Dick Dale And His Del-Tones – Summer Surf (1964)

FrontCover1Richard Anthony Monsour (May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019), known professionally as Dick Dale, was an American rock guitarist. He was the pioneer of surf music, drawing on Middle Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. Dale was known as “The King of the Surf Guitar”, which was also the title of his second studio album.

Dale was one of the most influential guitarists of all time and especially of the early 1960s. Most of the leading bands in surf music, such as The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and The Trashmen, were influenced by Dale’s music, and often included recordings of Dale’s songs in their albums. His style and music influenced guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Eddie Van Halen and Brian May.

He has been mentioned as one of the fathers of heavy metal. Many credit him with tremolo picking, a technique that is now widely used in many musical genres (such as extreme metal, folk etc.). His speedy single-note staccato picking technique was unmatched until guitarists like Eddie Van Halen entered the music scene.


Working together with Leo Fender, Dale also pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing thick and previously unheard volumes including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. Dale also pioneered the use of portable reverb effects.


The use of his recording of “Miserlou” by Quentin Tarantino in the film Pulp Fiction led to his return in the 1990s, marked by four albums and world tours. He also won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental for the song “Pipeline” with Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In “Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Dale was ranked 31st in 2003 and 74th in the 2011 revision. (wikipedia)

Dick Dale01

Summer Surf is the fifth studio album of surf music by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones.[1] Dale wrote three of the tracks on the album, with Beach Boys’ session musician Steve Douglas writing another three. The rest are culled from various writers that were not necessarily writing in the classic surf style. For example, the track titled “Glory Wave,” written in the style of a spiritual, was originally written for the 1964 beach party film, Surf Party, where it was performed by Jackie DeShannon.This was the last album Dick Dale recorded with the Del-Tones due to his battle with rectal cancer, and the last album he would record until 1986. (wikipedia)


On his fourth album for Capitol Records, 1964’s Summer Surf, Dick Dale seemed to be aiming for a glossier and more elaborate sound, and the production shows the occasional influences of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, then the reigning titans of West Coast studiocraft. With banks of vocal choruses on several tunes, additional percussion fancying up the arrangements, and no fear of horns and keyboards, Summer Surf was the most polished Dick Dale set to date, and on tunes like the Spanish guitar exercise “Spanish Kiss” and the Hebrew-flavored “The Star (Of David),” Dale’s ambitions paid off — although not exactly rock & roll, they are compelling and absorbing instrumentals that find the guitarist expanding his boundaries. Similarly, “Banzai Washout” marries Dale’s trademark guitar attack to a big studio band, and this time the concept works like a charm.


However, for every successful experiment on Summer Surf, there are some severe miscalculations, such as the groan-inducing novelty tune “Mama’s Gone Surfin’,” the curious gospel-influenced “Glory Wave,” and Dale’s wobbly trumpet-led cover of “Never on Sunday.” (Just as significantly, these three songs make little if any room for Dale’s guitar work.) And many of the other tracks are simply dull, hardly disastrous but not much to write home about, either. Summer Surf proved to be Dale’s last studio album for Capitol, and since then he’s preferred to work with independent labels where he’s allowed to follow his own muse on his own terms, a lesson that seems especially valuable after listening to this album. (by Mark Deming)


Hal Blaine (drums)
James Burton (guitar)
Jerry Cole (guitar)
Dick Dale (guitar, trumpet, vocals)
Steve Douglas (saxophone)
Steve LaFever (bass)
Gene Garf (keyboards)
Edward Hall (drums)
Plas Johnson (saxophone)
Gail Martin (trombone)
Jay Migliori (saxophone)
Earl Palmer (drums)
Emil Richards (percussion)
Leon Russell (piano)
Neil LeVang (guitar)

… and who plays the harmonica on “Feel So Good” ???

Australian Edition:

01. Summer Surf (Douglas) 2.39
02. Feel So Good (Willis) 4.25
03. Surfin’ (Leiber/Stoller) 2.40
04. Spanish Kiss (Dale) 3.07
05. The Star (Of David) (Mason) 1.48
06. Banzai Washout (Douglas) 2.19
07. Glory Wave (Haskell/Dunham) 2.05
08. Surfin’ Rebel (Douglas) 2.04
09. Never On Sunday (Towne/Hadjidakis) 2.08
10. Mama’s Gone Surfin’ (Connors/Bruce/Barri) 2.14
11. Tidal Wave (Dale) 2.04
12. Thunder Wave (Dale) 2.22
13. Who Can He Be (Salmanca) 2.22
14. Oh Marie (di Capua/Russo) 2.05



More from Dick Dale And His Del-Tones:


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