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Surfer's Choice
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Surfers' Choice is the 1962 debut album by Dick Dale and his Del-Tones, often seen as the record that introduced the world to Surf Rock. The album is best known for the hits "Let's Go Trippin'" and Dale's Signature Song "Misirlou", which would become famous in 1994 as the opening track of Pulp Fiction. In a case of First Installment Wins the album is often seen as Dale's best. Despite this, the album was out of print for a long time, but reissued on CD in 2006.

Tracklist

Side One

  1. "Surf Beat" (3:00)
  2. "Sloop John B." (2:19)
  3. "Take It Off" (2:10)
  4. "Night Owl" (2:36)
  5. "Fanny Mae" (2:37)
  6. "Misirlou Twist" (4:07)

Side Two

  1. "Peppermint Man" (2:24)
  2. "Surfing Drums" (4:53)
  3. "Shake 'n' Stomp" (2:11)
  4. "Lovey Dovey" (3:34)
  5. "Death Of A Gremmie" (2:47)
  6. "Let's Go Trippin'" (2:11)

The CD release added "Del-Tone Rock", "Jungle Fever", "Miserlou", "Eight Till' Midnight", "Lovin' On My Brain" and "A Run For Life" as bonus tracks.

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  • Alliterative Title: "Shake 'N' Stomp".
  • Cover Version: "Sloop John B" and "Misirlou" are traditionals.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: For people who know Dale mostly as a Surf Rock artist this album can sometimes sound a bit odd. Some songs are closer to typical doowop and pop music. "Sloop John B" even has a strings arrangement!
  • Grief Song: "Death Of A Gremmie".
  • Instrumental: "Surf Beat", "Take It Off", "Misirlou Twist", "Death of A Gremmie", "Shake 'N' Stomp" and "Let's Go Trippin'". The bonus tracks "Del-Tone Rock", "Jungle Fever", "Misirlou", "Eight Till Midnight" and "A Run For Life" too.
  • Live Album: Most of the material is recorded live, with only "Misirlou Twist" and "Let's Go Trippin'" as exceptions.
  • Noisy Nature: "Jungle Fever" evokes this trope, with the band members imitating a kookaburra.
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  • One-Man Song: "Peppermint Man".
  • One-Woman Song: "Fanny Mae".
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: "Misirlou" nowadays makes people think more of Quentin Tarantino than surf music.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The start of "Let's Go Trippin'".
  • Refrain from Assuming: For people who know Dick Dale mostly for "Misirlou" and "Let's Go Trippin'": this album is not just a collection of instrumentals. Several tracks are songs and sometimes sound closer to typical pop and doowop songs of that era. Also, "Misirlou Twist" is a different arrangement than the more famous "Misirlou".
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Surfing Drums" is an earlier version of "Jungle Fever", with lyrics near the end and without the jungle noises that would be added later.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Jungle Fever" has the band members imitate the sound of a kookaburra, which always turns up on the soundtrack in movies taking place in the jungle.
  • Sequel Song: "Misirlou" was followed by a Twist version called "Misirlou Twist", which has strings!
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Let's Go Trippin'" would be covered by The Lively Ones in 1963, as well as The Beach Boys on their albums Surfin USA and Beach Boys Concert. The original by Dick Dale was also used as the theme of John Peel's radio show "Home Truths".
    • "Misirlou" would be used as the theme song of Pulp Fiction, increasing its notability worldwide. It was even featured in the 1998 French movie Taxi as the theme.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Night Owl", "Fanny Mae", "Peppermint Man", "Love Dovey". The bonus track "Lovin' On My Brain".
  • Singer Name Drop: "Del-Tone Rock".
  • Surf Rock: This is often called the album that made the genre popular. However, some tracks don't remotedly sound like surf rock at all, such as "Sloop John B.", which has a string arrangement, and "Night Owl" which sounds like a traditional doowop song.

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