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The Tornados

I don't know why but I'm going through this "60s instrumental Surf Rock" phase right now. This path has led me to an English group called The Tornados. Ever heard the song "Telstar"? That's them.

They use a lot of keyboard/organ and shuffling work on the drums to create a weird, spacey, almost Asian-influenced kind of sound. Not surprisingly, it sounds precisely like what you'd imagine people in the 1960s (the first Space Age) thought Space Music should sound like. The song "Telstar" was in fact named after a satellite.

Amid today's morass of different genres & styles of music, I'm called back to Surf Rock for its charming brightness and the way the songs follow a simple, guitar- or keyboard-driven melody line, dispensing with the verse-chorus-verse-chorus formula of other rock of the era. Surf Rock makes you feel like you're going somewhere, riding a wave, perhaps?

There's also something heavily nostalgic about it, like reading an old Superman comic book or something. You're listening to something that was popular during a very specific time of America's history--the pre-hippie, pre-psychadelic 60s, just as Brit-Pop was invading the country. In fact, Surf Rock probably lost out to Brit-Pop the most. Anyway, Surf Rock was cool to a relative handful of rock fans, flowering for a very short period of time, and therefore it transports you right back to that period of time, even if you weren't actually ALIVE during it.

Feeling Nostalgia for a time that you haven't even experienced, or perhaps haven't yet experienced? Now there is something to ponder.

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