Some, familiar with the products to come from Ace of London, will do a quick scan of the contents and see familiar tunes by the likes of Little Richard and The Everly Brothers, and just 18 tracks, and decide to move on, figuring maybe this was one of their early lesser products which have since been surpassed by their more familiar 30-track releases in such as The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll series, and its off-shoots.
But hold on. If you are a collector of oldies, especially from the Golden Age of R&R, this too has many gems which, while perhaps not national "hits" in the strictest sense of the word, were nevertheless strong local offerings that many will fondly remember, and perhaps never thought they'd hear again in a quality release.
Such as Larry Williams' frantic Slow Down, Don & Dewey's raucous Justine and Jerry Byrne's wild instrumental, Lights Out, all of which came out in 1958 on Specialty 626, 631 and 635 respectively. The Williams side, the flip of his hit, Dizzy, Miss Lizzy, would later be covered by The Beatles as their flip of Match Box in 1964, while The Righteous Brothers did a somewhat toned-down version of Justine in 1965. Another from Specialty is (Everytime I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone by one of the most sought-after New Orleans session guitarists, Roy Montrell, who released this as Roy Montrell & His Band in 1956 on Specialty 583.
Three more 1956 releases were Richard Berry & The Pharaohs' Yama Yama Pretty Mama on RPM 465 (Berry wrote - and also recorded - the immortal Louie, Louie, turned into a major hit in 1963 by The Kingsmen), his high-school friend Obediah Jesse who, as Young Jesse, turned out Hit, Git And Split on Modern 1002, and Have Mercy Miss Percy by Long Tall Marvin on Modern 993, actually Marvin Phillips of the duo Marvin & Johnny who had had a couple of hits a few years earlier.
Al Downing had Down On The Farm bouncing the Oklahoma air waves and juke boxes, if not record sales, in 1958 on White Rock 1111 before finally scoring with two minor Pop hits in 1963 and 1975, and then turning his attention to pure Country music in 1978 where he racked up 15 more hits to 1989 as Big Al Downing. It was also in 1958 that Robert Lee "Chan" Romero, who never hit it as big as his more-famous contemporary, Ritchie Valens, did by far the best ever version of Hippy Hippy Shake on Del-Fi 4119 (it would later be covered almost exactly by The Swinging Blue Jeans).
And finally there's 1959's instrumental Dirty Robbers which came out on Golden Crest 526 as the flip of The Wailers' Mau-Mau.
Excellent sound reproduction is always a feature of an Ace product as are their liner notes, although here they are not as voluminous as those that appear in their signature series mentioned above.