Definitely the most popular rock instrumental combo, the Ventures scored
several hit singles during the 1960s (most notably
Walk Don't Run and
Hawaii Five-O) but made their name
covering hits of the day and organizing thematically linked LPs.
Almost 40 Ventures' albums charted, and 17 hit the Top 40.
Among their chart albums was 1965's
Play Guitar with The Ventures,
the first musical instrument instruction album ever to hit the Billboard
Though the group's popularity in America virtually disappeared
by the 1970s, their enormous contribution to pop culture was far
from over; the Ventures soon became one of the most popular world-wide
groups, with dozens of albums recorded especially for the Japanese
and European markets. They toured continually throughout the 1970s
and '80s -- influencing Japanese pop music of the time more than they
had American music during the '60s.
The Ventures are the biggest selling instrumental guitar band in
music history, approaching one hundred million in sales and recording
over 240 albums worldwide. They are without a doubt one of the most
influential guitar bands of all time.
Among artists listing The Ventures as a favorite or an influence are
George Harrison, Joe Walsh, Jimmy Page,
Peter Frampton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogerty, Mark Knopfler and
The Ventures lineup underwent some key changes, which caused them to become
a stronger performing unit, which undoubtedly enhanced their "staying power"
from one year or less, (which was average for a charting rock band of the
1960's) to a career that has spanned 45 years and is still going strong in
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