Vinyl Dynamite #32: The New Ventures - Rocky Road (1976)

The New Ventures - Rocky Road (1976)

Virtually no recording artists were able to escape the 1970s unscathed by the power of disco.  People were actually shocked and appalled when Rod Stewart released a disco record; he'd been straight up guitar rock until then. Karen Carpenter tried her hand at a disco LP, but her brother suppressed its release (even to this day).  Kiss went disco, as did Blondie, Ethel Merman, Diana Ross, Queen, and ELO.

Among the throngs of musicians clamoring for a buck and desperate to still seem "with it", were The Ventures (now calling themselves The NEW Ventures).  These superordinate surf rockers had ridden the wave of beach music, and somehow lived to tell the tale.  Their guitar vibes were translated to vinyl God knows how many times, recording classic hits with that distinctive Ventures flair. But even they weren't strong enough to survive disco.

Universally regarded as their worst LP in a career that spanned four decades, Rocky Road was a f***ing train wreck.  Their trademark guitars are drowned out by horns, strings, a throbbing disco beat, and Kim Carnes (yeah, you read that right - she was a backup singer).

Here's their disco rendition of "Moonlight Serenade".  Glenn Miller would not be amused.


  1. Wow. It just goes on and on.

  2. My gosh what a steaming pile this is.

    There's a special place in hell where they play only this song.

  3. What cracks me up about the Ethel Merman disco album is the fact that she loathed disco music, but was willing to do this to cash in on the fad. Now I love disco music, and there were some pretty decent disco artists out there, it was when everyone started to get in on the act that disco got a bad name...."Disco Duck" anyone? That had to be the lowest point of the disco craze.

  4. AnonymousJune 23, 2011

    I've been listening to The Ventures for a while now... (Ventures in Space, Ventures play Telstar and the Lonely Bull). I had no idea this existed... I have no words :)

  5. OMG, I love it. I love Glenn Miller but this version IMHO rocks!

  6. There is something that needs to be more publicized, and that is that The New Ventures is not even The Ventures. The record company should have been sued for putting Don & Bob's picture on the inside sleeve, however The Ventures were never "sue-happy" people. Again . . . this LP is NOT The Ventures by name OR otherwise. The documentation of this can be found in the book "Walk-Don't Run . . . the Story of The Ventures" by Del Halterman, and is on Page 219.