Pipeline

Album: Pipeline (1963)
Charted: 16 4
  • songfacts ®
  • This was surf-rock group The Chantay's only charting Billboard Top-40 hit. However, it is considered today one of the staples of the surf-rock genre. It was actually the B-side of a single; the A-side, "Move It," never charted.
  • The title "Pipeline" refers to a term in surfing jargon, in which a wave closes over your head while you ride it horizontally, so it looks like you're in a rolling pipe made of water (until it collapses, that is!). This maneuver is also sometimes called "shooting the tube."
  • The unique sound of this track is partly due to its composition, which is inverted from standard practice. The bass and rhythm guitars are at the fore, while the lead guitar, keyboard, and drums are in the background. Also it was recorded in stereo even though it was going to be released in mono as the typical 45-RPM single record of the day.
  • Covers of this song include artists as diverse as Anthrax, Bad Manners, Agent Orange, Johnny Thunders, The Ventures, and Lawrence Welk. We're still trying to find out what other songs were covered by both Lawrence Welk and Anthrax, but lists of this variety seem to be scarce.
  • Perhaps you've noticed that surf-rock tends to have a lot of instrumental work? That's because it started out as strictly an instrumental form, where speed and precision playing was highly valued. In a way, it fathered the speed metal genre. We have The Beach Boys to thank for bringing vocal harmonies to surf music.
  • Dick Dale, who earned the title "King of the Surf Guitar," recorded a new version of "Pipeline" with Stevie Ray Vaughan for the 1987 movie Back To The Beach. The movie reunited Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello 24 years after they starred in one of the first beach movies, Beach Party, which featured Dick Dale's music.
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Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    Brian Carman, rhythm guitarist with the Chantays ("Chantay's" on some labels) and co-writer of their instrumental hit, "Pipeline," died Sunday (March 1) at his home in Santa Ana, California. He was 69. He had been suffering from Crohn's Disease and an ulcerated colon. The surf classic (originally called "Liberty's Whip" after Lee Marvin's character in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" but renamed after the curl of a surfer's wave) reached #4 in 1963. While it only "bubbled under" at #106 nationally when re-released in 1966, it was a major hit again in cities like Chicago. As British music replaced surf tunes, the band changed names to the Ill Winds and Leaping Frogs before returning as the Chantays to play the oldies circuit. Brian continued to play until health problems forced his retirement two years ago. The street in front of their alma mater, Santa Ana High School, was even named "Chantays Way" They were inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk in 1996.
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 24th 1963, "Pipeline" by the Chantays entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #93; and nine weeks later on April 28th, 1963 it peaked at #4 {for 2 weeks} and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    The group released at least seven more single records but none of them made the Top 100...
    And on May 18th, 1963 the group appeared on the ABC-TV program 'The Lawrence Welk Show'; and they performed "Pipeline" even though their instruments* were cordless???
    Later in 1963 Henry Mancini released a record titled "Banzai Pipeline"; it stayed on the Top 100 for one week at #93...
    * Two electric guitars, a electric bass, and an electric organ.
  • Duke from Fresno, CaThere is a vocal version of "Pipeline" by Johnny Legend.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzDavey Allen & the Arrows also sampled "Pipeline" in a rather long version of this, along with "Walk Don't Run," "Hawaii 5-0" and others.
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