Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Ventures - Radical Guitars
|This LP compiles Japanese only releases from the Ventures, cut in the eighties. Some good stuff, some stiffs.|
Picks: Ginza Ska, Pike, Ride On Try, Washington Square, Movin', Le Dernier Train, The 2000 Pound Bee, Mushuku, Bumble Bee, Theme From No Smoking, Three, Three and Nine Times, Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Track by Track Review
This delicately echoed number speaks to the Japanese fan base of the Ventures. The melody is oriental in nature, and the ska-like back track gives it a surreal air. Dry tone, and very well done.
Organ underpinned, and very eighties sounding, like something out of a Cowboys International daydream. Definitely oriental. It's an oddly intriguing track.
Glissandoes and a thin guitar, whammy and a forgettable riff. The whammy and glissandoes are cool, but in the same way that Summer Breeze did their tracks.
The damped plucking of the second guitar is nifty, and the ska backtrack is cool too. The lead is really thin.
It's amazing how similar in arrangement this is to the Summer Breeze version. I don't know who was there first... In any event, this is a fairly interesting, though tepid version of the Lee Hazelwood classic.
This is a splendid track. It resides somewhere between Euro guitar instro and surf. It has an infectious melody and a solid arrangement. It doesn't sound even remotely French, though the title suggests it.
They've done this a million times. Bobby Fuller and many others covered it. It's still just a low-E riff rocker. This take is fairly thick and grodie for the Ventures.
Cheesy eighties Casio keys and Euro pop bass take this pleasant melody into the realm of MOR/disco.
Surf Rock (Instrumental)
"Flight Of The Bumble Bee," cut once again by the Ventures. It still works only for them. I don't know why no one else can make this stick, but it seems it requires the sterile studio approach and musicianship only they can muster. Too fun.
Theme From No Smoking
Eighties Surf Rock (Instrumental)
Surf rhythm guitar, eighties disco keyboard bass, and a warm melody... I can't get behind it.
Three, Three and Nine Times
Hand claps and funk wah-wah, and an overused Ventures' whammy...
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is very well phrased, but definitely targeted at octogenarians.