Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale and his Del-Tones - At The Dragsdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a decent collection of sixties tracks from Dick Dale.
Picks: The Victor, Mag Wheels, Mr. Eliminator, Surf Buggy, Taco Wagon, Nitro Fuel, Firing Up, Flashing Eyes, Night Rider

Track by Track Review


The Victor dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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?

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.

Mr. Eliminator dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

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.

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.

Taco Wagon dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Despite it's oomp-pa-pa quality, this is one heck of a great song. It's from the Mr. Eliminator album, and has been covered frequently. "Taco Wagon" has more Mexican flavor than the nachos at Taco Bell... really. It's a great track!

Nitro Fuel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nitro Fuel" is a flashy bit of Dick Dale-ism, with a very cool riff and lots of flair. Rockin' and rollin' with reverb. The catchiness of the riff is quite something, and Dick's double picked flying fingers in the break are spectacular.

Firing Up dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Firing Up" is a dark mid-tempo number that is still used by Dick in fragments during his sets. Mostly just a riff, but a catchy riff at that. Nice track.

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.

Flashing Eyes dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of Dick's fastest and most-fun tracks. The studio session is not the best, but this must have been a shredder live. Its great call and response lead work and power glissandoes are totally killer! Marvelous.

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.

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.