Friday, January 14, 2011

Michael Fremer Album Review

Singles Collection '61-65

Dick Dale and His Del-Tones

Deltone/Capitol/Sundazed LP 5248 2 180g mono LPs
Produced by: Dick Dale, Gary Usher, Voyle Gilmore, Jim Monsour, Jim Economides
Engineered by: Various engineers
Mixed by: Various mixers
Mastered by: Bob Irwin (LP cut by "Geo" at Nashville Record Productions)



Dick Dale's Surfing Singles Assembled on Two Slabs of 180g Vinyl!
by Michael Fremer
December 01, 2010

Dick Dale is widely acknowledged as the inventor of “surf music.” Most observers consider his first single “Let’s Go Trippin’” recorded July 21st 1961to be the first surf record. Certainly those of us old enough to remember hearing it on the radio back then had never heard anything like it before, though that could be said about virtually everything that showed up on pop music radio back then.

Up North we heard Ernie K. Doe, Huey Piano Smith and Frankie Ford and we also heard something we’d never before heard, nor did we know it was from New Orleans, nor did we care. We just liked it.

But surf music was identified as such from the beginning when the sing hit around the same time as Life Magazine profiled the Southern California surfing craze. We saw the pictures in Life and heard the soundtrack on AM radio.

More singles followed including the incredible “Miserlou” cover that Quentin Tarantino used in “Pulp Fiction” that resurrected interest in surf music and Dick Dale, but surf music went “wide” when the Beach Boys hit.

Richard Anthony Monsour was born in Boston in 1937, the son of a Lebanese father and a Polish mother. The Monsour house was filled with music and Richard learned to play a variety of instruments. The family moved to Southern California in 1954 and look what happened to Mansour seven years later! Southern California can do that.

Dick Dale learned how to play guitar left handed on a right handed guitar that he played “upside down.” When he got a left handed guitar he strung it “backwards” with the bass “E” string on bottom and the high “E” string on top and that’s how he’s played it ever since!

Dale’s surf music had a rougher edge than the more commercial “warm California sun” version The Beach Boys popularized. Dale’s was more like Eddie Cochran than the Four Preps! That’s what makes this set so much hard rockin’ fun!

There’s a mix of genres adapted to surf, particularly on the later material, when Dale was kind of running out of news of doing surf music. There’s a gospel surf tune “Glory Wave” that could have been covered by Elvis, and “Grudge Run,” which could have been covered by The Coasters. Of course there are ethnic covers too, like “Hava Nagila” and “Never on Sunday,” that are less than stellar but even those are fun because Dale’s guitar work always shined.

The detailed credits give you all of the players on each session. So you’ll see Leon Russell, Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, James Burton, the great sax player Steve Douglas, and even Lincoln Mayorga!

The excellent annotation points out that Dick Dale singles were the best way to hear these tunes as the album versions, particularly of the later stuff, were mixed differently.

This double LP set gives you the early Deltone material as well as the later Capitol recordings that got kind of lame towards the end. Still, it’s great to have all of these singled collected on double vinyl sounding as good as they’re going to sound, which isn’t always great, but never awful.

This isn’t for everyone but those for whom it is meant know who they are! Quentin’s buying I’m sure.

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

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved Reprinted by Permission

Music News & Notes

this from of all places the Wall Street Journal

The Grateful Dead Get A Videogame

The Grateful Dead is getting a videogame. Through a new deal with an independent games developer, the band hopes to turn young folks on to the music and culture of the late Jerry Garcia and company.

The surviving band members gave the project their blessing, but the agreement was brokered by Rhino Entertainment.......

Read the rest  Dead Video Game


Meat Puppets To Release New Album 'Lollipop'

The legendary rock outfit the Meat Puppets announced their return with the release of their new album 'Lollipop out April 12, 2011 on Megaforce Records.

Produced by band leader Curt Kirwood, the album features the indelible Kirkwood brothers back at work and back at play on 12 new original cuts, reinforcing the band's hypnotic power recognized by SPIN for "the interplay of Curt's drowsy vocals and freaky guitar can still induce vertiginous spells."


Occult Detective Club To Release Sophomore Album 'CRIMES'

Occult Detective Club is happy to announce the release of their sophomore album 'Crimes,' which will be released on February 15th through Alive Records on CD, Digital and LTD. Edition Vinyl formats (The first vinyl pressing of 500 copies comes with free MP3 download).

Occult Detective Club is formed by Alx Anguiano on vocals/guitars, Andrew Messer on guitars, Chris Reeves on drums and Tyler Shults on bass.


Resist Records Launches Auction For Australian Flood Relief

There is some great vinyl to be had and all proceeds will be going to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal assisting those effected by the flooding in Queensland Austrailia.

Up for grabs will be rare and limited vinyl releases including coloured vinyl and test press's from Mindsnare, Within Blood, A Death In the Family, Blkout, I Exist / Phantoms, The Dead Walk, Extortion, Carpathian and a coloured copy of Resist's very first release Found My Direction's Before Their Time.

Australian Flood Relief


“Clear” sound from Greensound Technology's glass speakers

Here's an oddity, wonder how they work and if the sound is as good as they claim it is (hint to company - Send me a couple and I can review them!)


This from

Rock Hall of Fame Responds to Lack of Progressive Rock Groups

Back on December 29, author John Covach wrote a guest column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer asking why Yes and other progressive rock groups (Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Moody Blues, Procol Harum) had not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His conclusion is that the voters for the Hall may be very knowledgeable about music, but don't have a good background in the music's history.

Read more:


useless stuff to know

The Artists With the Most U.S. Top 40 Singles

Number Name Total
1  Elvis Presley 114
2  Elton John 59
3  The Beatles 52
4  Madonna 49
5  Stevie Wonder 46
6  Aretha Franklin 45
7  James Brown 44
8  Rolling Stones 41
9  Marvin Gaye 41
10  Pat Boone 38
11  Temptations 38
12  Michael Jackson 38
13  Neil Diamond 38
14  Paul McCartney 37
15  Fats Domino 37
16  Janet Jackson 37
17  Rick Nelson 36
18  Beach Boys 36
19  Connie Francis 35
20  Bee Gees 35
21 Chicago 35
22 Rod Stewart 34
23 Billy Joel 33
24 Paul Anka 33
25 Ray Charles 33
26 Supremes 33
27 Whitney Houston 32
28 Prince 32
29 Four Seasons 31
30 Bobby Vinton 31
31 Perry Como 31
32 Mariah Carey 31
33 Dionne Warwick 31
34 Miracles 29
35 Nat King Cole 29
36 Sam Cooke 29
37 Hall and Oates 29
38 Olivia Newton-John 29
39 Brenda Lee 29
40 Kenny Rogers 28
41 Frank Sinatra 28
42 Everly Brothers 27
43 Diana Ross 27
44 Andy Williams 27
45 Gladys Knight 27
46 Puff Daddy 27
47 R. Kelly 26
48 Barry Manilow 25
49 Jackie Wilson 24
50 Chubby Checker 23

Elvis Is Back: Legacy Edition Revisits Groundbreaking Albums of 1960 & '61


Available at both physical and digital retail outlets starting March 1, 2011, through RCA/Legacy

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Recordings -- Two words exploded worldwide on December 19, 1957 – "Elvis Drafted!" – but three words resounded across the universe even more explosively on March 3, 1960: "Elvis Is Back!" The album that Elvis Presley began recording in Nashville on March 20th, and finished in the legendary overnight session of April 3-4th, is widely regarded as possibly the best album he ever made.

A half-century later, Elvis Is Back is now coupled with 1961's Something For Everybody, an album he recorded back in Nashville one year later. Along with one dozen hit single sides recorded (also in Nashville) and charted over roughly the same period of time, the deluxe Elvis Is Back: Legacy Edition will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting March 1, 2011, through RCA/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Elvis Is Back: Legacy Edition follows the template of the recent RCA/Legacy releases, From Elvis In Memphis: Legacy Edition and On Stage: Legacy Edition. With each title, the definitive version of one of Elvis' most essential albums has been expanded to include another historically significant album from the same time period, along with the hit singles associated with both albums.

Adding wit and nuance to Elvis Is Back: Legacy Edition is a new essay by New York-based journalist Stuart Colman, former member of '60s UK pop group the Flying Machine ("Smile A Little Smile For Me"), and former BBC radio host, recording studio owner, and Nashville-based record producer. Colman, a liner notes writer specializing in early roots-rock, R&B and rockabilly, sets the stage for that landmark evening in Nashville, the third Sunday in March 1960, two months after Elvis' 25th birthday. "Right up until the point where cars were being parked and instruments unpacked," Colman writes, "the assembled musicians were under the impression they'd been booked to record with Jim Reeves. This was a half-hearted attempt to thwart the fans gathered outside who knew full well who was coming in."

Joining Elvis for his sessions at RCA's Studio B in Nashville were his long-time guitarist Scotty Moore, drummer D.J. Fontana, Floyd Cramer on piano, guitarist Hank Garland (also on bass), bassist Bob Moore, and drummer Buddy Harman, plus the Jordanaires on harmony vocals. Among the six masters they cut that night were Elvis' first post-Army #1 million-selling single "Stuck On You," and three tracks that would be chosen for the new album. They reconvened two Sunday nights later on April 3rd (adding saxophonist Boots Randolph to the lineup) and finished an astounding 12 tracks. The unprecedented results included Elvis' next two #1 million-selling singles, "It's Now Or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" plus the nine tunes needed to complete the LP. Elvis Is Back was rush-released days later on April 8th. Any concerns about Elvis' ability in the studio after more than two years away were set aside forever.

"Elvis Is Back was a triumph on every level," wrote Jorgensen in his essential research guide, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (St. Martin's Press, 1998). "Elvis had never been heard like this before, except perhaps by himself in his own head. There was new depth to his voice; his interpretations were increasingly sophisticated; the group was probably the best studio band in the business; the song selection was imaginative and varied, the technical quality excellent. Most surprisingly of all, the new album pointed in no one musical direction… It was as if Elvis had invented his own brand of music, broken down the barriers of genre and prejudice to express everything he heard in all the kinds of music he loved."

After spending the rest of 1960 in Hollywood filming and recording the soundtracks for G.I. Blues, Flaming Star, and Wild In the Country, Elvis returned to Studio B on Sunday night, March 12, 1961. With the exception of "I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell" (imported from the Wild In the Country tapes), the other 11 tracks on Something For Everybody were all finished on that equally legendary overnight session. Among them were Elvis' takes on "I Feel So Bad" (from Chuck Willis) and "I'm Comin' Home" (from Charlie Rich). Elvis' next batch of hit singles were recorded at Studio B in June ("(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame" b/w "Little Sister," both sides penned by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman); and October ("Good Luck Charm" b/w "Anything That's Part Of You").

"Something For Everybody and its accompanying singles hit the market at a time when Elvis Presley was right at the top of his game," Colman concludes. "The man could do no wrong in the eyes of the public and he was rightly thought of across the globe as the arbiter of popular music. He was most definitely the right man for the job."

ELVIS IS BACK: LEGACY EDITION by ELVIS PRESLEY (RCA/Legacy 88697 76233 2) CD One – Selections: 1. Make Me Know It • 2. Fever • 3. The Girl Of My Best Friend • 4. I Will Be Home Again • 5. Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Hot 100 #70, 1965) • 6. Thrill Of Your Love • 7. Soldier Boy • 8. Such A Night (Hot 100 #16, 1964)• 9. It Feels So Right (Hot 100 #55, 1965) • 10. Girl Next Door Went A'Walking • 11. Like A Baby • 12. Reconsider Baby (Tracks 1-12 from Elvis Is Back, RCA Victor 2231, released April 8, 1960) • THE HIT SINGLES: 13. Stuck On You (Hot 100 #1, 1960) • 14. Fame And Fortune (Hot 100 #17, 1960) • 15. It's Now Or Never (Hot 100 #1, 1960) • 16. A Mess Of Blues (Hot 100 #32, 1960) • 17. Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Hot 100 #1, 1960) • 18. I Gotta Know (Hot 100 #20, 1960) • 19. Surrender (Hot 100 #1, 1961).

CD Two – Selections: 1. There's Always Me (Hot 100 #56, 1967) • 2. Give Me The Right • 3. It's A Sin • 4. Sentimental Me • 5. Starting Today • 6. Gently • 7. I'm Comin' Home • 8. In Your Arms • 9. Put The Blame On Me (Hot 100 #70, 1965) • 10. Judy • 11. I Want You With Me • 12. I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell (Tracks 1-12 from Something For Everybody, RCA Victor 2370, released June 1961) • THE HIT SINGLES: 13. I Feel So Bad (Hot 100 #5, 1961) • 14. (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame (Hot 100 #4, 1961) • 15. Little Sister (Hot 100 #5, 1961) • 16. Good Luck Charm (Hot 100 #1, 1962) • 17. Anything That's Part Of You (Hot 100 #31, 1962).

SOURCE Legacy Recordings