Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Ventures - Play Telstar - The Lonely Bull And Others c/w In Space
|A two-fer, coupling two generally weak albums. There are a couple of note worthy tracks on this disc, but mostly it's either MOR, cutesy, or silly.|
Picks: Telstar, The Lonely Bull, Mexico, Calcutta, Apache, Never On Sunday, Tequila, Green Onions, Percolator, Red River Rock, Let There Be Drums, Last Night, Out Of Limits, He Never Came Back, Moon Child, Fear [Main Title From "One Step beyond"], Exploration In Terror, War Of The Satellites, The Bat, Penetration, Love Goddess Of Venus, Solar Race, The Fourth Dimension, The Twilight Zone
Track by Track Review
This just lacks the grodie drive of Joe Meek's' knob twisting compressed production of the original Tornados hit. It also lacks the charm of the surf versions, and the later eighties punk-power pop covers. The organ lead is shallow, and the guitar is weak.
The Lonely Bull
Attempting to come too close to the Tijuana Brass sound, this guitar band gives the lead duties over to horns, and adds the chorus as well. Like Billy Strange meets Bert Kempfert.
Bob Moore's excellent Tijuana Brass sound alike arranged similarly to his hit, with acoustic guitar lead, but without the mariachi horns. It's a nice track for an afternoon on the verandah at Taco Bell®
MOR pop fluff, chorus and all. makes you wanna play your mom's records.
This is a pretty decent cover of Jerry Lordan's great tune. It's an adaptation of the Jorgen Ingman arrangement. It has less flair than his, but it is a solid track. If you want a hoot sometime, listen to the Sonny James vocal version.
Never On Sunday
This version of the pop film song hit is ultra light. It doesn't fall to the low of Dick Dale's two versions, but it has little to offer.
The most familiar of all Mexican-American instros, the Ventures do it without the horns, and with a relatively staid delivery. Clean and uninspiring. Very nicely picked, more like the Fireballs sans reverb than the Champs.
When studio bands cover studio bands... none of the magic of Booker T. & the MG's.
Billy Joe & the Checkmates had a hit with this tune based on the Maxwell House® TV ads. It's cute, just like the original, but not quite as fun. Plunky coffee maker pop.
The Johnny & the Hurricanes arrangement of "Red River Valley," with much less intense and interesting organ tone, and much less energy.
"Let There Be Drums" is one of Sandy Nelson's many drum hits. Mel Taylor does OK, but it's just not Sandy Nelson.
The Mar-Keys (sp) with organ instead of piano. Not to cool.
Mike Gordon's most familiar tune, delivered dry with edge. Some really tasty playing from Nokie Edwards.
Spooky drums, slow creaky door pick slides, and screams. This is a choppy number with one-time appeal.
"Moon Child" shimmers with vibrato and rolling drums. It's a gentle track, melodic and inviting. The chorus makes it too MOR, and the lead is subdued, but it still works OK.
Fear [Main Title From "One Step beyond"]
Horror Rock (Instrumental)
This is really slow and eerie. It's not quite as strange as the original TV theme, but it does make you question reality. This holds a special place in my heart because it was the first non-approved track I played on KFJC in 1965 when I was the Tuesday night engineer and hosted the prescribed MOR music show. It stuck with me because faculty advisor Ken Clark was mortified. It seems he was "showing off" his station to some snob friends, and was embarrassed by this track between Montavani and Percy Faith. It's hard to think of this as a rebel track, except in that context. Clark thought radio drama was coming back, that radio was television without pictures. He didn't care if some of us actually wanted to do and learn radio.
Horror Surf (Instrumental)
This is a dramatic and magical track. It is truly dependent on the production of Josie Wilson and Bob Reisdorf (Blue Horizon Production). The big gong, the drums booming way WAY down the hall, and the surf guitar lead all come together to create a truly unique track. I can't say it's exactly melodic, but it truly does capture your attention.
War Of The Satellites
Space Rock (Instrumental)
"War Of The Satellites" is just too cutesy for my taste. Childish space effects and arranging.
Horror Rock (Instrumental)
This is a tribal thing with vibrato lead and slow human voice glissandoes. More a jam and riff with great drums and spooky movie chorus than a song.
Space Surf (Instrumental)
This misses the point of the original. The added slide accents detract from the melody, giving it a silly air. The arrangement is otherwise pretty close to the Pyramids, except for the addition of the girl chorus.
Bachelor Pad Space MOR (Instrumental)
This is a very pretty melody over a plinky "Summer Place" backtrack with chorus. The writing is much better than the arrangement.
Space Surf (Instrumental)
Throbbing vibrato, energetic drums, and a nifty riff make up this cool rhythmic track. The cadence is almost a polka, and the throb seems to work really well with that. The short drum break is very tribal.
Lycanthropy Surf (Instrumental)
"The Fourth Dimension" is a cover of the Frantics' "Werewolf." It's arranged with really solid notions and reverence for the original, marred only by the organ. Melodic, dramatic, and scary.
The Twilight Zone
Sci-Fi TV Theme Rock (Instrumental)
Things like this do nothing for me. Chorus wails... silly effects...