Guitar Freakout

by: The Ventures

Continuing an artistically prosperous run, Guitar Freakout is another winner for the Ventures, following up the terrific Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme, Go With the Ventures!, and Wild Things!. They were known more for guitar precision than wildness, but both the album and the title track show the Ventures at their peak. The double-time freakout section of "Guitar Freakout" pales in comparison to Sonny Sharrock or Jimi Hendrix, but sounds perfect on a Ventures album. Soul covers were never a strong point -- you'd be hard-pressed to find any Motown bounce in their version of "Standing in the Shadows of Love," for example -- but the lingering fuzz guitar that replaces the piano in "Wack Wack" adds a Ventures signature to the song's original groove. Side two begins with one of the group's best original songs, "Mod East," an aptly named collision of a Merseybeat rhythm and a Persian melody line with a fantastic keyboard-driven bridge. The Ventures were even hot enough to make "Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron" enjoyable, at least in the context between their own "Guitar Freakout" (another song appropriately titled) and "Paper Airplane." ~ Kurt Edwards

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.