The Ventures

From Academic Kids

The Ventures are a surf rock band formed in 1960 and mainly active in the 1960s but they continue to perform and record right up to the present (2005). With at least 90 million albums sold, the group remains the best selling instrumental rock group both in the US and globally. In the US almost 40 Ventures' albums charted, and 17 of their singles made it into the Top 40. By the 1970's the group was nearly unknown in America, but they continued to have an enormous influence on pop culture globally. The Ventures became one of the most popular world-wide groups ever and are still the most popular American rock group in Japan. They produced dozens of albums exclusively for the Japanese and European markets and regularly toured Japan throughout the 70's and 80's -- influencing Japanese pop music in Japan far more than they ever had in America.

Group membership has been very stable over the years with the core pair being Bob Bogle and Don Wilson. Other members have included Gerry McGee, Mel Taylor, Leon Taylor (Mel's son) and Nokie Edwards.

A few of their more famous tunes are "Walk, Don't Run" (1960), "Perfidia" and "Lullaby of the Leaves" (1961), "Apache" (1962), "Telstar" (1963), "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" (1964) and the "Theme from Hawaii Five-O" (1969).

The Ventures pioneered the use of guitar special effects on such songs as "2000 Pound Bee" (1963), in which guitarist Nokie Edwards employed a fuzz box, and on the landmark Ventures in Space album (1965), which included the hit single "Penetration". Their commercial fortunes in the US sharply declined after 1965 due to changing musical trends. They enjoyed a minor comeback in America as a live attraction in the 1980s, with the resurgence of interest in surf music.

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