5-star rating:*****For everything on which they ever breathed. An obvious companion volume to this engaging chronicle is another Malcolm Campbell co-write, 2006’s Pocket Guide To Shadow Music. We can’t think of any act more deserving of the “US Shadows” title than The Ventures, particularly as the pride of Seattle’s two-guitars-bass-drums archetype were copied by numerous pre-British Invasion outfits across North America and beyond – most conspicuously in Japan.
While The Ventures’ lack of adventurism failed to test a global fanbase’s loyalty, their very stylistic consistency also prevented them from being guaranteed chart contenders by the turn of the decade. Delving deeply into even the most obscure and unreleased Ventures tracks, Driving Guitars’ blurb is justified. This really is “full of fascinating facts and observations on one of the world’s most accomplished and influential instrumental groups”. What happened next might be barely relevant in the grand scheme of pop history, but anyone still studying the combo should turn, first and last, to Campbell and Burke.
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