Daily Song Study

The Ventures – Caravan ’65

In songs on July 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

One genre that has almost completely disappeared from the radio over the last 20 years is the instrumental. For most of the last century, instrumentals could be found in the Top 10 of most styles of music. One of the most popular all-instrumental bands of all time was The Ventures, who contributed heavily to the surf-rock boom in the early 1960s. But unlike many of their contemporaries, The Ventures had a broader range of styles they drew from, everything from country songs to Beatles covers to Latin standards, all done up in surf style.

This tune is an interesting pick, written by Juan Tizol and Irving Mills, first performed by Duke Ellington in 1937. The Ventures played it on their big Japanese tour in 1965, from whence this recording originates. Check out the section in the drum solo where he plays the bassist’s strings with his sticks.

I could go on a long rant about how the modern entertainment industry has made the charting of instrumentals impossible, but that’s for a different sort of blog. Just listen to the tune and be thankful that there was a time such things happened.

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  1. […] I’ve spoken here before about the undervalued joys that instrumental tracks can contain, and this is one of my favorites in that regard. Though not technically sans lyrics, the words are minimal and serve mostly to drive the instrumentation. […]

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