Surfin' to Baja

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/24/2004
  • Label: Varese Fontana
  • UPC: 030206653625
  • Catalog Number: 066536

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Santa Cruz (3:27)
  2. 2 After Midnight in Shinjuku (3:04)
  3. 3 Web Surfin' (2:49)
  4. 4 Flashback (3:49)
  5. 5 Skunk Rock (3:14)
  6. 6 Bermuda (2:57)
  7. 7 Cruisin' Machine (3:56)
  8. 8 Night Bird (3:52)
  9. 9 Ajoen Ajoen (2:53)
  10. 10 Open for Business (2:38)
  11. 11 Snows of Nagano (4:04)
  12. 12 Beethoven Five-Oh! (3:52)
  13. 13 Spindrift (3:14)
  14. 14 Rock Concerto in a Minor (3:11)
  15. 15 Zonked (5:05)
  16. 16 Bimini Bay (2:43)
  17. 17 Blue Dawn (3:30)
  18. 18 Follow Your Heart (2:42)
  19. 19 Two on the Beach (2:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Ventures Primary Artist, Group
Nokie Edwards Guitar, Guest Appearance
Don Wilson Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Group Member
Jeff Baxter Guitar, Guest Appearance
Bob Bogle Guitar, Bass Guitar, Group Member
David Carr Synthesizer, Keyboards, Guest Appearance
Bob Spalding Guitar, Rhythm, Guest Appearance
Mel Taylor Percussion, Drums, Group Member
Gerry McGee Guitar, Bass Guitar, Group Member
David Carr Synthesizer, Keyboards
Leon Taylor Percussion, Drums, Group Member
Bob Spalding Guitar
Technical Credits
The Ventures Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Neil Norman Producer
Don Wilson Composer, Producer
Duncan Aldrich Engineer
Jeff Baxter Composer
Brant Biles Engineer
Bob Bogle Composer, Producer
Paul Ericksen Engineer
Craig Nepp Engineer
Bob Spalding Composer, Producer
Mel Taylor Composer, Producer
Gerry McGee Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Leon Taylor Composer, Producer
Fiona Taylor Executive Producer
Quince Buteau Producer
David Beard Cover Photo
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Broad collection drawn from across the '90s

    The Ventures aren't just the most successful instrumental band in history; they're probably the longest lasting. With original partners Bob Bogle (bass) and Don Wilson (rhythm guitar) accompanied by longtime drummer Mel Taylor, his replacement/son Leon Taylor, and lead guitarist (and two-time replacement for Nokie Edwards) Gerry McGee, the band's retained a consistent sound across nearly 40 years of playing and recording. ¶ Though their first hits pre-date the surf music craze, their biggest chart successes - "Walk, Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O" - have maintained their surf-influence on the band. But to pigeonhole the group as a surf-band would be to shortchange the wide variety of musical influences and song sources from which they draw. These tracks were recorded in Southern California throughout the 90s, but released only in Japan across a series of albums. At times they retain the multi-guitar driven magic of the band's early recordings, but at others they turn more easy-listening with the keyboards of David Carr providing texture. ¶ Like most Ventures albums, there's something here that will please just about everyone, including reverb drenched surf tunes like "Web Surfin'," bluesy rockers like "After Midnight in Shinjuku" and "Night Bird," and the catchy surf-meets-Tex-Mex-at-the-pier "Ajoen Ajoen." The ballad "Follow Your Heart" provides room for some expressive guitar playing, and "Zonked" turns off the amplifiers for an unusual (for the Ventures, that is) ZZ Top styled acoustic blues. Guest highlights include the guitar of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on the driving "Skunk Rock" and the late afternoon surf-toned "Open For Business," and former lead axe man Nokie Edwards on the Beach Party styled "Two on the Beach." ¶ 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings.

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