Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale and his Del-tones - Greatest Hitsdotdotdot
artworkThis album is not from Dick's hit sessions at Capitol in the sixties. It's also not from the Rendezvous recordings. This is from Dick's 1975 sessions at GNP Crescendo, not far in time from when he recorded those ridiculous demos for RCA with Gary Usher... The performance is very good, but the mix is less than energetic. Well worth having.
Picks: Miserlou, Surf Beat, Sloop John B., King Of The Surf Guitar, The Wedge, Let's Go Trippin', The Victor, Peppermint Man, Peter Gunn

Track by Track Review

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is not the hit single. It's also not the Rendezvous version. This is from Dick's 1975 sessions at GNP, not far from when he recorded those ridiculous demos for RCA... The performance is very good, but the mix is less than energetic. Well worth having. This is it! There is nothing else after this! The first record of it's kind. The ripping monster of all time!!!!!

Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

From the GNP sessions, this has none of the immediacy of the Del-tone single, but much better sound quality. It's a tradeoff.

Sloop John B. dot
Not (Vocal)

This is the GNP version. It's too bad it's not cleaned up from the Del-tone sessions, cause that version is really quite a trip, just lousy sound. This is too Vegas for me, what with the chorus and all. Yet, the guitar is delicate and gorgeous!

King Of The Surf Guitar dot
Surf (Vocal)

This take of "King Of The Surf Guitar" is less gutsy and more showband-like than the Capitol version. The Vegas showgirls chorus doesn't cut it, but then neither did the Blossoms when they sang over Dick's great guitar licks.

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick's third recording of one of his most enduring original compositions. From the GNP sessions, it has incredible playing, but limited punch. Really clean and a good listen.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is Dick Dale's 1975 GNP Crescendo version. He doesn't like it, and it is less twangy than the original, but it also is well played and much fuller sounding. It is just a little sterile.

The Victor dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Not the great Capital session, but from the GNP sessions in '75. It's a fine version, but suffers from the same weakness they all had, little energy in the mix, but a good performance. The Capital session is a lot stronger. This track ranks as one of the great Middle Eastern surf epics. It sports a minimal melody, but has an intensity all it's own, which lead the Mermen to include it in their infamous "Middle Eastern medley." Power, Intensity, Grace... what more do you want? This version is both better and lesser, depending on what you are looking for. More chunk and clarity, less energy and panache.

Peppermint Man dot
R&B (Vocal)

The GNP version is about like the Hightone version, lack luster and without the charm of the Del-tone single.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Peter Gunn" has evolved only slightly over the years Dick has used it as an opener. He's in rare form here, playing it smoothly and with guts.