The first four albums by the American instrumental rock band the Ventures. While the Ventures are considered by many to be the greatest 'surf band', and it is true that they helped define the musical genre as much as anyone, they are much more than that. Their instrumental virtuosity, experimentation with guitar effects, and unique sound laid the groundwork for innumerable groups, earning them the moniker the 'Band that Launched a Thousand Bands.' Such artists as Joe Walsh, Carl Wilson, George Harrison and John Fogerty have cited the Ventures' influence on their guitar playing. The Ventures were among the first rock acts able to sell albums based on a style and sound without needing hit singles on the albums. They found early success with a string of singles, but quickly became leaders in the album market. They are among the pioneers of concept albums (starting with 1961's The Colorful Ventures) where each song on several of their albums was chosen to fit a specific theme. The band enjoyed their greatest popularity and success in the US and Japan in the 1960s, but they continue to perform and record. With over 110 million albums sold worldwide, the Ventures remain the best-selling instrumental rock group of all time. The mono and stereo issues of these albums have some significant differences; both versions are included here, so in effect this release contains eight albums. A few early sides with vocals are included as bonuses.