Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - The Singles Collection Vol. 2dotdot
artworkVolume two sports some bright spots, especially "Ten Seconds To Heaven." "Feel So Fine" is a vocal... and not the chorus, but the boys singin' over the top of a surf backtrack while the chorus scat sings. Way weird. Only a couple of picks for this one.
Picks: More, Runaway, Walk Right In, Sukiyaki, Ten Seconds To Heaven, Journey To The Stars, Angel, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Go-Go Slow, A Go-Go Guitar, A Taste Of Honey, No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In), Secret Agent Man, 007-11, Stop Action, Whittier Blvd., Kimi To Itsu Mademo, Yozoro No Hoshi, Batman, The Man From U. N. C. L. E., Out Of Limits, Penetration

Track by Track Review

More dot
CTI Jazz (Instrumental)

The theme from Mondo Cane even more syrupy than Kai Winding's version...

Runaway dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A pedestrian arrangement of Del Shannon's hit, more rock oriented than the medley, but still nothing to hoot about.

Walk Right In dotdotdot
Folk Rock (Instrumental)

The Rooftop Singers' hit mushed up... acoustic guitar and not much personality. The chorus sings the lyrics.

Sukiyaki dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This is a pretty and fluffy arrangement of one of the first Japanese / American cross over hits.

Ten Seconds To Heaven dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Strangers In Paradise" made into an excellent surf track, with fine reverb and a great arrangement. This is the Ventures at their surf period finest.

Journey To The Stars dotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

Pumped and deliriously solid, this sports major edge and really fine playing. The thunder is less than the studio track, but the menace is still there. Very strong!

Angel dotdotdot
MOR (Vocal)

Soft vocal meanderings... NEXT!

Jingle Bells dotdot
Christmas (Instrumental)

"What'd I Say" with the clap. Not very interesting at all.

White Christmas dotdot
Christmas (Instrumental)

Call the Medic, "Blue Star" has succumbed to Bingo Crosbiano. Just formulaic.

Go-Go Slow dotdotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

Choppy go-go backtrack, guitar throbbing with vibrato, and the organ whirling in the background. Parts of this melody are mighty close to "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter."

A Go-Go Guitar dotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

This is more like "Memphis" than go-go, more country than rock... It's a guitar riff.

A Taste Of Honey dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Too MOR movie theme for me... It's fun, alright, but I don't really get this sort of thing.

No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The T-Bones hit with this tune from an antacid commercial... this is less interesting.

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.

007-11 dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A round melody with an infectious beat, all very simple, yet quite effective. Arranged like some of their surf material, but without the reverb. This often overlooked track was covered well by the LeRoi Brothers on the B-side of a 12 incher over a decade ago.

Stop Action dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Exotic spy bongos and a minimal riff.... guitar and organ.

Whittier Blvd. dotdotdot
Go-Go Fuzz (Instrumental)

This is one thin cover of the incredible east LA anthem of Thee Midnighters. The whole idea is lost in the Ventures sound. There's no mariachi feel, no cruisin' the main ethic. Just the riffs. The organ substitutes for the horns, but doesn't carry it off, and the power of the big chord section is totally missing.

Kimi To Itsu Mademo dot
MOR (Instrumental)

This Japanese release is mighty syrupy... pretty, but MOR to the max.

Yozoro No Hoshi dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big whammy and a guitar tone like Yuzo Kayama's, with a great surf second guitar providing the rhythm and glissandoes. A very cool track, somewhat reminiscent of "Washington Square."

Rock (Instrumental)

Cheesy Neil Hefty TV themery... The chorus sings and the riff goes on and on.

The Man From U. N. C. L. E. dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Vibrato shimmer is all that saves this from being just another TV theme cover... and at that, it's not enough to keep it afloat, especially after the chorus joins in.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Mike Gordon's most familiar tune, delivered dry with edge. Some really tasty playing from Nokie Edwards.

Penetration dotdot
Rock (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.