That's New Pussycat! Surf Tribute to Burt Bacharac
That's New Pussycat Surf Tribute to Burt Bacharach New as this collection is, it isn't the first instrumental treatment of Burt Bacharach's songs. There have been several, including an album of Moog synthesizer arrangments entitled (what else?) Switched On Bacharach. Nor is this the first tribute to Bacharach by Various Artists. But this IS, as far as we know, the first tribute to Bacharach by instrumental surf and garage bands. The idea of surf and garage bands paying homage to arch-hodad Burt Bacharach is, of course, crazy. Loco. Pazzo. John Barry, okay, but Burt Bacharach? In the 1960s, when surf pioneer Dick Dale was down at the Southern California beach blasting out raucous dance music for Gidget and Moondoggie, Burt Bacharach (ten years Dale's senior) was up in Hollywood writing sophisticated pop tunes for their parents. When surf music made a comeback in the 1990s, Bacharach was collaborating with Elvis Costello. Still, nobody can deny the catchiness of Bacharach's melodies. And it's not crazy, but actually a clever idea, to remove those melodies from Hal David's cloying lyrics (you know, like: 'Pussycat, pussycat, I love you. Yes I do' or: 'LA is a great big freeway. Put a hundred down and buy a car'). Hey, you know, without Tom Jones or Dionne Warwick singing, those songs are actually kinda cool! That is new, pussycat! You might think that Bacharach's quirky melodies would be a challenge for the bands participating here. Surf and garage music aren't known for their mastery of syncopation, after all. The standard surf beat is a straight 'double on the two, single on the four'. Bacharach, on the other hand, is all about odd syncopation. And yet, listen for yourself: everybody pulls it off, and some even do so brilliantly.