of the 60s, 70s and beyond....

My first Album -”Walk, Don’t Run”

The Ventures produced  - unlike Duane Eddy - a vast number of songs - with many by taking up current hits and transforming them  into an instrumental - like e.g. “These boots are made for walking” etc.  Real big hits , however, like “Walk, Don’t Run” ,”Pipeline”, “Wipe Out” or “Pedal Pusher” could be heard on every party.

The REAL attraction of THE VENTURES however is their ability to elevate well known songs to a new level of artistry. A vast number of songs like “Let There Be Drums” bySandy Nelsonor even “modern” songs like “Sultans Of  Swing” by Dire Straits are almost new songs when you hear their version. They master the art of creating the drive and crystal clear performance one would expect of a REAL INSTRUMENTAL. - It is such a good news that they are still  around - even without the late Mel Taylor (1996) on the drums.

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My personal top 10

1

Wipe Out ( Live )

2

Ghostriders

3

Walk Don’t Run

4

Pipeline

5

Wack Wack

6

A-GO-GO-Dancer

7

House Of The Rising Sun

8

CARAVAN

9

Sultans Of Swing

10

Diamond Head

1

2

3

4

WIPE OUT - THE classic instrumental with drive, power, changing instruments , solo with bass and drums and just a number you can’t sit still while listening. The song had been recorded by other groups , but THE VENTURES’ version is by far the most powerful and exciting experience.

GHOSTRIDERS - well, the “Riders In The Sky” has been recorded so many times, that it is present in the internet all over.( I have a collection of 15 versions.) This one still has the most drive and is my favorite of all.

WALK DON’T RUN - the best example to show the art of perfecting a sound. WALK DON’T RUN of 1960 was followed by WALK DON’T RUN VOL.2 in 1964. If you ever played in a band and wanted to copy a song  the first version is comparatively easy to copy - not VOL 2 ! Still amazing to hear the difference and enjoy the perfection of the later version. 

PIPELINE - just the idea to start a song with a slide down the bars - great! An unequalled classic and an incentive for many guitarists. Love to hear it over and over again.

5

6

7

8

9

10

WACK WACK is and  never was a hit. It is simply a game the instruments play among each other. If you know THE FEUD or SHAZAM by Duane Eddy  or LET THERE BE DRUMS by Sandy Nelson you know that type of instrumental. Anybody who has ever played an instrument will appreciate such numbers. Neither for background music nor for dancing - but for  pure enjoyment of listening to the individual “conversation” between the instruments. TRY to get it : This type of music you won’t find again anywhere else..

A-GO-GO-Dancer  - a joyful and invigorating “power”-song - a rapid, strong sequence - reminding one of the old “Percolator” instrumental.  A song to make you happy - and you want to dance to it. 

HOUSE Of THE RISING SUN  - well THE old classic  song, sung by so many ( Joan Baez,Animals etc ) - but a pure instrumental version  is hard to come by. The clip you hear starts with the variatin of the tune on the lead guitar - I just love it !

CARAVAN  - an old traditional song , also performed by many like Sandy Nelson. The Ventures picked it - aside from WIPE OUT to give Mel Taylor free room for his outstanding drumming performance. The clip begins after the introduction with a subdued part - like a a cat on the prowl - to be accompanied by the bass. Drums and bass - what can top that ? Whenever I listen to CARAVAN  I must be standing - only to be worn out after  7 minutes and 39 seconds of absolutely exciting music....

Sultans Of Swing  - yes they can do contemporary stuff, too - and even unplugged. Beautifully arranged - sounds even better then Mark  Knopflers original . If they only had finished it like M.K. does !

Diamond Head One of the songs of the age of WALK DON’T RUN-Vol 2 - nice “bubbly” sound - you can’t get tired of it... 

1964

1996

links:

The Original :THE VENTURES

Japanese Fanclub YELLOW JACKET

Instrumental Rock & Roll

R&R Hall of Fame Induction Campaign;Complete history,Ventures Discography, etc.