By Mike Flaherty
Updated May 31, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

This four-CD, 81-track behemoth surveys the history of this distinctly American and strangely enduring hybrid: South Pacific-inflected, reverb-drenched rockabilly enhanced by once-revolutionary studio technology. Ranging from such trailblazers as the Chantays and Dick Dale to ’90s revisionists like Man Or Astro-Man? and Laika & the Cosmonauts, Cowabunga! The Surf Box is a can’t-miss romp for aficionados that will also jazz dabblers. A-