Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Dick Dale And His Del-Tones - Singles '61-65
|This is a vinyl release from Sundazed collecting all the Deltone/Capitol singles. Very nicely packaged and mastered.|
Picks: Let's Go Trippin', Del-Tone Rock, Shake-N-Stomp, Jungle Fever, Miserlou, Eight 'Till Midnight, Surf Beat, A Run For Life, King Of The Surf Guitar, Hava Nagila, The Wedge, Night Rider, Mr. Eliminator, The Victor, Let's Go Trippin' 65, Watusi Jo
Track by Track Review
Dick Dale's August 1961 recording of "Let's Go Trippin'" is ahead of the surf sound, more a rock 'n' roll number than what would be later identified as surf. It is nevertheless a very important key to the development of the genre.
Dick's original Del-tones were a hell of a band. This session featured a seasoned Barry Rillera on sax, who had been in his brother Ricky Rillera's band the Rhythm Rockers (no relation to the surfband of that name), with whom Richard Berry had sung for over a year at Harmony Park between 1954 and 1955. It was at Harmony Park one Saturday night in 1955 that Richard heard them do Rene Touzet's "El Loco Cha Cha" for the first time, and was inspired by it's "duh duh duh, duh-duh" intro to write "Louie Louie."
"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 presurf side of the boundary. A very fine track.
This Del-tone session is an early double picked track, before "Miserlou" as a single, but from the same period live. This track is often assumed to have been recorded at the Rendezvous, but reportedly was recorded at a small studio. Good grindage.
"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.
The introductory note of Miserlou is somehow bigger than life. Dick's machine gun staccato is perfect. This is Dick Dale's biggest Del-tone singles, the incredibly archetypal "Miserlou" featured so prominently in Pulp Fiction. No comprehensive Surf collection should even be conceived without this song. This IS the sound of primal surf, the source of the idea of really LOUD guitar leads. It's reported that the arrangement was developed after Dick saw Johnny Barakat do it this way.
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.
I usually don't like Dick's vocals at all, but for some reason, "Peppermint Man" captures me. It's just so endearing. It's a cover of Alonzo Willis' R&B obscuro.
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.
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."
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!
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!
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" 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.
This version is from the Mr. Eliminator album. It's a bit of a contrast for Dick, big chords and whammy instead of double picked power house delivery, but a solid track nonetheless.
The Smithereens covered it in the eighties, which got MTV Europe's attention as they were getting ready to launch back in '89, and that caused them to contract with Dick Dale for a 10 second version for use as a logo.
This track ranks as one of the great Middle Eastern surf epics. It is truly 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?
Never On Sunday
MOR Schmaltz oozes from Dick Dale's trumpet as he dashingly performs this fifties movie theme.
Smoother and bigger than Dick's original, this has none of the charm, but much more fullness. It's slowed down, and lifeless. Barely a pick.
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'