Monday, March 22, 2010

The Crossfires- Limbo Rock



"The Crossfires were among the first groups to introduce the Limbo on campus at Dartmouth College and Boston University. They have since been in great demand, and play as many as four of five college dates a week in their busy schedule"- (From the liner notes).
A novelty record by an Ivy League party band is an odd thing to find in your grandparent's record collection. Maybe it was my Dad's, or they didn't know what they were buying (seeing how clean the vinyl is)? Or maybe Grandma and Grandpa needed something to liven up their parties now that their only son was off at college? It's hard for me to picture them listening to this.
Family mysteries aside, this IS a very entertaining record, but rather than invite people over for drunken party games, I tend to listen to this record when I'm cooking dinner (got to make that more fun, you know). So domestic...
What really strikes me is the immediacy and energy of these brief songs (nothing over three minutes...perfect) and how they alter the atmosphere in the room as soon as the needle drops. Nothing is overdone and it never goes over the top. Things stay relatively relaxed...making you party in a more dignified manner...but not so much that it seems stuffy. It's still loose and partially wild. Get crazy and mellow out at the same time.
Perfect party music (and cooking music too).
Plus it's also just a great instrumental rock n' roll record.

1) Everybody Limbo
2) Limbo Rock
3) Nimbo Limbo
4) Limber up Limbo
5) Polynesian Limbo
6) Limbo Stick Limbo
7) Koko Limbo
8) Bim Bam Limbo
9) Fuzzy Wuzzy Limbo
10) Southern Fried
11) Viva! Olay! Limbo
12) Jamaica Farewell (Limbo)

http://www.mediafire.com/?x6e6n1akxxtim2o


18 comments:

  1. Great blog!!

    Can you re-up this one? Thanks!

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  2. My dad was Les Philbrick! So glad you enjoy the record! I miss my Dad. Thank you for posting!

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    1. This album deserves a CD issue, and I have a friend here in England who runs a reissue label. After 50 years the material would be in the public domain, but that's not how this label operates - they like to do things 100% legitimately, and use original tapes where possible, rather than dubbing from records. Do you know who should be contacted about possible reissue?

      Best regards,

      Simon Euan-Smith

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  3. woah, cool! did they have any other records? this one is sooooo good.

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  4. I do not believe they cut any other records. I have another record my Dad cut with, I think, some members of the Crossfires. I ran across an article about them today. I think my Dad would be so pleased you cook to his music! He loved to cook and grill. Never had a better steak or burger than his.

    Would you mind sharing where your Grandparents ended up? I bought an album off of eBay from a seller in California. Thought it was cool that it traveled so far.

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  5. They probably got it when they were living in Rochester, NY, or if it was my Dad's, he went to college in Wittenberg, OH.
    Just cooked to it last night as well, never gets old. What's the name of the other album?

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  6. ...and the sound of sizzling meat perfectly compliments these tunes.

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  7. I have to locate the record! I remember my Dad had a stack of them at one point. Is there a way to post a picture for your blog? Found an article on The Crossfires you might enjoy.

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  8. hmmm...got a link to the article? sounds cool...

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  9. Is there any way you could put me in touch with Les Philbrick's son (see posts above?) I've a friend here in England who runs a reissue label, and he could well be interested in putting this album out (it's certainly worth a CD issue). After 50 years the material would be in the public domain, I guess, but the label likes to do things 100% legitimately, and use original tapes where possible.

    Best regards,

    Simon Euan-Smith

    e-mail: simonoldtimers@googlemail.com

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  10. Hello, Simon! Unfortunately he only ever contacted me here, so I don't have any contact info. Great idea though! If by chance i hear back, I'll let you know.

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  11. I'm working on a magazine articles on the "other" Crossfires, who later became The Turtles - they began as a surf instrumental group, and I thought it would be nice to mention that anyone liking surf instrumentals should check out this album - even though they're not the same Crossfires! But where were these Crossfires from? - the sleevenotes aren't totally clear. Were they students at Boston University, or Dartmouth College? - or should I play safe and just say they were from New England? Any ideas?

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    1. Article now in January issue of Record Collector magazine! - inevitably it was cut a bit, but did get in a scan of the sleeve and a few paragraphs plugging the New England band and their great LP, and commenting it was well worth a reissue. So wait and see! Incidentally, if anyone likes to get on the University of New Hampshire website, and enter under Search "Les Philbrick Crossfires" there's an item about the band issuing the LP (so obviously at least one member attended that university). The piece clearly incorporates a photo of the band - frustratingly I can't open the article, but maybe some of you will have better luck. Should be worth reading! It would be great if this album could get a reissue - also from 1963, I've always loved the Chantays' hit, "Pipeline," but I found the "Pipeline" LP very disappointing. For me,"Limbo Rock" blows it out of the water!

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  12. Are these the same Crossfires that eventually evolved into the Turtles? It kinda sounds like the Turtles Crossfires!

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    1. Simon Euan-SmithJune 15, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      No, they are two different bands. I initially contacted The Turtles via their website, as I'd heard they were not the same, and received the brief (but clear!) reply - "Yes. Not us." Subsequently I was delighted to pick up the Limbo Rock LP (terrific!) at an affordable price, and the sleeve lists the names of the band members. Incidentally, both sleeve and label show Limbo Rock as the second track on Side 1, but on my copy at least it's the opener.

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  13. If anyone wants copies of this lp contact me with subjectline limbo rock to anthonyarena68 at gmail and I can obtain a copy for them. I also investigated that if wasnthe same crossfires that evolved to the surf band crossfires and then he turtles. Either the limbo rock is psydeonyms....or they are not the same. Sounds like someone's daughterb here knows and they aren't the same band as the turtles. But ironically these records were both issued in 1963....

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