THE TRASHMEN: The Best Of The Trashmen (clear orange vinyl)
The Trashmen’s defining moment, 1963’s “Surfin’ Bird,” is perhaps the ultimate lightning-in-a-bottle record. Their first true studio recording, it captures the group’s interminable energy and mastery of live performance. But it also is the culmination of spirit and experiment that turned it into something new and, from the perspective of 50 years, unique.
The sound wasn’t one that you could build a career by repeating, but it hasn’t mattered; the swaggering performance has proven to be a confident, hustling agent for the band and their history, leading the remaining members on tours all over the world in recent years and gaining them repeated exposure on television and in movies.
This collection shows them to be variously a first-rate surf band, a great protopunk outfit, solid rockers with the raw essence of the earliest originators of the sound, and adept enough to work in some comedy and country. This scope of ability and interest is probably the true basis of the band’s following now. But “Surfin’ Bird” has more tenacity than other bands’ entire better-performing catalogs, and with it, the Trashmen created a work that is arguably today the most relevant release from that storied decade.
Surfin’ Bird • King Of The Surf • Tube City • My Woodie • Sleeper • A-Bone • Dance Bird Beat • True Love (previously unissued) • Bad News • Malaguena • Ghost Riders In The Sky • Whoa Dad! • Ubangi Stomp • Walkin’ My Baby • Bird Bath • Reelin’ & Rockin’ (previously unissued)