The Ventures

The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme

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The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme looks like a crass record company attempt to cash in on the hits of the moment, then knocks you flat like a bottle of Thunderbird in a plain brown paper bag. A sure sign of a great Ventures record is an inordinate amount of original compositions, and The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme has eight, with every one of them a winner. "Zocko," "Joker's Wild," and "Vampcamp" are classic Ventures stompers, with near-raunchy guitar lines, stops, starts, and fabulous drumming by Mel Taylor. Television spy themes were tailor-made for the Ventures' sound, and their versions nearly outshine the originals. The production is in full The Ventures in Space mode: maniacal laughs appear and disappear, eerie sounds and strange noises abound, and the songs are tightly arranged. At their creative peak, the Ventures could take the hokiest of concepts and make them interesting, as this album bears witness.

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