3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Ventures released the original "Surfing" album in May `63 which was probably the peak year for Surfing as a music fashion/fad/genre or whatever. The lads had already had nine albums out (or nine hit albums if one slavishly follows the sleeve notes) during which time surf music had developed so I guess, as elder statesmen (already) of rock instrumentals, we would expect them to comment in music on the "new" music form. Or at least we would expect their record label to try and make some money out of it. And with the CD release we could probably expect some even more creative financial enterprise!
Sorry for the touch of cynicism; I'll try to keep it under control.
What the album consists of is the original 12 tracker release supplemented by "some rather tasty album tracks" - I'm quoting from the notes again - what this phrase actually means is a job lot of some very well known and some far less well known tracks. For someone who didn't know the Ventures and was just browsing looking for surf music possibly after viewing one of those Tarantino movies, well that particular person might well be very happy to have "Perfidia", "Walk don't run" and "Walk don't run `64" plus "Hawaii Five-O", "Lonely Bull" and "Let`s go". However the Ventures fan who already has these many times already might be slightly less pleased.
The original album is rather good, comprising nine originals from the band plus their versions of the Chantays "Pipeline", which had very recently scored heavily in the US charts, "Diamonds" from ex-Shadows Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, and "Windy and Warm" which the notes say is a standard though my checking reveals this to be a song written by country singer John D. Loudermilk with a well known version of it from Chet Atkins. Anyway all these tracks are very listenable; it's good to hear the band get their teeth into some slightly more obscure material than usual.
And, putting the cynicism aside for a moment and skipping past those tracks which are anthologised far too often - they're mainly front loaded - there's some nice stuff in here. Towards the end we get four live tracks recorded in Japan in 1993. The sound on these is excellent - the band driving along nicely to the evident appreciation of the audience.
And finally, is there anything wrong with identifying the Ventures with surf music? With the possible exception of Dick Dale who was anything but typical, the vast majority of surf bands will have undoubtedly have been influenced by the Ventures. In their turn, the Ventures have incorporated several surf licks into their own music and include surf numbers in their act. To today's audience the Ventures probably ARE a surf band and it's only rock instro experts and aged pedants like myself who might say anything to the contrary. Well I'm going to keep my mouth shut and wish them luck - keep on surfing guys.