Everybody knows about Phil Spector and his “Wall of Sound” but Spector had a lot of help from Jack Nitzsche who was a key arranger and conductor. Nitzsche’s career spanned decades, but I think he did his best work in the Sixties. He worked with dozens of groups like the Righteous Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, the Crystals, the Rolling Stones, and the Everly Brothers. The Lonely Surfer is an oddity in the Jack Nitzsche oeuvre. It’s an instrumental album from 1963. Later in his career, Nitzsche wrote film music for several movies including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and An Officer and A Gentleman. That film music owes a debt to “The Lonely Surfer.” To listen to “The Lonely Surfer” just click here.
Track list:
1. The Lonely Surfer (Album Version) 2:35
2. Puerto Vallarta (LP Version) 2:30
3. Stranger On The Shore (LP Version) 2:09
4. Theme From Women Of The World (LP Version) 2:56
5. Old Town (LP Version) 2:53
6. Ebb Tide (LP Version) 2:18
7. Theme From Mondo Cane (More) (LP Version) 3:08
8. The Magnificent Seven (LP Version) 2:10
9. Baja (LP Version) 2:20
10. Theme For A Broken Heart (LP Version) 2:49
11. Beyond The Surf (LP Version) 2:16
12. Da Doo Ron Ron (LP Version)

12 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN MUSIC #2: THE LONELY SURFER By Jack Nitzsche

    1. george Post author

      You’re absolutely right, Jeff. Nitzsche was arranging and composing with dozens of artists back then. His discography goes on for pages!

  1. Deb

    I always associate him with Neil Young. I hadn’t realized he had such a wide-ranging career. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    BTW, was he married to Buffy St. Marie?

    1. george Post author

      Yes, Jack Nitzsche was married to Buffy St. Marie in the 1980s, but then they divorced, Deb. Since 1993, she’s been in a “committed relationship” with Charlie Wilson.

  2. Todd Mason

    George…try Smart Went Crazy’s instrumentals (albeit they’re nearly a 20 year old band now). Actually, the likes of Man or Astro-Man? sparked a real surf/instrumental-rock revival in the 1990s.


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