Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - Surfin' '77dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a fine best of the surf period Japanese vinyl release from 1977. It contains most of the enduring reverb laden tracks from the Ventures.
Picks: Diamond Head, Surf Rider, Pipeline, Barefoot Venture, Black Sand Beach, The Ninth Wave, Kick Stand, Wipe Out, The Cruel Sea, Cruncher, The Lonely Sea, Ten Over, Yellow Jacket, Ten Seconds To Heaven

Track by Track Review

Diamond Head dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

They called it "Spudnik" on their mashed potato album. The Lively Ones renamed it and made it a surf classic. This is quite dry compared to the Lively Ones' version. It's such a solid piece of writing!

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures recorded "Pipeline" with no reverb, and very uneven glissando meter, plus little of the emotional beauty of the Chantays' original classic. It's a flat-pickers rendition, not particularly interesting.

Barefoot Venture dotdotdot
Fuzz and Surf (Instrumental)

Fuzz and surf in a fairly typical fifties format, sax break and all. It's infectious in a neighborhood surf band kinda way, with chunky rhythm and lots of fun. The feel is a little like a softer Nobles track.

Black Sand Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a great cover of Yuzo Kayama and the Launchers' hit Japanese single. Very much like the original, it's one guitar hero paying homage to another across the culture lines. Solid rockin' fun.

The Ninth Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track was a single c/w "Damaged Goods." Not exactly a surf tune, but infectious and rhythmic none the less. "The Ninth Wave" is chunky and almost crunchy, with the feel of the waves and a fairly dry sound.

Kick Stand dotdotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Bikerisms abound in this Venturization of the Davie Allan sound. OK, but not overly interesting.

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.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Also titled "The Cruel Surf," this is an odd version, with the lead guitar mixed pretty low. It's faster and more pumped than the Dakotas' original. The guitar tone is quite dry.

Cruncher dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Infectious Sandy Nelson style minimal guitar licks fronting what is essentially a drum record. Tribal and pretty fun.

The Lonely Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This splendid island breeze classic is so friendly... and so Polynesian... and just so cool! melodic and a pure joy to listen to. Really well written and well played.

Ten Over dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A landlocked surf tune with whammy and a stop-start beat, A little too herky jerky and unmelodic.

Yellow Jacket dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Very big in Japan, this is a fine riff based tune, dry and fun.

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.