Whether you were born before the 1950s or years later, you may have come across various songs by an American instrumental rock band called The Ventures. It is one of the first bands to make electric guitar famous in the US and worldwide during the 1960s. Even though it didn’t have solid backing from the US, Japan made them more popular because most of its instrumental songs resonated with their cultures. According to Britannica, The Ventures rock group comprised of Don Wilson- rhythm guitarist, Bob Bogle- bassist, Nokie Edwards-guitarist, Mel Taylor-drummer, Howie Johnson-drummer, and Skip Moore- drummer. The band was formed when two principal members- Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, met at a Seattle-based car dealership yard. They struck a deal to play together after realizing that they both had an interest in music. Since they entered the showbiz limelight, the boy band has released various songs, endearing themselves to fans internationally. Here are the ten best songs from The Ventures.
10. Wipe Out (1963)
If you’ve watched The Hawaii Five-O, you’re familiar with its theme song, Wipe Out by The Ventures. It was released in 1963 and rated one of the best instrumental songs worldwide. You get the first picture of a surfer cruising the ocean on Miami beach when listening to this instrumental. It’s a fantastic track you’d want on your playlist to remind you of the fun moments you had during your vacation.
9. Diamond Head (1964)
Diamond Head is another fantastic instrumental by The Ventures, released in 1964. It’s one of the tracks featured in the group’s Walk, Don’t Run album, volume 2. The surf-rock instrumental was composed by Jim Fuller, Bob Berryhill, Ron Wilson, and Pat Connolly as a twelve-bar blue. The track was first recorded by the Surfaris. Also, it’s featured in more than 20 films and tv shows since 1964.
8. Out of Limits (1964)
Out of Limits by The Ventures is a children’s instrumental song featuring in The Ventures in Space album. The instrumental band released it in 1964 as a surf rock song written by Michael Z. Gordon. It was designed by Jules de Goede, a famous Dutch artist. One of the unique traits of this song is that it’s a sci-fi hit that doesn’t rely on music. Consequently, it’s an excellent soundtrack for films and television shows regardless of their genres.
7. Telstar (1963)
The Venture’s Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull album might contain many fantastic tracks, but the one standing from the crowd is Telstar. The Ventures recorded and released it in 1963 as a surf rock instrumental. Campbell and John Meek composed it for the cover versions of famous instrumentals from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. Consequently, Billboard has repeatedly rated it as one of the best 15 songs. It’s one of the songs that boosted the album’s sales, with over 500,000 copies sold worldwide.
6. Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1965)
The Ventures also released an album titled Knock Me Out! One of the tracks featured is Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. The group released it in 1965 as children’s rock music, making it famous in kid shows worldwide. It’s also featured in a film with the same title. The most favorite line from this track is “slaughter on tenth avenue. Oh, pretty woman. She’s not there.”
5. Lullaby of The Leaves (1961)
Lullaby of The Leaves is an instrumental song from The Ventures for their Another Smash album, released in 1961. One thing you’ll love about this track is its flexibility. Children and adults can enjoy it anytime without twitching. Another reason is that it sounds like R&B with a touch of jazz, perfect for relaxing after a long day at work. If you get stuck in traffic, this music will soothe you to ease your anxiety.
4. Secret Agent Man (1966)
The Ventures Play the “Batman” Theme in the album is an incredible track titled Secret Agent Man. The band released it in 1966 and has featured in many ghostbusters and action-packed films like Batman. According to Britannica, this is one of the songs that made the guitar-based rock band famous. Isn’t it amazing that instrumentalists from different states in the US can come together and do a magnificent job of creating unique music?
3. Tequila (1963)
Tequila is also a song performed by the Ventures for their The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull album. Though it’s an instrumental song, it’s easy to assume they had tequila in mind when composing and performing. What better way to wash down your throat with a shot of tequila than listening to it? But if you’re a teetotaler, it’s still an excellent song to listen to calm your nerves.
2. The Cruel Sea (1964)
The Cruel Sea is an instrumental composition by The Ventures, released in 1964. It features in The Fabulous Ventures album. It is a famous pop, rock, and children’s song that made fans recognize the group’s talent. According to All Music, while they aren’t the first rock instrumentalists, their popularity in the 1960s proves their worth in creating and performing in music locally and internationally. Surprisingly, their popularity disappeared in the US in the 1970s. However, other countries still hold them in high regard to date.
1. Walk Don’t Run (1960)
Walk Don’t Run is one of the first instrumental compositions and single that made the group famous. Most guitar artists often cite it as one of the recorded top songs. As a result, it ranked 6th best song and album in the 1960s. Johnny Smith wrote it in 1954 as an arrangement for the inspiration of another version by the group, helping it get international recognition. Rolling Stone magazine termed it one of the 100 greatest guitar songs.
The Ventures have released hundreds of instrumental music, helping them become popular internationally. These ten songs featured on this list are a manifestation of their talent. It goes without saying they made a name for themselves by agreeing with film directors to use their songs as background soundtracks.