Ventures (The) - Walk Don't Run (Music CD)

Release Date: 16 April 2012
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The Ventures' first album was, like many early-'60s rock & roll records, totally overshadowed by the hit title track, an instrumental rock classic that the group never matched again in its entire career, let alone over the course of its first LP. Still, the rest of the record did showcase the reverb-heavy guitar sound and tight, crisp arrangements that became their trademarks, and were extremely influential on emerging guitarists, especially those who would pioneer surf music. It's a little too heavy on routine covers of familiar rock and pop songs (including previous instrumental rock smashes like "Raunchy," "Honky Tonk," and "Sleep Walk"). Only on the two originals, "The McCoy" and especially "The Switch," do the Ventures come close to capturing the urgency that drove "Walk, Don't Run." The 2011 expanded U.K. CD edition on Él presents both the stereo and mono versions of the album, as well as the single version of "The McCoy" and their only other big early-'60s single, their memorable adaptation of the early-'40s Xavier Cugat hit "Perfida." In a move that might puzzle some Ventures fans for its incongruity, it also adds nine tracks from 1957-1960 by British guitarist Bert Weedon, who had some success (especially with his U.K. hit version of "Guitar Boogie Shuffle," which was a hit in the States for the Virtues) with guitar-oriented instrumental rock recordings in the U.K. around the time the Ventures were emerging. (Weedon was also esteemed for his instructional book Play in a Day, which helped numerous guitarists later to make their mark on 1960s British rock learn the instrument.) While not entirely logical additions, these are actually worthwhile, as they're in a style not too far removed from what the Ventures (and, in the U.K., the Shadows) were doing at the time. Though they're a little less powerful than the best of the work by those two groups, they're pretty lively, including both "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" and his other British Top 20 hit ("Sorry Robbie"), as well as his version of "Apache," a song far more associated with the Shadows. ~ Richie Unterberger
Release Date: 16 April 2012


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Catalogue No: DAY2CD151