Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Davie Allan & The Arrows - Blues Theme (1967)

Davie Allan

Providing the soundtrack to numerous biker and teen exploitation movies in the mid- and late '60s, Davie Allan & the Arrows bridged the surf and psychedelic eras. Their driving, basic instrumentals featured loads and loads of fuzz guitar, as well as generous dollops of tremolo bar waggling and wah-wah. The guitarist and his band first made their mark with the minor hit "Apache '65," a version of the Shadows/Jorgen Ingmann's instrumental classic "Apache." Hooking up with notorious exploitation movie producer Mike Curb, the Arrows provided the soundtracks to numerous B-movies on the Tower and Sidewalk labels; their greatest success, "Blues Theme" (from The Wild Angels starring Peter Fonda), made the Top 40 in 1967. Curb abandoned racy movies for the Osmonds and purged MGM Records of their psychedelic acts, but the Arrows continued to play and record for various labels during the '80s and '90s. A slew of reissues during the new millennium broadened the group's appeal, and they returned in 2003 with Restless in L.A.

Davie Allan & The Arrows - Blues Theme (1967)

"Blues Theme" is arguably the most famous track by Davie Allan & the Arrows. It was recorded quickly on Mike Curb's Tower label for the soundtrack to the move Wild Angels -- Peter Fonda's first biker flick and just before Easy Rider. With wild, screaming fuzz guitar and a surf beat, it signifies the sound of the L.A. Strip in 1967 and embodies -- in its two-minutes-and-ten-seconds -- all the cultural elements of its soundtrack -- the waning surf scene that traveled it, the muscle cars that roared through its lanes, the dawn of acid-crazed hippies floating down it, and the speed-drenched outlaw biker tribes who haunted it. The rest of the album is a literal pastiche of tracks that were issued under other names, slightly doctored for and from other soundtracks -- there were seven between the Arrows' first album, Apache '65, and Blues Theme -- or simply renamed. These include "King Fuzz," an instrumental remake of "The Twirl" by Harley Hatcher; "Theme from the Unknown," which had several names in earlier releases on 45 rpm's, and "Fuzz Theme," that was later re-titled "The Young World," for the soundtrack to Teen Rebellion.

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