The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. The band, a quartet for most of its existence, helped to popularize the electric guitar in the United States and across the world during the 1960s. While their popularity in the United States waned in the 1970s, the group remains especially revered in Japan, where they tour regularly to this day. The classic lineup of the band consisted of Wilson (rhythm guitar), Bogle (initially lead guitar, switched to bass), Nokie Edwards (initially bass, switched to lead guitar), and Mel Taylor (drums).
Their first wide-release single, “Walk, Don’t Run”, brought international fame to the group, and is often cited as one of the top songs ever recorded for guitar. In the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band’s albums charted in the US, ranking them as the 6th best album chart performer during the 1960s, and the band had 14 singles in the Billboard Hot 100. With over 100 million records sold, the Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
The Ventures have had an enduring impact on the development of music worldwide. The band was among the first to employ and popularize fuzz and flanging guitar effects, concept albums, and twelve-string guitars in rock music. Their instrumental virtuosity, innovation, and unique sound influenced many musicians and bands, earning the group the moniker “The Band that Launched a Thousand Bands”. Their recording of “Walk, Don’t Run” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its lasting impact, and in 2008 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Ventures pioneered the use of special effects on such songs as “The 2000 Pound Bee”, recorded in late 1962, in which lead guitarist Nokie Edwards employed a fuzz pedal. Edwards’ use of “fuzz tone” predated the “King of Fuzz Guitar”, Davie Allan of The Arrows, by at least three years. In addition, Edwards was among the first to use the twelve-string guitar in rock. The 1964 The Ventures In Space album was a primer in the use of special guitar effects, and made pioneering use of ‘reverse-tracking’. The Ventures In Space, because of its ethereal space-like effects, was deemed an influence on the later 1960s San Francisco psychedelic generation, as well as being cited as a favorite by Keith Moon of the Who.
The band’s cover of the Tornados’ “Telstar” (released in January 1963) featured one of the first instances of flanging on a pop record. The song “Silver Bells” on The Ventures’ Christmas Album, released in November 1965, has one of the first recorded uses of a talk box as a musical effect, voiced by Red Rhodes.
The Ventures have had an influence on many musicians, both professional and amateur. Their instructional album, Play Guitar with the Ventures, was the first such record to chart on the Billboard Top LPs list, peaking at No. 96, and taught thousands of budding guitarists how to play the guitar. George Harrison stated in a Guitar Player interview that he preferred the American guitar sound of the Ventures to British contemporaries. When asked to name the most influential rock guitar solos, Joe Walsh said he would have to include the entire song “Walk, Don’t Run” because it changed so many guitar players’ lives.
John Fogerty, during his introduction of the Ventures at their Hall of Fame induction, said that it “kicked open a whole movement in rock and roll… The sound of it became ‘surf music’ and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere.” Stephen Stills told Ventures guitarist Don Wilson that he learned to play on Ventures records. Jeff Baxter and Gene Simmons were early members of the Ventures Fan Club. Carl Wilson called the Ventures a major influence on his early guitar playing, stating that the Beach Boys had learned to play all of their songs by ear. (wikipedia)
And here´s their 12th album !
The Ventures were not a surf band. Well-established before surf music’s brief heyday in the mid-’60s, they have nonetheless been easily lumped in with the likes Dick Dale and the Challengers due mostly to the Ventures’ theme for Hawaii Five-0 and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts late in their career. However, their Surfing album is not hindered by a lack of authentication. Perhaps because they were older, or were more professional musicians, Surfing sounds less like an actual surfer’s attempt at re-creating the feeling on their boards and more like a cloudy, early-morning walk on the beach, evoked by languid, almost atmospheric numbers like “Changing Tides” and “The Lonely Sea.” Lead guitarist Nokie Edwards wrote perhaps the best-known song from the album, “Surf Rider,” made famous by its inclusion in the movie Pulp Fiction. Other Ventures originals showcase the band’s capabilities with the lightning-quick guitar work and pounding drums that went on to define the genre. The album also contains a helpful glossary for the landlocked. (by Kurt Edwards)
Bob Bogle (bass , guitar)
Nokie Edwards (lead guitar)
Mel Taylor (drums)
Don Wilson (guitar)
An EP from Italy:
01. Pipeline (Spickard/Connan) 2.18
02. Diamonds (Lordan) 2.10
03. Windy And Warm (Loudermilk) 2.24
04. Ten Over (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 1.57
05. Surf Rider (Edwards) 2.24
06. Changing Tides (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.55
07. The Ninth Wave (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.08
08. Party In Laguna (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.18
09. Barefoot Venture (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.11
10. The Heavies (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 1.48
11. Cruncher (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.24
12. The Lonely Sea (Wilson/Taylor/Edwards/Bogle) 2.51
Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist for the influential instrumental rock band the Ventures, died on January 22 at the age of 88. Wilson’s family first confirmed to Seattle journalist Saint Bryan that the guitarist “passed peacefully” of natural causes in Tacoma, Washington.
“Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over world with his band, The Ventures,” Don’s son Tim Wilson said in a statement. “He will have his place in history forever and was much loved and appreciated. He will be missed.”
Wilson and guitarist/bassist Bob Bogle formed the Ventures in 1958 when they were both Seattle-area construction workers moonlighting as musicians; just two years later, the Ventures’ electric guitar-led rendition of Johnny Smith’s “Walk, Don’t Run” rose to Number Two on the Hot 100; it was later included among Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.
“[“Walk, Don’t Run”] started a whole new movement in rock & roll,” John Fogerty said when inducting the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The sound of it became ‘surf music’ and the audacity of it empowered guitarists everywhere.” In the first half of the Sixties, the band would go on to have hits with “Telstar,” “Perfidia” and a take on the theme from “Hawaii Five-O.”
Drummer Mel Taylor died in 1996, followed by Bogle in 2009, lead guitarist Nokie Edwards in 2018 and guitarist Gerry McGee in 2019. (Rollingstone.com)