Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
9/10 for the Compiler
on 6 September 2011
As compilations like this go, this one is very good. The major rockers i.e. Elvis, Fats, Little Richard, Jerry Lee, Chuck, Buddy, Gene, the Everly Brothers and uncle Bill Haley are all here. Not only that, they're represented by the better known numbers that we associate with them. In addition many of the not quite so major - I don't like to call them minor - rock artists are also present and correct. Hence we get Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley and Carl Perkins. I'd like to have had something from Ricky Nelson and Larry Williams but no compilation is perfect.
There are also loads of one-off or near one-off hits (or even great tracks which weren't hits) like Charlie Gracie's "Butterfly" - he was pretty well known at the time but since then disappeared without trace - Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise, Dale Hawkins' classic "Susie Q", Link Wray's "Rumble", Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "Space Guitar", Buddy Knox' "Party Doll" , Johnny & the Hurricanes' "Red River Rock", Danny & the Juniors` "At the Hop" and Johnny Cash`s "Get Rhythm" - this last one not strictly r`n`r but nice to have. Also in the "not strictly etc." category we get Lonnie Donegan's " Cumberland Gap". This last one is one of the few decent Brit records of the period - it does have the spirit if not the structure of r'n'r. Elsewhere I'm pleased to see that the compiler has kept Brit inclusion down to a minimum which is as it should be for the key years of r'n'r (and that's no reflection on the series of great records made by Brit bands from the mid 60's (ish) i.e. when r'n'r in its original format had effectively disappeared.
The various strands of r'n'r, viz. doo-wop, New Orleans, boogie piano, country rock, teen idol (though I wouldn't want too many of these!), Sun rockabilly, rock-a-ballad and instrumental are all here, loudly and rightly claiming their right to be part of that great body of work that we call rock'n'roll.
The only negative I can see about the compilation is the presence of several tracks like Gene Pitney's "24 Hours to Tulsa" and Johnny Tillotson's "Poetry in Motion", neither of which have much to do with rock (though that doesn't mean they're bad tracks).
Overall one of the best selections of its type that I've seen.