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Surfin' to Baja

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Album Review

With a 40-year recording history, the Ventures are the most successful instrumental band in pop history. Although their heyday in the U.S. was in the early '60s, peaking with the surf music craze, they have continued to have hits abroad, particularly in Japan, where their summer tours are legendary events. A lot of the Ventures' releases have been specific to the Japanese market, and Surfin' to Baja draws on that backlist, collecting 19 originals by the band, and although these recordings were tracked at various times between 1992 and 2000, they fit together seamlessly. Half the cuts here feature original drummer Mel Taylor. Taylor died in 1996, and his son Leon Taylor stepped in at the kit, and is spotlighted on the remaining tracks. Highlights here include the delightful opening romp, "Santa Cruz," "Zonked," "Open for Business," "Snows of Nagano," and "Skunk Rock," which features guest lead guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. "Beethoven Five-Oh!" combines Beethoven with the thunder of the Ventures' 1969 hit, "Hawaii Five-O," and while it gets a little cheesy, there is no denying its infectious appeal. Fans of the group will find this collection delightful, while the unconverted will undoubtedly remain that way.


Formed: 1959 in Tacoma, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Not the first but definitely the most popular rock instrumental combo, the Ventures scored several hit singles during the 1960s — most notably "Walk-Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O" — but made their name in the growing album market, covering hits of the day and organizing thematically linked LPs. Almost 40 Ventures' albums charted, and 17 hit the Top 40. And though the group's popularity in America virtually disappeared by the 1970s, their enormous contribution to pop culture was far from...
Full bio
Surfin' to Baja, The Ventures
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Surf
  • Released: 24 February 2004

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