Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Checkered Flagdotdotdotdot
artworkThe King's second Capitol album, this time on to hot rod titles, but still the same DD&D studio sound. Recorded in '63, this album contains some true DD classic gems. One day, Dick Dale will work with a label to do a vault purge mondo box. His band was almost never on the sessions. In those days, if you were on a major label, the label assigned the producer who called the shots. In this case, Jim Economides used the usual LA studio lizards, including Hal Blaine on drums, Leon Russell on piano, Glen Campbell on guitar,chorus sang by the Blossoms, etc. Some tracks included Del-tone Art Munson, but otherwise, only the Ciro's album contains any Del-tones.
Picks: Surf Buggy, Mag Wheels, Ho-Dad Machine, Motion, The Wedge, Night Rider

Track by Track Review

Surf Buggy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really cool instrumental from the Checkered Flag album. It's chunky and rhythmic. It holds up well over the 35 years since it was recorded. A great track to drive to, and fun too. You can just see Dick grinning at his audience while they sway to this... One of Dick's best semi-slow surf numbers, rhythmic and very cool. The lumbering pace is just superb. A really nice track.

Mag Wheels dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another mostly instro track (except for the chanted drag race terms) that is truly rippin'! Gary Usher wrote it, and it's melody is quite infectious. It was a single as well as album track on Checkered Flag. Great playing, and way cool fun. It's also one of Dick's earliest sojourns into the glissando that the Chantays introduced into surf.

Ho-Dad Machine dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The slow slither of the surf sound is seductive in this simple instro. The "bup-bup" Doo-woppy male chorus subtracts from the coolness.

Motion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Motion" is a very nice moderately paced and melodic R&B-ish instro. Quite simple and old school, yet enjoyable and groovy in a motion oriented way. Great for a top down summer drive.

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Hal Blaine's shredding machine gun drums add immeasurably to this rerecording of Dick's Del-tone single "A Run For Life," which Dick thankfully deleted the trumpet from. Thee most killer of all Dick's post-"Miserlou" tracks.

"The Wedge" was derived from a song called "The Rising Surf" written by Al Hazan and originally cut as a demo by the Tandems months before Dick went into the studio. "The Rising Surf" was based on a 1952 composition of Hazan's called "Dance Of Love," which was released by the Bell Sisters.

Night Rider dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night Rider" was a single and album track from the days with Capitol. It's mostly power oriented, with minimal melody, and really foretells the style Dick Dale uses so efficiently today.