Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The What Four - Gemini 4 c/w Night Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThere's a story here... Armon Frank (Del-tones) wrote both sides of this single, and produced the original recordings for Dick and Dee Dee ("The Mountain's High"). The band was The Vibrants, but not the South Bay band. Unknown to Armon, the tracks were later overdubbed, adding orchestration, and the band name changed to The What Four when issued on Reprise. I've had a soft spot for this single for many years. It always sounded like the orchestration was added after the fact, and I wondered just how cool it must have been before that. Maybe those tapes are in a vault somewhere.
Picks: Gemini 4, Night Surf

Track by Track Review


Gemini 4 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting track. The lead guitar, played with surf tone and reverb, apes an almost MOR film score style, and is backed dramatically by French horns for a nearly Joe Meek effect. "Gemini 4" is highly unusual, and quite powerful.

Night Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night Surf" shows the probably studio band origin more than the A-side, with violin glissandoes rolling like the rise and fall of swells. The distant ambiance of the mix also betrays the likelihood of a project recording, yet the throbbing mystery of the vibrato guitar and strong melody and mood building is way more than resulted from 9 outta 10 session recordings. This is more MOR than rock, yet is very appealing in its own way.