This song comes from on of my favorite albums that The Ventures did called Ventures in Space. It just has such an unique and interesting sound to it. It leans from classic surf rock sound, to a dark, creepy, eerie or almost orchestral sound. One of the most iconic songs from the album is, “The Twilight Zone” which was used for the TV series. One interesting thing about this album is that all of the weird sounds heard on the album were not made with electronics, but were instead all done by instruments. That is something that you don’t come across often in this digital age and shows the true ingenuity that was The Ventures. If you want to listen to an out of this world sounding album I would check this one out.
This song is one of my favorite recordings that The Ventures did. However, they were not the ones that originally composed the song. It was actually The Surfaris back in 1963. Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson wrote the tune almost on the spot as a suitable B-side was needed for the intended “Surfer Joe” single. In late 1962, while the band was in Cucamonga’s Pal Recording Studio recording the single, one of the band members suggested that a gimmick sound indicating a wipe out off a surfboard be emulated. The suggestion was made that during the introduction before the music starts, a cracking sound, imitating a breaking surfboard, should be made. This followed by a manic voice babbling, “ha ha ha ha ha, wipe out.” The spoken voice at the beginning of the song is the voice of the band’s manager of the time, Dale Smallin.
The afterthought track spent four months on the national Billboard chart in the autumn of 1963, reaching #2 and kept out of the top slot only by Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips”. The smash hit “Wipe Out” returned to the Hot 100 in 1966, reaching #16 in Billboard and #9 in Cash Box in its second national chart run. This time it is said to have sold around 700,000 copies in the US to add to its original million-plus. Ironically the original A-side “Surfer Joe”, sung by Ron Wilson, only attracted airplay in the wake of “Wipe Out”‘s success, and peaked at #62 during its six-week run. Ron Wilson’s energetic drum solo for “Wipe Out” (a sped-up version of his Charter Oak High School marching band’s drum cadence) was beaten out on malt-shop tables all over the country, helping the song become one of the best-remembered instrumental tunes of the period. Drummer Sandy Nelson issued different versions on different LPs.
It is sometimes funny to see that songs that were just made to be B-Sides and not the song that was expected to be the hit, end up being the best ones.
Info taken from Wikipedia.