The Ventures - Sixties Guitar Party

The sixties was a time in which later psychedelic innovation and experimentation wrestled with the confines of the decade's earlier flourish into conventional confidence. It was as if the old school of music was struggling to exist alongside the new school. If ever a band perfectly corroborated this notion, then it’s the Ventures, whose solid, playful instrumentals of standard hits clearly represented the old school sensibility of sixties music; never straying too far from conventions, but ensuring that the standard of quality was always very high. However, Sixties Guitar Party, a new compilation of Ventures’ covers released by él, captures the instrumental band whilst they were existing in an era of transition both externally and internally through the flavour of their music.

At this point in their career, one foot was still forever grounded in the past, and yet the other foot was looking to walk onward towards the future. British band The Shadows deep-routed themselves within the confines of rock and roll, and yet here were The Ventures escaping their own limitations. By unleashing their own versions of such groundbreaking psychedelica as Lennon and McCartney’s Strawberry Fields Forever, The Byrds’ Eight Miles High or even remaining faithful to the long version of The Doors’ Light My Fire as opposed to travelling the Jose Feliciano route, The Ventures demonstrated they were more than capable to move with the air of constant transition.

Stand-out guitar-pop anthems of the sixties that weren’t as groundbreaking are still given a worthy showing on Sixties Guitar Party, such as The Association’s Windy, Lee Hazlewood’s These Boots Are Made For Walking and even Neil Diamond’s I’m A Believer, brought to prominence so memorably by The Monkees. On the whole, the eighteen tracks on offer create a seamless blend of sunny sixties ambience that will never fail to entertain any gathering as it sits behind the partygoers armed with cocktails. Far from slotting nicely into the Easy Listening genre, The Ventures proved that once in a while overwhelming musical talent can outweigh the lack of vocals on a record.

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