The Ventures

The Ventures Play the Greatest Instrumental Hits of All Time, Vol. 2

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The Ventures' 2002 release Play the Greatest Instrumental Hits of All Time was a competent effort, but an inessential addition to their huge discography. The same could be said of its sequel, Play the Greatest Instrumental Hits of All Time, Vol. 2, though it's perhaps even less essential than its predecessor. Once again all tracks were cut between 1996-2000 by a lineup featuring original members Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, as well as Nokie Edwards on some lead guitar (though evidently not as a full member, since he's credited as one of the "guest artists"). And again the song list leans on well-known instrumental rock hits of the late '50s and early '60s by Duane Eddy, Sandy Nelson, Johnny & the Hurricanes, the Fireballs, the Tornados, and the like. A few surprises, if mild ones, are on hand in covers of the obscure "Percolator" (originally an LP track by Earl Palmer) and, more particularly, "Cry for a Shadow," the George Harrison-John Lennon instrumental recorded by the Beatles back in 1961. Usually the arrangements stick to the straight-ahead guitar sound for which the Ventures are known, but some synthesizer sprinklings detract from the classic sound.

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