Surf Rock/Guitar Instrumentals 2 – Hank Marvin and the Shadows

September 21, 2007 at 1:27 pm 10 comments

If you lived in Europe in the 1960’s, then the chances are you are far more familiar with Hank Marvin and the Shadows than with the Ventures. With the same instrumentation (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass and Drums) Hank Marvin and the Shadows sold millions of records as an instrumental quartet in the UK and Europe.

The Shadows were originally constituted as backup band for singer Cliff Richard. He was extremely popular in the UK during the late 50’s and early 60’s, and besides Elvis Presley is the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its active decades (1950’s through 2000’s). This is a video of Cliff Richard from 1960 with Hank Marvin and the Shadows behind him:

Originally called “The Drifters”, the group was obliged to change its name to “The Shadows” after legal complications arose with the U.S. Drifters.

The Shadows were clearly not just a backup band. They would become contractually separate entities from Richard, and the group would not receive any performer royalties for the records they made backing the singer. In 1959, the Shadows landed an independent EMI recording deal. They had many major hits on their own, including five UK #1s. The band also continued to appear and record with Richard and wrote many of his hits.

This is a video from 1961 of Hank Marvin and the Shadows performing their hit FBI:

Much like the Ventures, the Shadows recorded many covers of popular songs of the day as well as instrumentals popularized by other bands. They have released over 35 albums and had more than 25 singles chart in the UK. There have been several reunion tours, including one in 2004.

This is a video of them performing Wonderful Land in the 80’s. This song was a hit for them in 1962.

Wonderful Land was written by Jerry Lordan, who also penned Apache and Atlantis. Although Americans are more familiar with Jurgen Ingemann’s and the Venture’s versions of Apache, it was the Shadows who first released it. All of these Lordan compositions are evocative and tuneful.

The Shadows have changed bassists and drummers over the years, but lead guitarist Hank Marvin and rhythm guitarist Bruce Welch have been constants. Bruce Welch wrote their hit Theme for Young Lovers.

Here are the links to my arrangements:

Apache Chart Stream Mp3
Atlantis Arrangement Stream Mp3
Theme for Young Lovers Arrangement Stream Mp3

There are loads of YouTube videos of this great, classic band. It is well worth your time to check them out.

Entry filed under: Guitar, Music, Oldies, Shadows, Vintage Instrumentals.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GERRY  |  March 29, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I have been a shadows fan all mylife.
    seen them 5 timesand met them . even talked with them .
    they will always remain in my eyes simply legends.
    HANK B MARVIN got to be one of the greatest guitarists ever . and had a sound no on else could produce.
    TONY MEEHAN . what a drummer he was.
    JET HARRIS with his forceful base playing another legend . just check out his incredible playing on his singles .simply superb .
    and the immaculate . BRUCE WELCH. rhythm playing was superb .
    the SHADOWS have no equals . they were better than the surf based VENTURES. but i like them also.
    i just love instrumentals . just like to mention the amazing SPOTNICKS. .
    the SHADOWS the best no argument

  • 2. shufflocity  |  March 29, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Agreed. Much as I love the Ventures, and was delighted to see them inducted into the R&R HOF, I think the Shadows were a bit more refined — while not giving up anything in their ability to rock. I am particularly impressed by the videos from Shadows tours of recent years.

    I am well aware of the Spotnicks — I have a video link of them on my post about the theme from Johnny Guitar:

    Like the Shads and Ventures, they are still around.

    Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ve checked out my versions of the Shadows numbers here — while they are rearranged for trio (no rhythm guitar) I tried very hard to preserve the wonderful spirit of the originals.


  • 3. Bożena  |  July 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Hank Marvin jest wspaniałym gitarzystą ,nikt nie potrafi tak zagrać jak on.Ja kocham jego i jego muzykę

  • 4. Bożena  |  August 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Wanderful land ,to najwspanialszy utwór Hanka Marvina.Hank jest super gitarzystą , szkoda że w Polsce nie zagrał.Pragnęłabym bardzo aby wystąpił w Polsce.Nie ma dnia abym nie słuchała utworów Hanka Marvina,on to ma klasę.Pozdrawiam

  • 5. Mike Jenkins  |  October 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    The Shadows remain the greatest instrumental unit ever. Hank s guitar playing just gets better. I am proud to say that i have met Hank and Bruce. I got my photo taken with Hank and shook the masters hand.

  • 6. Fred Richard  |  October 16, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Played the Shadows songs back in the 60’s. Going to teach my three grandsons to do the same. Where can I purchase song books of the Shadows in Canada? I have nmay vinyl and cd’s of the group and some tabs and music notation from the internet but I am still looking for songbooks if they are available. I have a cd of a group called the Apaches. They are an awesome group and sound just like the Shadows. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  • 7. shufflocity  |  October 16, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Fred, as much as I’d like to help I cannot. I am not aware of any Shadows books. I make my own arrangements from scratch. Once there was a link to my blog from Amazon where someone had asked for help finding a Shadows songbook — the best thing the helper found was my blog. I do have some arrangements posted in notation.

  • 8. cholo montes  |  June 23, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    the best of all the best – the shadows can express the real meaning of beauty – peace and love without a single word. (peace pipe- wonderful land-midnight and many more)

  • 9. Cholo  |  April 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Wonderful – The best — Peace Pipe- FBI- Blue Star-Midnight and many more—When will I see you again ” Shadows”

  • 10. Carpenter square 12 inch  |  September 5, 2018 at 2:22 am


    Surf Rock/Guitar Instrumentals 2 – Hank Marvin and the Shadows | Jazz and Classic Pop Music


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