Monday, February 27, 2006

The Ventures: The Swingin' Creeper/Pedal Pusher (Dolton)

For my money, The Ventures put out some of the greatest instrumentals in rock 'n' roll. Granted, they more often than not recorded covers of some of the biggest hits of the day and their albums were just as often filled with such filler. But when they were on, they were on fire. Just give a listen to songs like "The 2,000 Pound Bee Parts 1 and 2," "Twisted" and "Diamond Head" for only a few examples. And check out "The Ventures Live In Japan 1966" CD for a great example of how the boys could rip live in their heyday. Here's a little bit more proof for you in the form of this single in which both songs boast composer credits of "Bogle - Wilson - Edwards - Taylor." That's right, you get two Ventures originals for the price of one. And they both cook!

Let's start with a little history first. This one came shortly after the band had a minor chart success with "Diamond Head" (#70 in 1965), and some major chart success with "Walk Don't Run '64. (#8) and "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (#35). This one didn't chart at all, but that has nothing to do with its quality.

Around this time, many of the Ventures songs had the use of an organ in addition to the usual guitar-guitar-bass-drums sound, so it's not surprising that "The Swingin' Creeper" features organ in the mix. Backed up by Mel Taylor's jazzy drum beat, the organ gives the song a particularly sinister feel, sort of like a theme song to a film noir-style detective TV show. Add Nokie Edwards' fuzz guitar and pounding bass to the proceedings and you've got a hot instrumental great for tracking down spies to.

"Pedal Pusher" is a bit more of the expected Ventures guitar sound. The organ still figures prominently, but this time, the song is driven by the lead guitar of Nokie Edwards and Don Wilson's rhythm guitar. The organ just ices the cake. This time, the title tells it all. Just crank up this one and push the pedal to the metal. The Ventures have provided you a nifty soundtrack.

Thank you Don, Bob, Nokie and Mel, for another killer couple o'sides!


Anonymous said...

Finally someone, somewhere give the Ventures some due. Thanks!

keaneyes said...

Someone, somewhere??!!
In Japan, the Ventures' section in record stores is bigger than the Beatles'! You can buy everything they ever recorded - stereo/mono, live/studio.

AliveStillKickin said...

I had the LP of The Ventures....LIVE in Japan.....1966...with an outrageous version of "Wipeout"...and I can't find it anywhere.
Would settle for a cd.
It had a bunch of really LOUD japanese fans cheering...and a Japanese guy screaming some japanese stuff like "oma kasha washa ma....Ladies and Gentlemen......THE.....VENTURES!!!!"!.....and it went right into "wipeout"
Anyone else hweard it....and know where I can get it? (We will be friends for life!!.....LOL). THANK YOU....REALLY!!