Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - In The Vaults Volume 3dotdotdot
artworkThis is another in the vault purge series from Ace. Some fine tracks, some rare stuff, and some mung.
Picks: Blue Moon, Instant Mashed, The Ninth Wave, Lucille, Adventures In Paradise, The Chase, The Real McCoy, Kickstand, Blue Star, Rebel Rouser, Flights Of Fantasy, Vibrations, Artesia, Honey, Little People, Night Of Our Trip, Dreams Of Yesterday, Don't Leave Me, Red Flame, Between Stage, Wait For Me, Two In Love, Summer Affair, Bullet Train, Anno Domini

Track by Track Review

Blue Moon dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Marcels made it a household rock standard, though it started life as something totally different. The Ventures bring swell whammy and that "Walk, Don't Run" drums and rhythm sound to it, making it straddle the fence between rock & MOR with really tasty edge and guitar tone.

Instant Mashed dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This original is not in the mashed potato mold, but is more like other Ventures tunes. The beat is staid, and the guitar restrained.

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.

Lucille dot
Soft Rock Blues Jazz (Instrumental)

Little Richard's "Lucille" finds itself all trimmed down to a jazzy-bluesy soft rock treatment. Misses the point completely.

Adventures In Paradise dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an island lush cover of the theme to the short lived TV show. The lead guitar shimmer with tremolo. The strings add a sound track feel, and detract from the pure beauty of the recording.

The Chase dotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

This is an active panned psychedelic version of "Space Race" with motorcycles racing and taken essentially from a mono mix. It's very interesting, and the mix makes it very different from the In Space version.

The Real McCoy dotdotdot
Country Rock (Instrumental)

With faux Walter Brennan voicings, this first track from The Ventures is very simple. It's little more than a progression in the fifties tradition. Historically important, but not all that remarkable.

Kickstand dot
Biker (Instrumental)

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

Blue Star dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The theme from "Medic" played on steel or bottle necked guitar. It's a nice track, melodic and pretty, but not at all rockin'.

Rebel Rouser dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Covering Duane Eddy with slightly edgier guitar tone and dry rhythms doesn't make it interesting.

Flights Of Fantasy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A phased country guitar simulating a weird trip with a headache. This is a very odd track, pretty interesting, yet sorta Davie Allan wannabe. Exotic and psychedelic, line dancing flowing skirted party bash happy, and grode too.

Vibrations dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

All phase shifted and weirded out, "Vibrations" throbs with tremolo and over production. It uses a cool beat and sports a fine melody. It's just that it has a fake Hollywood psych image, though the extremes it's taken to do somewhat predict Vibrasonic's sound.

Artesia dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

This is a light weight middle of the road number, perhaps like a less energetic Al Caiola track. You wouldn't miss this if you never heard it.

Honey dotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Pure easy listening with strings and a slow pace. The tremolo guitar is pretty, but this is such a cheesy song! Never mind.

Little People dotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Electro tweaky in a gimmicky way, "Little People" is produced to parrot the inventive sound of Gershon Kingsley's Popcorn. Dismissible.

Night Of Our Trip dot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"Night Of Our Trip" is a light weight number with a touch of commercial country. I can't say I care about this track. Easy listening with drums.

Dreams Of Yesterday dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"Dreams Of Yesterday" is a mix of easy country and disco bass, with an easy afternoon sound. It's the sort of track I don't want to like, but it is soothing in its own way. The melody is very nice.

Don't Leave Me dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Exotic percussion and a smooth melody played on acoustic guitar and piano make this an easy listening number with a rock beat. It's an interesting combination.

Red Flame dotdotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

"Red Flame" sounds a little oriental, but with fake sitar and fuzz. It's a little pompous, yet is oddly fun.

Between Stage dotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Easy listening slow dance music with strings and a ho-hum melody. You could have heard this in an elevator.

Wait For Me dot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Organ and rock guitar play a pretty melody in an unmemorable way. Next.

Two In Love dotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Pretty piano opens as lap steel and a gentle country air flows from "Two In Love." It's the sort of thing that could easily have been used as a bumper in commercial country radio.

Summer Affair dotdot
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Extra easy, with modulated guitar and extremely light energy. Late night pretty, except for the modulation, which is a little gimmicky.

Bullet Train dotdotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

"Bullet Train" is rockin' choppy and fun. Great drums, long Davie Allan-ish eighties guitar tone. This one grows on you, perhaps due to its energy. Even when the high speed tremolo comes along, the song still works.

Anno Domini
Easy Listening (Instrumental)

Super easy listening, rather mushy, and verging on disco. "Anno Domini" sounds like it wants to be Eumir Deodato. Oh boy!