The Ventures

Joy! The Ventures Play the Classics

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The Ventures go classical -- well, sort of -- really more pop or, if you will, pop-sical. Their cover of Apollo 100's hit "Joy (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring)" isn't as attractive as the original, though it is played with greater intensity. The rest varies from vaguely ELO-ish covers of Beethoven to guitar- and bass-heavy renditions of Mozart, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky, as well as pop standards like "In a Persian Market." The original LP was packaged like a legitimate classical compilation release of the period, and nothing here would do violence to that image except the fervor (especially what creeps through on the drumming) with which anything is played. "Swan Lake" starts out sounding very much like an ELO experiment, and "Bach's Prelude" pumps up the wattage even higher on the tune that became the basis for the Toys' "A Lover's Concerto," which is what most listeners of this record will think of rather than Bach -- again, the light orchestration accompanying the band will evoke images of ELO from around this period. Nothing here is overly reverent, and even less revelatory, but it is all fun, which was probably the point in the first place.

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