Archive for March, 2017

Mustang

“Mustang” was first released on a 4- song EP (Extended Play) record by the Shadows in 1961 that also included the “Theme From Shane”, the “Theme From Giant”. and a drum solo titled “Shotgun”.

Written by Jerry Lordan — who also penned the classic guitar instrumental “Apache” and a number of other Shadows hits — it shows the fascination that the British had with the “wild west” aspect of the USA.

My arrangement is based on the original but has several differences. In my opinion the drum part of the original is more military in feel than evocative of horses; my drum part is more equestrian. I also adjusted the form to what I feel is a more interesting sequence of sections.

 

March 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

Theme From Shane

“Shane” is a 1953 American Western film from Paramount, noted for its Oscar-winning cinematography. The picture was produced and directed by George Stevens and starred Alan Ladd in the title role.

The Shadows released a version of the movie’s main theme in 1961 on a 4-cut EP record. My arrangement is based on theirs.

March 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Galveston

“Galveston” was released in 1969 by Glen Campbell. Written by Jimmy Webb, it was the follow-up to “Wichita Lineman” (also a Webb song). It peaked at #4 in March of 1969.

March 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

The Heavies

“The Heavies” is surfer slang for big waves, typically over 12 feet. The Ventures 1963 album “Surfing” includes a track with this title. My version is basically a cover.

March 12, 2017 at 6:46 pm Leave a comment

Escape

“Escape” was originally a track on the Ventures 1966 album “Go With the Ventures”. While this particular album primarily features covers of top-40 hits, “Escape” was something of a return to their surf-rock roots.

My arrangement takes full advantage of the surf-rock feel while adding texture via additional guitar parts.

March 12, 2017 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Bird Rockers

“Bird Rockers” was a 1965 Ventures single that did not chart. It was also a track on their 1965 album “The Ventures Knock Me Out”.

The use of a “fuzz” effect on the original track is noteworthy. 1965 was the year of the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction”, which introduced this pedal/effect to the music world.

My arrangement has a feel similar to the original Ventures recording, but somewhat different instrumentation — although I retained the “fuzz”.

March 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm Leave a comment

MacArthur Park

“MacArthur Park” was written by Jimmy Webb. Richard Harris was the first to record the song in 1968: his version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Harris’ recording (arranged by Jimmy Webb) clocks in at over seven minutes; such a long track was unheard of at the time. Some of the lyrics — notably the “cake left out in the rain” — have come in for a fair amount of ridicule.

However, the music on its own is terrific, with wonderful tempo and meter changes. My instrumental arrangement shortens things up, but still is over 4 minutes. I hope you’ll hang on for the whole thing!

By the way, MacArthur Park is a real place — it is a popular spot in Los Angeles.

 

March 9, 2017 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

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