Yep folks, Vaults 4 is definitely the best in the Vaults series and includes very informative liner notes. Ace records always does a nice
booklet and I was very pleased to see that all photos are in color.
What a great service Dave Burke and Alan Taylor have done with their
keen ear on what us stalwart Ventures fans have been clamering for
all these years. This collection answers many questions about
session players and unheard tracks.
"Journey to the Stars"...Holy frickin' cow!!! The sound quality and the
performance on this studio live version of "Journey to the Stars" is
among their very greatest performances. It even has Don's vocal intro.
Delicado - About a gazillion times better than the Latin Album
version (and I like that version). Another tune that I suspect they
heard first from Chet Atkins (he did it on his fantastic "The Other
Chet Atkins" album) as there version is similar to his. The liner
notes ask why this was never released and I have to agree to that
Night Run and Scratch (mono) - amazing quality direct from the
master. Not stereo, but still wonderful.
Station Breaks - Great alternate version of Orange Fire.
Driving Guitars - Probably the best cleanest recorded example of a
naturally overdriven Mosrite in the '60's. But this ain't just a
guitar feature, Mel's drums are very powerful on this cut.
Don't Avoid Me - Great finger style guitar intro. A great
mid '60's country rock with the verse reminding me very very much of
the Monkees' "Aunty Grizelda".
Echo - great spy-surf type track. What an amazing find from the vaults!
Actual session sheet in the liner notes!!! Doesn't say who played
what on what track but does list the names for who played on House
Rising Sun, Blue Coral (early title for Diamond Head), Peach Fuzz, Night Walk,
Slaughter. All the Ventures are listed with Mel paid double as
leader of the session. Stewart Kreisman and (Leon) Russell Bridges
are the only non-Ventures on the session.
Delta Lady - Very '70's country pop instro. Nice cut.
Heart on My Sleeve (mono) - One of my favorite early Ventures
singles direct from the master - spectacular.
Like You've Never Known Before - Strange one though not bad. Very
catchy vocal with a Western Union type verse.
Original Number One - Mel counts in an early rocker. Not a
spectacular tune, easily understood why it didn't make an album as
its just another 3-chord tune. But it is still the Ventures doing it
better than anyone else.
Black Tarantella - Oh boy is this a great one. I think it is the
same track that we've heard on bootlegs and as a bonus cut on one of
the One Way CD's BUT this is true stereo and has horn and shout
overdubs. A great production.
The Twonp (mono) - Don's early masterpiece direct from the master
for wonderful sound.
Beautiful Obsession - Very '70's pop, similar to what they
recorded for the Japanese albums at that time.
Bumble Bee - ANother great driving Mosrite cut from the "live"
Son of a Preacher Man - Gerry McGee at his best.
Runaway - out of tune guitar in the intro is my guess why this
stayed in the can. Otherwise it's a great production. The Vaults
producers feel this is Hal Blaine on drums - no two ways about it to
my ears. That's Hal all the way.
Downtown - Love it!!! This would have been such a contribution to
10th Anniversary album. Its hard to believe it was left off.
Pedal Pusher - Don Wilson is so clearly heard playing heavy
Mosrite single note back-up and then amazing Don Wilson style rhythm
during Nokie's face melting solo break. So great to hear it without
Feel So Fine (mono) - Great sound from the original master tape.
Medly WDR - Perfidia - Lullaby - I love the stereo spread on
these un-dubbed studio live cuts.
The Jam - Oh wait a minute.did I say that "Sone of a Preacher man"
was Gerry McGee at his best, this track has me rethinking that
Caravan - The thin tom tone at the beginning is a bit
disappointing. But the rest of the drum sound is great as is the
rest of this recording.