The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull: The Ventures

Rating: 80%

Ventures-Play-TelstarIn 1963, the Ventures released “Telstar and the Lonely Bull.” This album features all covers of 1950’s music that is covered by guitarists Don Wilson and Nokie Edwards, bassist Bob Bogle and drummer Mel Taylor. I have always enjoyed the Ventures music as I was influenced by them when I first started playing the guitar. “Pipeline” to me was fantastic.

This album has lots of melody and lots of various tempos and musical influences. Lots of great guitar work on this album. The leads and fill ins are brilliant. “Apache” as performed by the band sounds great. “Never on Sunday” has some very weird fills in the main structure of the song that I wish players today would use. The rhythm on “Percolator” funky, with lot’s of offbeats and groovy. Most of the lead fill ins are palmed which is a technique used in heavy metal today for fast rhythm sections of the verses. “Tequila” and “Green Onions” are performed at the band’s best that will surely have your toes tapping along or playing air guitar.  To show off the talents of the drummer, the band covered “Let There Be Drums.” One of the best songs on this record. The guitar is most or less the back drop to the music with the drummer moved to center stage. This album is truly a work of art.

Track listing:

Side one
“Telstar” (2:37) – Joe Meek
“The Lonely Bull” (2:11) – Sol Lake
“Mexico” (2:26) – Boudleaux Bryant
“Calcutta” (2:20) – Heino Gaze
“Apache” (3:08) – Jerry Lordan
“Never on Sunday” (2:14) – Manos Hadjidakis
Side two
“Tequila” (2:44) – Daniel Flores
“Green Onions” (2:05) – Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Jr., Lewis Steinberg
“Percolator” (2:14) – Ernie Freeman, Louis Bideau
“Red River Rock” (2:15) – Fred Mendelshon, Ira Mack, Tom King
“Let There Be Drums” (2:20) – Sandy Nelson, Richard Podolor
“Last Night” (2:29) – Charles Axton, Floyd Newman, Gilbert C. Caple, Jerry Lee Smith, & Chips Moman