Tony and the Initials: Taboo (1961)

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Tony and the Initials: Taboo (1961)

It's easy to forget just how popular guitar instrumentals were in the years before the Beatles, a band which did their own (Cry for a Shadow) when they got a chance to record in Hamburg.

There were many threads to the instrumental genre also: surf, country, space-themed (Telstar leading the way) and of course ballads.

This one by Tony Eagleton and his band doesn't easily conform to any of those styles, it has a rather more exotica quality about it.

Eagleton and his pal Don Evans were British and had auditioned to be in Marty Wilde's band but when that didn't work out they emigrated to New Zealand in 1960 and established themselves with Eagleton's War Cry.

And this was the B-side by the Cuban writer Margarita Lecuona, which explains its particular quality.

The Initials may have heard one of the many recorded versions of it (Lecuona wrote it in the Thirties) but it didn't deserve to be relegated to a B-side.

Taboo (often recorded as Tabu) is one of the 32 guitar instrumental tracks on the Frenzy compilation Themes from Beyond the Empty Coffee Lounge which follows the 33-track Themes from an Empty Coffee Lounge of five years ago.

Screen_Shot_2021_08_08_at_3.33.07_PMAs the title of this new collection suggests, some of the New Zealand artists here head a bit further out than the surf and the sky: Peter Collins and His Deconaires go on a dark country highway with Fire Devil; Max Merritt and the Meteors offer Valley of the Souix (sic); Ken Strong and John Stafford-Bush enter with El Cumbanchero; the Nusonics get away their own kind of Telstar with Mariner IV; Gray Bartlett goes to the Harem . . . 

Yes, there is surf (Wipe Out, Surf Rider), space, souped up cars (Hot Rod, Drag Strip) and pop here from the likes of the Invaders, Peter Posa, the Mystics, the Four Fours and more.

Delighted to hear the Pictones with Hashish here, but especially the phenomenal implosion of surf and psychedelic rock by the Music Convention with Belly Board Beat.

It's a monster!

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You can buy this compilation from good record stores.

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For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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