Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Raritiesdotdotdotdot
artworkA pretty cool collection of Dick's rarer singles, and a couple of unissued sides. This is the best volume in the series. All this stuff should be on CD. It's from vinyl, and some tape.
Picks: Del-Tone Rock, Jungle Fever, Eight 'Till Midnight, Surf Beat, A Run For Life, Surfin' And A-Swingin', Watusi Jo, Taco Wagon

Track by Track Review


Del-Tone Rock dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Del-Tone Rock" was the B-side of "Let's Go Trippin'" from the Del-tone days. It displays the tradition rock 'n' roll roots Dick Dale's early instro sound was born of, and also foretells the soon to be born surf sound. It also helps clarify the residency of the original version of "Let's Go Trippin'" on the pre-surf side of the boundary. A very fine track.

Jungle Fever dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Jungle Fever" is the single studio version of "Surfing Drums." It is actually a cover of Bo Diddley's "Hush Your Mouth." It's a great glimpse into those long lost times in Balboa when Dick Dale was King and the big Surf sound was just dawning. It's too bad that it fades out during the drum solo, but I suspect it segues into some other tune. Dick performed it live in the early nineties as "Jungle Bunnies" with the same voiced calls.

Eight 'Till Midnight dotdotdotdot
R&B Surf (Instrumental)

"Eight Till Midnight" was never included on an album, but was the b-side of "Miserlou." It's a very cool R&B theme song for the Rendezvous gigs. Memorable and poppy.

Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Demonstrating the power of CHUNK in surf, "Surf Beat" lent it's name to the genre, and clearly is a standard. A great performance captured live at the Rendezvous Ballroom and issued in 1962. This is the embodiment of rhythm based surf chunk.

If you want to play the chords right, when the lead and rhythm both play together, the rhythm guitar would "push" the chord downward, while the lead must "pull" the chord upward - remember, Dick Dale played left handed and used a right handed guitar upside down without restringing. That meant when he pushed the chord, it was the same as pulling it. I verified this with Dick personally in '88, so there ya go.

A Run For Life dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The early Del-tone single version of the song that became "The Wedge," with the Del-tones as the band, and with Dick playing trumpet leads. It's way hokey at times, and gives you a clear glimpse at the difference between the history and sound surf music as you know it and the "world according to Dick Dale."

Surfin' And A-Swingin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This is Dick's second best vocal track. It is among the very few with his heavy trademark guitar sound, and it rocks... OK!

Watusi Jo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not a surf lick to be found, but it is a nifty composition for the post surf Dick Dale. The times, they were a changin'

Taco Wagon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick's trumpet is overdubbed as the lead instrument, again showing how far off the general surf mark Dick often was. Despite it's oom-pa-pa quality, this is one heck of a great song. It's been covered frequently in the nineties, by the Woodies among others. It has more Mexican flavor than the nachos at Taco Bell... really.