About the song
Pipeline is a surf rock instrumental by The Chantays, a band from Santa Ana, California. It was recorded in July 1962 and released as a single in December 1962. It became a hit in 1963, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #16 on the UK Singles Chart. It is considered one of the landmarks of the surf genre and one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.
## Background and composition
The song was originally called Liberty’s Whip, after a character from the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The band changed the title to Pipeline after seeing a surfing movie that featured the Banzai Pipeline, a famous surf reef break in Hawaii. The song captures the sound and feel of surfing, with its distinctive guitar melody and reverb effect. The song features Alberti bass arpeggios, which create a sense of movement and tension. The song was recorded in stereo, with the rhythm guitar hard left, the bass and drums hard right, and the electric piano and lead guitar centered.
## Reception and legacy
Pipeline was a breakthrough for The Chantays, who were still in high school when they recorded it. It was their only hit single, but it established them as one of the pioneers of surf music. The song has been covered by many artists, including Dick Dale, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Ventures, Anthrax, Agent Orange, and Bruce Johnston. It has also been used in movies, TV shows, video games, and commercials. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.