2 LPs on 1 CD, "COMPETITION COUPE" (1964) and "SURFIN' WITH THE ASTRONAUTS" (1963).
Personnel: Bob Demmon, Jon Patterson, Rich Fifield, Dennis Lindsey (vocals, guitar); Steve Kreisman, Steve Douglas (saxophone); James Gallagher (drums).
Liner Note Author: Billy Miller.
Recording information: RCA Studios 2, Hollywood, CA (05/06/1963-12/03/1963).
Photographer: Ken Whitmore.
Bear Family Records continued exercising its infatuation with American rock & roll, reissuing the first two albums by the Astronauts (listed in reverse order of release in the title here). The group's first album, Surfin' with the Astronauts, has the greater reputation, being a kind of minor off the cuff classic, cut in just two days by a band that was brand-new to surf music. But the material on Competition Coupe, if lacking the appeal of something done on the fly, and a lot more calculated in the process, is just as enjoyable and a little more ambitious, at least as far as the singing (admittedly, never this group's strong point) and the selection of material. In any case, it sounds great on this CD, and the 51 minutes of surf and car songs here are a delight, even if they're not groundbreaking. And the annotation about the band and the circumstances behind the two albums is fascinating. ~ Bruce Eder