Saturday, February 26, 2011

Michael Fremer Album Review

Rock Out With Dick Dale and His Del Tones Live at Ciro's

Dick Dale and His Del-Tones

Capitol/Sundazed LP 5296 180g LP

Produced by: Jim Monsour and Jim Economides
Engineered by: N/A
Mixed by: N/A
Mastered by: Bob Irwin
Lacquer cut by: Wes Garland at Nashville Record Productions



Iconic Live Dick Dale Back on Vinyl!
by Michael Fremer
January 01, 2011

The only original copy of this album that I ever saw was in The Library of Congress's record collection. It features great period cover art that Green Day lifted for their Foxboro Hot Tub album and a live performance from guitar legend Dick Dale.

The whole affair: the cover art, the stage get-up, the amateur but pure recording and the totally inept stage presentation coupled with Dick Dale's inability to emote beyond mechanically hitting the notes somehow add up to an interesting listen but not what I would call an essential one—unless, like Sundazed's main man Bob Irwin, you are guitar-obsessed.

In that case you'll easily ignore that Dick sings the songs as if he's not got a clue as to their meaning or emotional content and concentrate on the Frug and Twist rhythms of the surf music.

If you're of a certain age you'll remember the Go-Go cage installed at your college's local pizzeria and "womaned" by traveling-the-college-circuit teams of moderately attractive, slightly flabby young girls grinding and gyrating while you wolfed down the pie.

You'll eat up the reverb-drenched, twanging, bubbling Stratocaster, the crackling, insistent snare, the sax playing harmony to Dale's surf-leads and the whole weird Ciro's vibe of people sitting in a famous Strip night club watching a high school prom band over-achieving.

The recording by Dick Dale's Dad and a friend piles echo on top of the already reverb drenched guitar and everything else in the live to two track mix.

I once made a similar recording in 1965 in the basement of University Halls #3 at Cornell University of Oz and the Ahs performing the popular dance tune "Everybody Learn to Master The Bate." Same crisp cymbal and snare sound, same watery but twangy Strat reverb. Someone stole the tapes around 1976 in Boston darn it.

Anyway, this one, well--pressed on quiet 180 vinyl at Rainbo is only for the surf guitar fanatics and nostalgia freaks among you....

Thanks to Michael over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this material. Stop by for more reviews and features.

©2011 & Michael Fremer - - All rights reserved

Reprinted by Permission

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