Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - À Go-Godotdot
artworkThis Japanese reissue is expensive and hard to come by. This CD is among the few surviving examples of the go-go sound which briefly swept the discotheques of the mid sixties. Mostly unimportant tracks.
Picks: [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction, Go-Go Slow, Louie Louie, Night Stick, La Bamba, The 'In' Crowd, Woolly Bully, A Go-Go Guitar, A Go-Go Dancer, The Swingin' Creeper, Whittier Blvd., I Like It Like That

Track by Track Review

[I Can't Get No] Satisfaction dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

When the Ventures morphed once again into the go-go sound, they picked tunes that leant themselves to the style, then used the style on only some. This is a pretty tame instrumental take on the Rolling Stones definitive sixties punk anthem, with tame fuzz guitar carrying "that riff," while the keyboard carries the melody line.

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."

Louie Louie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The perennial and definitive rock 'n' roll song from the mighty pen of Richard Berry is done up here with the organ carrying the chords and the guitar playing the melody. It's a mid tempo arrangement, with a well balanced arrangement.

Night Stick dotdotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

This is one fast and choppy track, a progression designed for the dance floor of the local discotheques like Sunnyvale's Wayne Manor. Quite fun.

La Bamba dotdotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

This go-go treatment of the eternal Richie Valens hit is really nice, with excellent guitar work and an infectious beat. The harmonica verse is an odd change, reflecting the folk rock influences that coexisted with the go-go sound.

The 'In' Crowd dotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

Dobie Gray's soul hit about cliques as viewed from the inside and peer pressure as a good thing is delivered by organ mostly, without much flair or interest.

Woolly Bully dotdotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs' tune is perfect for the go-go sound. It's already choppy backtrack is easily adapted to the go-go chop style. This is cool to a degree, but then falls apart.

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 Go-Go Dancer dotdotdotdot
Go-Go Surf (Instrumental)

This is thee track here, surfy reverbed, totally damped go-go playing, rhythm based, intense and deliberate. The simple riff just grabs and pleases. Great track for fun.

The Swingin' Creeper dotdotdot
Go-Go Fuzz (Instrumental)

This thick fuzzy number is choppy and repetitious, interesting for the first few bars, but then not. It would be a good backtrack to a snotty vocal. No where as interesting as King Fuzz's material.

Whittier Blvd. dotdotdot
Go-Go (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.

I Like It Like That dotdot
Go-Go (Instrumental)

Chris Kenner's song is lightly delivered, without his soulful artistry and without feeling.