This original Ventures instrumental appears never to have been released as a single despite its obvious leadership potential:
[Pssst: Click the triangle above to play “Walking the Carpet” by The Ventures.]
“Walking the Carpet” can be found on The Ventures’ 1968 LP, Flights of Fantasy (although infuriatingly excluded from the song listing on the front cover).
The fledgling Dolphin label (soon to be renamed Dolton) may have hit the jackpot in 1959 with their very first release, “Come Softly to Me” by The Fleetwoods, however, The Ventures would go on to become not only Dolton’s biggest-selling artist, but indisputably the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
Thanks to the Ventures discographies and chart histories provided online, I am even more impressed with not only their prodigious recording output but even more by their consistently strong performance in the marketplace, particularly for an ensemble that solely played instrumentals —
- Between the years 1961 and 1969, The Ventures would release anywhere from two to four albums per year.
- Each and every one of their 1960s albums charted.
- Between 1960-1967, all but two of their albums placed in the Top 100.
- The Ventures would place a total of 16 albums in the Top 40, as well as 14 singles in the Top 100.
- The Ventures would reach the Top 10 with two LPs: The Ventures Christmas Album & The Ventures Play Telstar and The Lonely Bull.
Also, their 1965 instructional album, Play Guitar with the Ventures, was the first such record to chart on the Billboard Top 100 LPs list. The Ventures would also pull off a Beatle-like achievement when – in 1963 – the group had five LPs in the Billboard Top 100 of the albums chart simultaneously.
How fascinating, too, to discover that Liberty would release a 45 of the The Ventures’ version of “Strawberry Fields Forever” in the US & UK and also New Zealand, curiously. Even as far back as 1960-61, singles were being issued in the UK, Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Canada, Denmark, South Africa, and France.
As the band points out on its own website, The Ventures have been together as a group for 49 years and have never taken a year off from concerts or recording.