In 1958, Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, two construction workers living in Washington state, decided to make a career change that set in motion one of the most amazing musical journeys in rock and roll history. They learned to play guitar and formed an instrumental rock and roll band that they called “The Ventures.” Their first nationally-released single – Walk, Don’t Run – hit no. 2 on the Billboard Charts in 1960.
With other band members throughout the years, “The Ventures” became the most popular and most influential instrumental rock and roll band in the world. During the decade of the 1960s, they had 14 songs on the Billboard Top Singles Charts, including Walk Don’t Run (#2), Walk Don’t Run ’64 (#8), and Hawaii Five-0 (#4). They also had 37 albums on the Billboard Top Albums Charts, with “The Ventures Play Telstar,” “Golden Greats,” and “Hawaii Five-0” achieving Gold Record status. More amazingly, “The Ventures” ranked 6th among all recording artists of the 1960s on the Billboard Top Album Charts, behind The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Conniff, and Ray Charles!
Not only did “The Ventures” bring musical enjoyment to many millions of music lovers around the world, they also influenced the careers of countless other musicians who became rock ‘n’ roll legends in their own time. Those names include: Lindsey Buckingham, Jimmy Paige, Elliot Easton, Gene Simmons, John Fogerty, Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, and even George Harrison of The Beatles, among many others. In recognition of their achievements, in 2008 “The Ventures” were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In December 2014, “The Ventures” celebrated their 56th year of existence, during which they have recorded hundreds of albums containing 1,171 different songs! This book highlights what Arnold considers to be the “essential albums” that would give a fan at least one recorded version of each of those 1,171 tunes. For each album, he has included the cover art, basic release information, and song listing. The appendices include an alphabetical list of all of the songs that were recorded and released by “The Ventures” through December 31, 2014. Arnold also included a directory of the officially released concert videos by “The Ventures” and an essay that he wrote a few years ago, which presents his personal journey as a fan of the “World’s Greatest Instrumental Rock and Roll Band.”