Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - The Ventures Play Telstar and The Lonely Bulldot
artworkThe Ventures Play Telstar - The Lonely Bull And Others sports only one note worthy track from a surf perspective. It's mostly pop MOR.
Picks: Telstar, The Lonely Bull, Mexico, Calcutta, Apache, Never On Sunday, Tequila, Green Onions, Percolator, Red River Rock, Let There Be Drums, Last Night

Track by Track Review


Telstar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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 dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Mexico dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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®

Calcutta dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

MOR pop fluff, chorus and all. makes you wanna play your mom's records.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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 dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Tequila dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Green Onions dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

When studio bands cover studio bands... none of the magic of Booker T. & the MG's.

Percolator dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Red River Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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 dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Let There Be Drums" is one of Sandy Nelson's many drum hits. Mel Taylor does OK, but it's just not Sandy Nelson.

Last Night dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Mar-Keys (sp) with organ instead of piano. Not to cool.