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Various Artists

Destination Summer Sea Cruise

Review by Gary Hill

This CD collects a number of vintage tracks all about summer sea cruises. I bet you figured that out from the title, right? This includes some rockabilly, old school rock and roll, jazz, contemporary pop, surf guitar sounds and more. While it's not all my kind of thing, there are plenty of tracks that work very well for me here.

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Track by Track Review
Frankie Ford- Sea Cruise
The sounds of a sea ship are heard at the start of this. The cut fires out into a classy old-school rock and roll groove from there. This is bouncy and fun. It's a vintage classic.
Ricky Nelson - A Long Vacation
This is a stripped back old-time rocker. It's another catchy tune.     
Billy Mure's Supersonic Guitars - By The Beautiful Sea
There is a silly kind of vibe to this thing. It's entertaining. This instrumental definitely feels dated, but it's effective nonetheless.          
Earl Grant - Beyond The Sea
I dig the classy, jazzy groove on this song a lot. The organ and piano lend some different flavors. This is another cool instrumental piece.
Karl Hammel, Jr.- Summer Souvenirs
This has a 1950s pop sound meets early rock and roll vibe to it. It's entertaining but a little too vanilla for my tastes.
Floyd Brown - Thunderbird Beach
A bouncy rock and roller with vintage textures, this is one of my favorites on this disc. It holds up well even today for me.
Vince Maloy - Soda Pop
This old-school rocker is another that has a great energy and groove. It's another highlight of the set for me. I really like the guitar solo on this a lot. It's nothing unusual or unique, but it's tasty.
The Ivies - Sunshine
A slow doo wop styled rock and roller, this is not bad, but it's not my kind of thing.
Ricky Leigh & The Twins - Seashore Stomp
This has a bit of a rough-around-the-edges element to it. It's old school rock and roll. Somehow it feels a little campy, and that works well.
Speedy West - Rippling Waters
This slow moving instrumental has a lot of Hawaiian music built into it. It's packed full of pedal steel guitar.
Bobby Gray - There's Gonna Be A Party (On The Beach)
Another fun 50s rocker, this isn't a standout, but it does rock.
Chubby Chops & The Twisting Cyclones - Summertime
This song has a lot of cool built into it. It's a bit understated. It reminds me a little of "Love Potion Number Nine." The whole tone and mood of the piece is cool. It's one of my favorites here.   
Pete Cummins & The Redeemers Four - The Surfin' Freeze
Here we get another energetic rock and roller. This has a definite garage rock vibe at play.
The Polaras - Breaker
A surf guitar instrumental, this is very classy. Then again, I'm a big fan of surf guitar.      
Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys - Teach'em How To Swim
A rockabilly number, this is pretty stripped back. It has plenty of country music in the mix.
Mitchell Torok - Teenie Weenie Bikini
A doo wop styled number, I like the saxophone on this a lot. The whole track sounds dated, but it's fun.
Dick Haymes & Eileen Watson - It's A Lovely Day Today
Old time pop music with plenty of jazz in the mix, this is smooth and entertaining.       
The Keil Isles - Sea Cruise
Opening with the sound of a sea port, we get a classy rockabilly rendition of the song that opened the set. I think I prefer this one, but both versions are good. The rocking groove here is just so classy, and I love the guitar sound.           
Joey Dee & The Starliters - Twistin' On A Liner
Rock and roll with contemporary pop music built into, this is bouncy and fun. It's a bit over-produced for my tastes, though.
Big Jay Mercer with Joe Anderson & The Groovers - Bermudas
An energetic rock and roller, this is a lot of fun. I love the wailing saxophone, too.
Marlon 'Mad Man' Mitchell & The Rocketeers - Bermuda Shorts
This is another on the classy rock and roll side.
Harry James & His Orchestra - Sleepy Lagoon
This slow moving jazz number has a healthy helping of classical music stylings in the mix. It's another instrumental track. It feels like it could be the backdrop for a crooner, though.
The Strollers feat. Artie Malvin - Moonlight Cocktail
Jazz and pop of the era merge on this tune. It's fun, and delivers up some variety. It's not a highlight for me, but I do like it a lot.
Billy Vaughn & His Orchestra - Sail Along Silvery Moon
This instrumental seems to merge old-school rock and roll with jazz trappings. It's another classy piece of music.
Myron Lee & The Caddies - Magic In A Summer Night
Vintage country meets rock and roll concepts are on display here. This has some hints of surf guitar, too.
The Techniques - Moon Tan
A mid-tempo vintage rock and roller, this has its charms, but I wouldn't consider it a standout. For me the doo-wop vocals don't help because I'm not a fan of that kind of thing.
Mina & I Solitari - Tintarella Di Luna
A Latin styled number, this is a fun romp. It has plenty of old-school rock and roll in the mix. It has a playful dropped back section mid-track, too.
Helen Dixon - The Breeze (That's Bringing My Honey Back)
I really like the meter on the lead vocal here. This has plenty of jazz and rock and roll in the mix. It's a fun romp that's actually one of the standouts for me.
Don Drummond & The Skatalites - Cool Shade
This instrumental is built on a cool jazz jam. This is bouncy and very entertaining.
Marvin Rainwater - Hot And Cold
This is a cool retro rocker with a good energy and groove.
Jack Scott - Cool Water
More of a stripped back rockabilly ballad type of tune, this makes me think of Elvis Presley to some degree.
The Shells - Sippin' Soda
Old time rock and roll of the 1950s doo-wop variety is on the menu here. This is okay, but not a standout.
Les Paul & Mary Ford - In The Good Old Summertime
Bouncy and energetic, this is fun stuff.         

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