Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Champs

Well, The champs had 8 hits, 7 of which were instrumental, and I have 4 of them. These came from singles and from compilation albums. At some point, after Tequila, Seals and Crofts were in this band, and so was Glen Campbell.

What The Champs did was they kicked off a whole subgenre of group, called the “instrumental combo.” It seems that “combo” refers to an instrumental group, so the “instrumental” in the description is superfluous, but there you go. Included was The Shadows, The T-Bones, The Markettes, and, biggest of all, The Ventures. But The Champs were there first.

The Champs:

Tequila – An ode to the joys of inebriation, seems. An instrumental of course, one of the most celebrated in the rock and roll repertoire. But it doesn’t need words to get the message across (except, of course, for the refrain of “tequila!” at the end of every “verse.” The song reached number 1 in the winter of 1958. Covers abound of course, but none work all that well. The Ventures played with the chord structure, avoiding the melody entirely.
El Rancho Rock – They get a Mexican flavour in here, but don’t ask me how they do it. From the summer of 1958.
Too Much Tequila – I bet. The title plays on the success of their big hit of course, but they don’t really sound the same. Apart from being an instrumental with the same instruments by the same group. From the winter of 1960,
Limbo Rock – The limbo, a big thing after the twist. But it didn’t inspire a huge number of hit records. There were a few versions of this; this version, lyric-free, was a hit in the summer of 1962; Chubby Checker sang words and put into the top 10 in December of that year.

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