May 12, 2009
VENTURES - THE FABULOUS VENTURES (DOLTON/LIBERTY 1964) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve [stereo + mono]
The Ventures enjoyed their greatest popularity and success in the US and Japan in the 1960s, but they have continued to perform and record up to the present. With over 110 million albums sold worldwide, the group remains the best selling instrumental rock group of all time. 38 Ventures albums (including a seasonal Christmas album) charted in the US, and six of fourteen chart singles made it into the Top 40, with three making it into the Top 10. Of their 38 chart albums, 34 of them occurred in the 1960s, and The Ventures rank as the 6th best pop album performer for that decade, according to "Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums".
Among their achievements in America, in 1963 The Ventures had five LPs in the Billboard Top 100 at the same time. Additionally, they released a series of instructional LPs entitled Play Guitar with The Ventures and Play Electric Bass with The Ventures. Four LPs were released in this series, the first of which reached the Billboard Top 100 Album Chart—an achievement previously unheard of for an instructional LP. In a novelty achievement, The Ventures were the first act to place two different versions of the same song in the Top 10, those being "Walk Don't Run" (#2) and "Walk Don't Run '64" (#8).
While they predated the advent of the terms surf guitar and surf rock, and they do not consider themselves a surf rock group; they were a major building block of surf music, if not the first to play the style. Guitar Player, in an article titled "20 Essential Rock Albums", cited elements of their 1960 "Walk Don't Run" album which presaged the then-coming surf trend.
Also the Ventures were among the first rock acts able to sell albums based on a style and sound without needing hit singles on the albums. They are also credited by The All Music Guide To Rock with the early formulation of the concept album.
This is one of The Ventures' most famous albums. In a legue of its own, riding high with Telstar, Ventures In Space, Batman, Hawaii Five O, and Walk Dont Run Vol 2 in popularity. Perhaps the most well known song on this album is Journey To The Stars, written by a member of The T-Bones, a recording group for Liberty Records. Don Wilson, on the Live In Japan 65' album says, before they play this number on the album that is was from The Ventures In Space Album. It certainly sounds like a "space" tune, just the name of it alone. Who knows if he made a mistake or the song simply got moved to this album. Pink Panther Theme is also a highlight here...