Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - Surfingdotdotdot
artworkThis is an extended version of The Ventures' 1963 album Surfing, intended to cash in on the surf instro craze. Some cool tracks, but they got more surfy in 1964 when they discovered reverb.
Picks: Pipeline, Surf Rider, Changing Tides, The Ninth Wave, Barefoot Venture, Cruncher, The Lonely Sea, Damaged Goods, The Ninth Wave, High Tide, Wild Night, Caravan

Track by Track Review


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.

Diamonds dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A light weight version of the tune done so well by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. Much too thin, and the chorus is unnecessary.

Windy And Warm dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

John D. Loudermilk's "Windy And Warm" is done with a grin, as it must be. It's so dry, it doesn't fall into the surf camp as other covers have. Still, it's a tasty track, with a friendly feel.

Ten Over dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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

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!

Changing Tides dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The sounds of the sea open this soft shimmering vibrato piece. Its not quite as fluid as "The Lonely Sea," but it is pretty. The lead work is quite delicate against a tepid backtrack.

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.

Party In Laguna dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is actually the Champs' "Tequila" recut. Nothing to write home about.

Barefoot Venture dotdotdot
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.

The Heavies dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Just so-so rock format choppy instro fare. Not interesting.

Cruncher dotdotdot
Surf (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.

Damaged Goods dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This semi surfy soft rock track was a single flip side. It's textured with dry guitars and a herky jerky progression. It's the sort of track you want to dislike, but somehow it creeps into your consciousness and stick.

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.

Hawaiian Surfing dotdotdot
Polynesian Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal military drums a la Roy Orbison's "Leah" under a moderate lead. Underdeveloped, but with potential. More Hawaiian than surf.

High Tide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf rhythm guitar and a slight melody over "Caravan" drums. Interesting and unusual, but restrained. This is not the Lively Ones tune.

Wild Night dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a dry guitar romp with a semi-country riff. catchy and a bit edgy too. Minor fuzz, and the sort of charm The Ventures were capable of more often than not.

Caravan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is very much more engaging without the overdubs. The guitar's tone, which lost edge in release version, is very strong. Great drums and infectious rhythms enhance this Duke Ellington classic.