Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - Twist Party Vol. 1 and Vol. 2dotdotdot
artworkTwo classic Ventures albums coupled for extra pleasure. Some great tracks, some not so, as was very common with this band. All well recorded and arranged.
Picks: Driving Guitars, The Twist, Road Runner, Gringo, Moon Dawg, Guitar Twist, Opus Twist, Movin' And Groovin', Sunny River, Let's Twist Again, Shanghai'd, Bumble Bee Twist, My Bonnie Lies, Twisted, Besame Mucho, Blue Tail Fly, Swanee River Twist, Instant Guitars, Dart Eyes Twist, Counterpoint, Kicking Around, Bluebird, Red Wing Twist, Stick Shift, Ventures Stomp

Track by Track Review


Driving Guitars dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This alternate take on "Driving Guitars" is rich and full of spunk. The lead guitar has an intense tone. The slowly descending dry muted glissandos are pretty cool. Very nice to hear it undubbed.

The Twist dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a rhythmic, but uninspired cover of Chubby Checker's "The Twist." The chorus connects the dots, but also makes this really cheesy.

Road Runner dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the Wailers great tune. It's percussive and repetitive, and based on a choppy rhythm guitar dominating a simple riff. This is not as raw as the original, nor as interesting.

Gringo dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The great Ventures sense of rhythm guitar holds this together. The melody is light and playful, and the overall affect enjoyable. "Gringo" is more easy listening than anything else.

Moon Dawg dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The drums are clearly The Ventures as this rhythmic cover of The Gamblers' "Moon Dawg" rambles forth. The drums rock, while the guitars play at a low volume. While no where near as raucous as the Derry Weaver original, it's still a very tasteful and enjoyable track.

Guitar Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Guitar Twist" uses the guitar riff from Ray Charles' "What'd I Say." Very well crafted, but pretty tame compared to the original or most covers, though it sure does satisfy.

Opus Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Opus Twist" is a fairly jammy piece with great drums and energy. It gets lost in the sea of Ventures instros, but deserves a listen.

Movin' And Groovin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Duane Eddy's "Moovin' and Groovin'" is string-bent cool, and is augmented with downright silly laughter and hollers. Pretty solid.

Sunny River dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Sunny River" is a splendid country guitar duet with a catchy riff. It's really nicely played and recorded.

Let's Twist Again dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again" is gimmicky fodder for The Ventures. Competent, but quite unremarkable.

Shanghai'd dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The rhythm guitar is classic in this tepid cover of The Wailers' nasty "Shanghai'd." It's all about the rhythm here, with the jammy nature of the melody becoming very obvious in the absence of ominous tone and pace.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the version of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumble Bee" that everyone covers. The guitar double picks around the flight pattern in a simplified pattern most players use. Very influential and tasty.

My Bonnie Lies dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This traditional song benefits from The Ventures great drums and characteristic styling, but in the end won't really stand out. The rhythm guitar does some nice muted chord drag-outs.

Twisted dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Percussive and very cool, this sports a surfy second guitar playing ringing chords and alternating with a dry lead playing a simple riff. It's texturally interesting, and uses enough changes to keep from being too repetitive.

Besame Mucho dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Consuelo Velasquez's "Besame Mucho" is very nicely translated into The Ventures aural envelope. The rhythm guitar is straight out of a dozen other Ventures tracks, yet always sounds fresh. It's a great combination, and a formula they will successfully apply a million times later on, including their classic Christmas tracks.

Blue Tail Fly dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Tail Fly" is really nicely done. While probably inspired by the Johnny and the Hurricanes hit "Beatnik Fly," this is thoroughly original. Rich in filigrees and flash, and layered with well structured textures, this is one fine track!

Swanee River Twist dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This cover is not very interesting to me. It just seems like filler.

Instant Guitars dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great goofy note bending and a warm melody riff couple with their classic rhythm sense for a playful and entertaining country-like romp.

Dart Eyes Twist dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Originally called "Chorni Ochi," this classic track was written by Yevhen Hrebinka in Ukrane around 1840. There are many fine instro covers, one of which is this excellent arrangement. The break melody melody is liberated from "Malaguena."

Counterpoint dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Counterpoint" features great drums, and is nicely played as a duet between the guitars, but in the end, it's the drums that make it rock.

Kicking Around dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Kicking Around" is just not much more than a riff rocker. Great gutty rhythm guitar tremolo warble, but supporting little from a melody perspective.

Bluebird dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This song sports a fanciful melody and great drums, along with a solid arrangement. There are even glimpses of near-glissandos. A future surf epic in disguise?

Red Wing Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This classic folk melody is playfully regenerated in their formulaic manner for a surprisingly enjoyable journey.

Stick Shift dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Duals' "Stick Shift" finds its way across the speakers without much drive. The drums are cool, but the track lacks the spunk of the original, except for the drums. Still, it's different and interesting.

Ventures Stomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Spunky drums, a country riff, and some kinda fun... this is unusually structured and quite enjoyable. Not a hint of surf, but excellent fun.