Wipe Out (instrumental)
|Single by The Surfaris|
|from the album Wipe Out|
|Recorded||1962, Cucamonga's Pal Recording Studio|
|Label||DFS, Princess, Dot|
|Writer(s)||Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson|
|The Surfaris singles chronology|
"Wipe Out" is an instrumental composed by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, and Ron Wilson. It is a twelve bar blues first performed and recorded by the Surfaris, who were elevated to international status with the release of the "Surfer Joe" and "Wipe Out" single in 1963.
The single was first issued on the tiny DFS label (#11/12) in January, 1963. It was reissued on the tiny Princess label (#50) in February, 1963, and finally picked up for national distribution on Dot 45-16479 in April, 1963. Dot reissued the single in April, 1965 as 45-144.
Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson wrote the tune almost on the spot, as a suitable B-side was needed for the intended "Surfer Joe" single. In late 1962, while the band was in Cucamonga's Pal Recording Studio recording the single, one of the band members suggested that a gimmick sound indicating a wipe out off a surfboard be emulated. The suggestion was made that during the introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound, imitating a breaking surfboard, should be made. This followed by a manic voice babbling, "ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out." The spoken voice at the beginning of the song is the voice of the band's manager at the time, Dale Smallin.
The afterthought track spent four months on the national Billboard chart in the autumn of 1963, reaching #2 and kept out of the top slot only by Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips". The smash hit "Wipe Out" returned to the Hot 100 in 1966, reaching #16 in Billboard and #9 in Cash Box in its second national chart run, landing at #63 on the Year-end chart. This time it is said to have sold around 700,000 copies in the US to add to its original million-plus. Meanwhile, original A-side "Surfer Joe", sung by Ron Wilson, only attracted airplay in the wake of "Wipe Out"'s success, and peaked at #62 during its six-week run. Ron Wilson's energetic drum solo for "Wipe Out" (a sped-up version of his Charter Oak High School marching band's drum cadence) was beaten out on malt-shop tables all over the country, helping the song become one of the best-remembered instrumental tunes of the period. Drummer Sandy Nelson issued different versions on different LPs. "Wipe Out", in 1970, peaked at number 10 in the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The single spent a grand total of 30 weeks on the Hot 100.
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||5|
|German Singles Chart||46|
|UK Singles Chart||5|
|US Billboard Hot 100||2|
|US Hot R&B Singles||10|
Use in popular culture
Following the 2001 death of television personality Morton Downey, Jr., news reports and obituaries incorrectly credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out." As of 2010, Downey's official website continued to make this claim but it has been changed to state he "also played major roles in the production of the hit surf music era songs Pipeline and Wipeout."
In science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series, the DNA sequence for a deadly virus is saved in a computer folder entitled "Surfaris". A character immediately recognizes this as a reference to "Wipe Out" and determines that the virus will wipe out all of the Neanderthals on a parallel universe's Earth. She then rewrites the DNA code to a non-lethal version and calls the file "Surfer Joe" in reference to the A-side of "Wipe Out".
The Fat Boys feat. The Beach Boys version
|Single by The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys|
|from the album Crushin'|
|B-side||Fat Boys - "Crushin"|
|Released||July 10, 1987|
|Format||7" vinyl, 12" vinyl|
|Genre||Old-school hip hop, Surf rock|
|Writer(s)||Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson|
|Producer(s)||Brian Wilson, Albert Cabrera, Tony Moran & The Beach Boys|
|The Fat Boys & The Beach Boys singles chronology|
The music video begins with an announcement of a boxing match, the Fat Boys and assist of which is interrupted by an uprising. In the following scene, the Fat Boys load up a car with swimsuits and then drive off, thereby driving the Beach Boys with a beach buggy through the city. Both bands go around the city in the direction of a beach, while they perform the song and animate the inhabitants of the city to come to the beach. The beach is one of the Fat Boys tries to lift a heavy weight and is laughed at by two women because of failure, another playing volleyball and another surfing. The Beach Boys on the other hand scratching vinyl records. In the course of the video all celebrate a beach party.
- Wipeout! 3:50
- Fat Boys - Crushin' 3:40
- Wipeout! (Wave I) 6:05
- Wipeout! (Wave II) 5:43
- Fat Boys - Crushin' (12") 5:38
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||12|
|UK Singles Chart||2|
|German Singles Chart||30|
|Dutch Top 40 Singles Chart||13|
|Belgian Singles Chart||17|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||2|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
Other cover versions
- The Ventures covered "Wipe Out" on their albums Let's Go (1963) and The Ventures On Stage (1965).
- English punk band the Toy Dolls recorded a very fast version of "Wipe Out" on their second studio album A Far Out Disc in 1985.
- In 1993, Animal from The Muppets covered the song for the album Muppet Beach Party. Released as a single in 1994, it reached number 38 in the UK Singles Chart. A music video was created to promote the single and the album.
- Jan & Dean's live cover of "Wipe Out" from an earlier television appearance was featured on their 2001 album Live In Concert: Surf City.
- Stuff! Good Guitar Players Should Know: An A-Z Guide to Getting Better, Wolf Marshall
- The Internet Movie Database entry for The Surfaris
- "Wipe out in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Wipe out in German Chart". Media control. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Surfaris". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "The Surfaris awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Wiping Out a Myth". Orange County Register. 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- "Morton Downey Jr. Dies, Combative Talk Show Host Was An Icon Of The 1980s". CBS News. 2001-03-13.
- Morton Downey Jr.'s Home Page
- Music video at Youtube.com