Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - Walk-Don't Run [All Time Greatest Hits]dotdotdot
artworkThis is a budget CD comp of material from 1960 through the mid sixties. It has the most recognizable chart hits on it. As an intro to the Billboard side of the early Ventures, it's excellent and cheap.
Picks: Walk, Don't Run, Perfidia, Hawaii Five-0, Theme From A Summer Place, Secret Agent Man, Lolita Ya-Ya, Wipe Out, Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, Diamond Head, Ram-Bunk-Shush, Blue Moon, Lullaby Of The Leaves

Track by Track Review

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is essential. The Ventures were one of the two bands that served as the model for early surf bands, the other being the Fireballs. This was their first single, and is an absolute standard. It was based on the early fifties Chet Atkins arrangement. This is their signature tune, a solid and enduring cover of Johnny Smith's jazz classic. Rhythmic, solid as a rock, and very warm with pre-surf whammy. Only the Pink Fairies' vocal version is better than this. Great classic pre surf.

"Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia" were recorded a year before there was such a thing as surf music. Totally vintage and majorly important to the birth of surf, this Ventures single is still their hallmark and best effort. Every collection requires this track.

Perfidia dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the followup to "Walk, Don't Run," in the same style and equally infectious. The lead is less up front, but the warmth of the whammy makes this an excellent pre-surf track. Great drums and picking. The combo really comes together in this track.

Hawaii Five-0 dotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

Often covered TV theme song from the chameleons of instro rock from the 1968 TV series.

Theme From A Summer Place dotdotdot
High School Prom (Instrumental)

Plinky piano and high school hop thinking permeate this vibrato smooth rendition of the Percy Faith movie theme hit.

Secret Agent Man dotdotdot
TV Surf (Instrumental)

Another TV theme "Venturized" in the formula that became the "sound" of the Ventures... girl chorus, all too familiar covers, and adoring fans. Johnny Rivers version is way better.

Lolita Ya-Ya dotdotdot
Movie (Instrumental)

With the girls singing "ya-ya, wah-o-wah-oya-ya" continually throughout the track, the girls loved this and the boys went "yuk-o." Sappy soft and almost embarrassing from a rock credentials point of view.

Wipe Out dotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Highly uninspired dry rendering of the Surfaris classic. Mel Taylor's drums are way weak when compared to Ron Wilson's.

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The first rock interpretation from the Ventures was stunning. This is faster, more edgie, and pretty darn cool! Gutsy and dynamic. The fast dry glissandoes are pretty strange.

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Hamilton's classic instro, and among the very few surf singles the Ventures issued. Classic.

Ram-Bunk-Shush dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Ram-Bunk-Shush" is a guitar boogie, infectious and fun to play. The call and response in the lead lines is a really nice feature of this tune.

Blue Moon dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Marcels made it a household rock standard, though it started life as something totally different. The Ventures bring swell whammy and that "Walk, Don't Run" drums and rhythm sound to it, making it straddle the fence between rock & MOR with really tasty edge and guitar tone.

Lullaby Of The Leaves dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Among the most often requested of their vintage tunes, this is well surfed from a whammy point of view, but really is in the "Walk, Don't Run" mold stylistically. Excellent treatment.