Exotic Rock



Exotic rock, the original jungle music, really means the "wild man" tendency among those making records in their heyday. Rock, rockabilly, the novelty impulse of 45s, crazed artists, bongos, and the popularity of Tarzan on big and little screens all made jungle-themed records inevitable. Every New York Dolls fan knows the Cadets' classic "Stranded in the Jungle," while The Big Game Hunters' funky "See the Cheetah" is the enduring high mark for DJs.

One mixed blessing was 1963, The Year of the Monkey, meaning the dance known as the Monkey. It replaced 1962's Twist as the leading dance-rock thing to do. A torrent of singles cashed in on both "The Monkey" and related film and television icons, such as Tarzan's pet chimp. Some are just basic twist-like instrumentals with a primate reference in the title (exotic in name only), while others go to some length to stick out like an opposable thumb. But the very best, vine-swingin'est, "monkey" singles epitomize what crazy 45 fun is all about.

Exotic rock enjoyed a revival of sorts, in the 1980s and 1990s, when a trove of Las Vegas "stripjoint" recordings came to light on a series of compilation LPs. While mainly inferior and never intended for commercial release, the best cuts do add to the idiom. Other examples are where you find them. In later rock, for instance, Sam the Sham made his persona if not career a bit of rock exoticism. The Guess Who's "Clap for the Wolfman" may qualify, as "horror rock" has everything in common with the spirit of jungle rock.

Buying: LPs of exotic rock per se are too few to be identified as such where records are sold, so seek them out. Exotic-rock 45s are much easier, and 45 dealers can help track them down.



Exotic Rock LPs

Rating
8Georgie Auld & his Hula-gans: Hawaii on the Rocks; Jaro JAS-8003 (Hawaii rock)
7Leonard Rosenman: Beneath the Planet of the Apes ST; Amos AAS-8001 (exotic rock/spoken/apes; "March of the Apes"; mostly spoken, has "The only good human is a dead human" speech)
6Tony Smith & the Aristocrats: Maharajah Man; De Tone DT-2901; 1974 ("featured at Fred Allewgretti's 4 Horsemen Lounge," Chicago)
6Theme from Tarzan; Tifton 78007; 1966 ("official TV Tarzan licensee")
6Various: Jungle Exotica; Strip (compilation)
6Various: Jungle Exotica Vol. 2; Strip ST-076 (compilation)
Various: Las Vegas Grind Vol. 1; Strip 001 (compilation)
Various: Las Vegas Grind Vol. 2; Strip 002(compilation)
8Various: Las Vegas Grind Vol. 3; Strip 003 (compilation; exotic rock/rock/beatnik)
8Various: Las Vegas Grind Vol. 6; Strip ST-078 (compilation; exotic rock "Safari"/beatnik "One More Time Part Two"/mid-east rock "Turkish Coffee"/soul-jazz organ "How About It Part One"/mod funk "Same Ole Beat"/hot rod "Jaguar")


Partly Exotic-Rock LPs

Rating
8Hal Aloma Sings Island Songs; Dot DLP-25451 ("The Hula Twist"--not on Japanese Victor part-reissue)
7Paul Bonneau et son Gran Orchestre: Telecineradio Volume 6; Chappell Mood Music [no # or date] ("Foret Tropicale/Tropical Forest"; made in France)
7Comparsa Universitaria de la Laguna: Magic Trumpet; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1634/MKL-1634; 1965 (Latin rock/Latin twist/Mexicali/mod/exotic rock; "Zoologico Negro")
8Dick Dale and his Del-Tones: Surfers' Choice; Capitol/Deltone T-1886 ("Misirlou Twist")
7Dick Dale and his Del-Tones: King of the Surf Guitar; Capitol T-1930
8Wade Denning & the Port Washingtons/Uncredited: The Amazing TV Themes; MGM/Leo the Lion CH-1023; 1966 (children's LP)
The Dials: It's Monkey Time; Time 2100; 1963
7Irving Fields Orchestra: Twisting; Everest SDBR-1134/LPBR-5134; 1961 (Latin twist; "The Hula Hula Twist" features steel)
4Bill Haley & his Comets: Rockin'; MCA CB-20015 (compilation from Decca)
9Dickie Harrell: Drums and More Drums; Capitol ST-1502
7The Hawaiians: From the Famous Beach Hotel; London/Deram DES-18015 ("Caravan"; steel guitar/mod/exotic rock)
8Harry Hoomele & his Island Orchestra: Hawaii Calls; Grand Award GA-237-SD/GA-33-405 (Hawaiian/exotic rock; original jacket face has blue at bottom)
8Iawalani Kahalewai: An Hawaiian Happening; Sounds of Hawaii SHS-5029 (partly exotic rock)
6The Kit Kats: The Very Best of the Kit Kats; Virtue LPV-102067 ("Quiet Village" & "Stranded in the Jungle")
7Ray Martin: Comic Strip Favorites; RCA Camden CAS-2102; 1966 ("Tarzan"; mod/Batman/crime/exotic rock; w/Dick Hyman)
6The Sandro Merlini Quintet: A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; Sunway 9915 ("Me He Manu Rere"; c. 1967; cruise-ship lounge act; Australian/Italian/exotica)
7The Shangaans: Jungle Drums; EMI Studio 2 SMC-74-113 (or UK as TWO-109); 1965 (South African/exotic rock)
7Carl Stevens: African Sounds; Mercury PPS-6030 ("Tiana-Tche--The Jungle Roars"; African/exotic rock/exotica/mod twist; partly on Various: Hit Motion Picture Themes; Mercury SR-60810)
8The Surfaris: Play; Decca DL-4470 (surf)
5All This and Ginny Tiu; Era ERA-EL101 (kid funk/Chinese/piano/exotic rock; "Inka Dinka Doo")
5The Ginny Tiu Revue; Monument MLP-8030 (kid funk/Chinese/piano/exotic rock; "The Tiu Rock")
8Nilo Toledo: Jazz in the Sun; Hoctor HLPS-4204 (funky rock/funk/disco/Afro-Beat/jazz dance/Mexicali; covers '70s hits; "Bungle in the Jungle" instrumental w/animal sounds)
4The Tornadoes: Telstar--The Sounds of the Tornadoes; London LL-3279 ("Jungle Fever")
8Uncredited: New Original TV Themes--Green Hornet--Tarzan--The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Cameo/Wyncote SW-9173
8Unknown [Thai]; Somchai SPC-3016 (Thai rock; English songs "San Francisco," "Shake Baby Shake," "This is My Song")
8Various: The Big Itch [Vol. 1]; Mr. Manicotti MM-328 (surf/hot rod/rock/rockabilly/exotic rock Arch Hall Jr: Konga Joe/garage rock)
7Various: Hollywood Rock 'n' Roll Record Hop; AII/Best 5011 ("Stranded in the Jungle")
7Various: King-Federal Rockabillys; Gusto/King 5016X; 1978 (Hank Mizell: "Jungle Rock")
9Various: Original Surfin' Hits; GNP Crescendo GNP-84 ("Exotic")
7Various: Rock and Roll; Grand Award GA-33-343 ("Stranded in the Jungle"; Ink Spots, Artie Malvin, Bob Eberly, Loren Becker, The Rhythm Rockets, Enoch Light)
8Various: Rockin' Tokyo; Capitol T-10342 (The Three Funkies, Beni Sisters, Yuki Asaoka, Keijiro Yamashita, Kayoko Moriyama, Shigeru Katsumi)


Exotic-Rock 45s

Rating
8The Apes: Tarzan's Monkey/Don't Monkey with the Pony; Mercury 72219 (Rosengarden & Krause)
9The Big Game Hunters: See the Cheetah/Swingin' Shepherd Blues; Uni 55008; 1967 (funky!; arr. Mort Garson)
8The Cadets: Stranded in the Jungle/?; Modern; 1956 (the classic)
9The Centuries: The Outer Limits/Polynesian Paradise; Cleopatra C-2 (surf or space-rock/exotic rock guitar)
9The Century-Five: La Moomba Kasa Boo Boo Cha Cha Cha/Red Tiger Shoes; Belmont BLM-4003 (exotic rock/novelty)
The Crew: The Jaguar Hunt/?; Brass
-Xavier Cugat ("Rock Moruno")
7Dancing Panther Dance Band: Tropic Love/Cement Mixer; Warner Bros. 5215
6The Darwins: The Monkey/The Monkey Sax; Vee-Jay VJ-508; 1963
7Diablito: The Jungle/Merengue Potatoes; Parkway P-850
6The Dials: Monkey Dance/Monkey Walk; Time 1068; 1963 (both sides from It's Monkey Time; Time 2100)
7Don & Dewey: Jungle Hop/A Little Love; Specialty 599
6The Eternals: Rockin' in the Jungle/Rock'n Roll Cha Cha; Musictone MX-1111
6Buddy Hacket: Chinese Rock & Egg Roll/Ting Me a Tong; Coral 9-61594 (very "un-pc," narrated novelty)
8Arch Hall, Jr.: Konga Joe/Monkey in My Hat Band; Signature 12014 (exotic rock/hot rod/bongo rock)
8Harry & the Croc-O-Dolls: Cheeta (Teach Me How to Do the Monkey)/Jungle Hootenany; RCA Victor 47-8244; 1963
8Harry Kari & his Six Saki Sippers: Yellow Rose of Oksaka/Ragtime Cowboy Joe; Capitol F-3257 (very "un-pc")
6Hong Kong White Sox: Cholley-Opp/Brumley Prunk: He'd Better Go; Trans-World 4906 (A-side; very "un-pc")
8The Ideals: The Feeling of a Kiss/Mo Gorilla; Cortland C-115; 1963 (live B-side)
8The Individuals: Jungle Superman/Dear One; Red Fox RF-105
7The Isn't: The Isn't '78 [EP]; Apples SRT-106 (Thailand/exotic rock; 4 songs; covers the Beatles' "Love Me Do" in Thai!)
9Jerry & the Medicine Men: The Medicine Man Parts 1 & 2; Edco 101 (funky, jazzy exotic rock)
8Jungle Rock: Down in the Jungle/instrumental; Sound Gems SG-108; 1975 (funky w/synth & bird cries, like Jimmy Castor)
9Peter Laine & his Musical Sound: Tiger Walk/Casa Feliz; Soul Vista 1006; 1973 (A-side funky exotica/B-side mod)
8The Kingpins: Ungaua Parts 1 & 2; United Artists UA-111-X; 1958
7Eddie Lund Presents...Loma avec l"Orchestre Hotel Tahiti: Tahiti--Mon Amour; Tahiti EL-1016 (aparima et otea; partly exotic rock)
8Jimmy McGriff: Jungle Cat Parts 1 & 2; Jell 502 (organ/exotic rock)
7Ernie Menehune: Minoi Minoi/Back in Aloha Land; Tani 41837
6Hank Mizell: Jungle Rock/?; King 5236 (rockabilly)
6The Mogambo's: Bi-Aza-Ku-Sasa/Wa'tch You Mean; Sunbeam 107; 1958
8Morocco: Opa Kukla/Ela 'Tho; MGM K-13496 (Greek rock)
7The Noc-A-Bouts: Jungle Safari/Session; United Artists UA-126-X
6Ralf Paulsen/Buddy Jones/Wolf Gabbe/Jo Plee: Jolly-Joy hat einen Boy EP; Opera 4168 (Hejo Hejo Gin und Rum--a.k.a. Marianne--calypso, Kleines Madel aus Cremona, Jolly-Joy hat einen Boy, Susi Rock--exotic rock)
7The Popcorns: Zero-Zero/Chinese Twist; Decca 31446 (exotic rock/politically incorrect/whistling; rec. in Sweden)
-Perez Prado (several 45s)
7Roger Roger & his Champs Elysees Orchestra: Dalilia/Mel Young: Cha Cha Charlie; Festival (exotic rock/Latin/whistle; Australian single by UK production star on A-side--like Ennio Morricone's western STs; B-side like Perez Prado)
6Milt Rogers: Lonely Road to Damascus/Let's Go Trippin'; Dot 45-16296 (exotic rock/surf)
7Santo & Johnny: Caravan/Summertime; Canadian American 111
7Lalo Schifrin: Rhino Romp/Theme from "Rhino!"; MGM K-13251; 1964 (exotic rock/African/percussion; extremely rare, from never released 1963 ST session)
8Eddie Silvers: Katanga/The Party Rocker; Dootone 468
7Kay Starr: Voodoo Man/Bridge of Sighs; RCA Victor 47-7338 (exotic rock/twist)
8Len Stuart Trio: Caravan/Moonlight Mambo; Rivoli R-8 (exotic/Mid-East/organ/Latin rock, like John Buzon Trio)
8The Super Dupers: March of Tarzan/Jungle Jingle; Cricket BB-94 (Australian kids-label picture sleeve; guitar/organ instrumentals)
6[Alan Kalani: A Touch of Pink/]The Surfers: Mambo Jambo; Orbit 538 (B-side ukulele instrumental w/Prado-esque grunts)
8The Tornadoes: Telstar/Jungle Fever; London 45-LON-9561 (also on Telstar LP)
6Titus Turner: Fall Guy/Tarzan; King 45-S-5213 (stereo version)
6The Watusi Warriors: Wa-Chi-Bam-Ba (Valley of a Thousand Hills)/Kalahari; Prince PR-45-1206
8The Windsors: Caramba!/Saki Rock (sic); United Artists UA-128-X
8The X-Rays: Chinchilla/Out of Control; Kapp K-241
8The Yeaworths: The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey/Oky-Doky-Tokyo; RCA Victor 47-8480
8[untranslated Thai picture-sleeve EP] [possibly Johnny Guitar]; Rosana [no #] (Thailand/exotic rock/psyche; Sad Chatree, Jawa, Pama Ramkwan, Toen Borates)
8[untranslated Thai picture-sleeve EP]: Johnny Guitar; Rosana [no #] (Thailand/exotic rock/psyche; Sie Noul, Mon Kla, Supamahong, Nang Nak)
8[untranslated Thai picture-sleeve EP]: Johnny Guitar; Lucky Bamboo PE-251 (Thailand/exotic rock/psyche; 4 instrumentals)
7[untranslated Thai picture-sleeve EP]: [Elvis impersonator]; MK-444 (Thailand/exotic rock; Thai covers of Don't Be Cruel, All Shook Up, Crying in the Chapel, Blueberry Hill!)


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