Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale And His Del-tones - King Of The Surf Guitardotdotdotdotdot
artworkDick's first album for Capitol was quite a change from his singles and Surfer's Choice LP, all of which were pretty raw. The sounds here are much more polished, and the reverb has come on strong, yet this is essential listening. Two bonus tracks are here as well, both previously unreleased.
Picks: King Of The Surf Guitar, The Lonesome Road, Hava Nagila, Mexico, Break Time, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Lobo, Cotton Picking

Track by Track Review


King Of The Surf Guitar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The King has the Blossoms sing about him while he plays gorgeous notes on his guitar. An ego feed and anthem, and a lot better than the 1975 GNP version, but still... sure do love that guitar!

The Lonesome Road dotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick played this live back then. It's a lot less interesting than the Chantays' version. No double picking, just big soft guitar.

Hava Nagila dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Following up "Miserlou" (and the B-side of "King Of The Surf Guitar") most naturally meant another traditional Middle Eastern song, and who could have imagined that this song could have been so powerful at the hands of Dick Dale! A must have track!

Mexico dotdotdotdot
Mariachi Surf (Instrumental)

Bob Moore's original is still the best! Dick made it his own, adapting the Mariachi horn lead to his guitar, and then his trumpet in the break. What's the difference between this and Eddie and the Showmen's "Border Town"?

Break Time dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While this is a standard R&B set-ender to talk over or use like bumper music in radio, it is a really nice track. It has character and flows quite nicely. The sound of reverb guitar and the surf to be, coupled with Dick's presurf R&B and rock 'n' roll standards gigs at the Rinky Dink meld nicely in this simple and pleasing track.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Cowpoke Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale does the Stan Jones classic with his usual guitar style. It's a pretty darn cool track. The double picking adds to the tune immensely.

Lobo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Lobo" is a bit jammy, but it's rich in surf rhythm and ample Dick Daleisms. Stylistically, it is perhaps more in line with the Checkered Flag album. Mid tempo cool and infectious. This is a nice find from the vault, a previously unreleased track from the sessions that produced the King Of The Surf Guitar album.

Cotton Picking dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another vault purge, "Cotton Picking" is a pretty darn jammy thing more in the rock vein with reverb. Dick's always been prone to such jamming, and it's always cool live. On disc, it's more a blues than a surf track.