In the late '50s and early '60s, Del-Fi was an interesting, eclectic L.A.-based independent rock label, recording surf, rockabilly, R&B, and pop, occasionally landing a national hit. Precisely because of that eclecticism, though, a survey disc of notable tracks from the Del-Fi vaults isn't the smoothest listen. This 31-disc compilation does include good sides by Ritchie Valens, Chan Romero (famous for "Hippy Hippy Shake"), Ron Holden (who had a one-shot with the New Orleans R&B-like "Love You So)" teen idol Johnny Crawford, and surf combo the Lively Ones. Serious collectors will also appreciate the CD availability of rare sides by Dick Dale, Rene Hall (who played guitar on Valens' classic "La Bamba"), a pre-Bread David Gates, and other unknown tracks in the surf, R&B, and instrumental vein. Valens, Romero, Crawford, and the Lively Ones are better appreciated in the context of their own best-of compilations, however.
Share this page