a way that complemented and deepened their work. The Rolling Stones and Neil Young in particular benefited from his talents. Nitzsche was also...
Full Bio
The Lonely Surfer, Jack Nitzsche
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  • $17.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Pop/Rock, Surf
  • Released: 1963

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