Capitol released two early Ventures albums, The Ventures Play Telstar -- The Lonely Bull and Others and (The) Ventures in Space, on one CD in 1992. A Top Ten album for the group in early 1963, Telstar really doesn't hold up today. Like many of their LPs, it demonstrates their versatility on faithful covers of a number of contemporary hits, ranging from rock to soul to easy listening. In every case, you're better off with the original versions. Few listeners need to dig deeper than a greatest-hits collection for the Ventures, but the early effort Ventures in Space is an arguable exception. The group embellished its trademark sleek guitar instrumentals with creepy, then-futuristic production effects, sounding at times like a mix of surf music and the incidental music to Star Trek. The ghostly, theremin-like sounds on several tracks are actually produced by top session player Red Rhodes on steel guitar. The British instrumental group the Tornados (of "Telstar" fame) did this kind of stuff better, if you're looking for this kind of thing.
The Ventures Play Telstar -- The Lonely Bull and Others /(The) Ventures in Space Review
by Richie Unterberger