I bought this album after purchasing the amazing 2cd 30 track album, `The best of Eddie Cochran'. It is an amazing album and the best collection of Eddie Cochran songs out there. It was well worth the money. So as I realized that I really liked Eddie Cochran, and he is the next best thing to Elvis Presley, I decided to discover more material from this guy. I purchased this album knowing that I already had some of the songs, but luckily the only song that is exactly the same as on The best of is Skinny Jim. I have 3 Cochran collection CD's with the exact same song on it. There must have only been one version of this song, and it was Eddie's first solo release.
There are many good songs on here, and they are as the title suggests, `Rock n roll gems'. I enjoyed this album and it was a good listen. If you want to purchase a first time Eddie Cochran album though, don't buy this. Buy the album I bought or one of his other best of collections first, to hear the best sounding recordings. If you want clean sounding music then this definitely isn't the album for you. Most of the songs on the album are early recordings and are not the same as the finished version. Although it's nice to hear what they originally sounded like before they were polished up to their best. Many of the songs are recordings from 1956-1957. There are 6 instrumental songs on this album. They are diverse and most sound country style. Guybo is a song that later formed the nickname of Eddie's bass player. The other instrumentals are Meet Mr Tweedy, Chicken shot blues; which is an early version of the amazing 'Eddie's blues'. You can actually hear the studio recorder saying `take 1' and `take 2'. It is amazing to hear what this originally sounded like before it was polished up and put together properly into surely the most amazing instrumental of the time. There are breaks in the songs, suggesting that they had a break then recorded some more and that the final wasn't played out for the full four minutes. Jungle Jingle, Song of New Orleans, whish has nice high sounding notes, and the final song Nice n easy which is a relaxed song as the title suggests, completes the instrumentals. The song called Mighty mean is an early version of the better sounding Mean when I'm mad. It has the same lyrics, it just doesn't sound as good. Dark lonely street is all also an early, poorer sounding version. Eddie's voice is really shaky, and he toned it down much better for the final version. Nervous breakdown is also an early, scrappy version of the final. The final version sounds great but this sounds weird with the unneeded trumpet in-between the guitar. Pink peg slacks is another early version and is doesn't sound quite as nice as the final, clean version. The guitar is sort of boppy and Eddie's voice is not so smart and the chorus is too fast. Eddie has to be the best rock n roll guitarist that ever lived but his skills aren't quite emphasised here. Milk cow blues is the other early version of a clean song. The guitar sounds a little off, whereas in the final version it sounds great. Also, the song sounds like it has a lot of echo, which suggest a poor recording, and it isn`t clean. Eddie uses the lyrics `Lord please send her home' in this version, whereas in the final he misses out the `lord'. The final version is also slower, and more though out with piano and Eddie's more sensible vocals. There's just no contest between these early versions and the polished versions. Tracks 16-19 are all from the album `The early years', recorded in 1956. Eddie first started out with Hank Cochran, who was no relation and they called themselves The Cochran brothers. These songs are duets and are pretty good. They are not a scratch on Eddie's solo songs though, especially the clean versions. Teaming up with Jerry Capeheart was the best thing Eddie could've done, writing his best songs Summertime blues and my favourite, C'mon everybody. These songs here aren't to be taken seriously and are just rock n roll tunes. They are all just over 2 minutes. My favourite would be Tired and sleepy which has a nice sound to it and Eddie sings `I can't love you baby `cos I'm tired and sleepy' and `Honey I've got a passion for my king-size bed'. There is a live version of Hallelujah! I love her so, and it just goes to show how much better a song sounds with all the instruments and how different it can sound without. There is no violins in this live version and the song doesn't sound half as good, whereas I think the final studio version is a very good song. One minute to one is a similar song to Sittin' in the balcony, whish is another smoochy but enjoyable song. It was apparently criticised for sounding so similar. I prefer the sound of Sittin' in the balcony, although this is nice too. As it is an earlier song it doesn't sound quite as clean as Sittin' in the balcony either.
So if you want clean sounding songs then you definitely have to purchase the `Best of' album, but if you already have it and would like to hear rare live recordings, early versions of songs and more instrumentals with Eddie's fantastic guitar skills then this is a good album to buy. For £3.97, it's also a bargain. I have given this album 3 stars but it actually deserves 3.5.Read more ›
This one used to be a good buy but now it's less so. Let me explain. EMI used to have a single CD best-of set out on Eddie which contained 20 tracks. In 2005 EMI replaced their offering by a two CD 40 tracker best-of (still at a very decent price). The extra tracks to make up the two CD set came, in part, from tracks that make up this album - and they're the better ones on this album (of course!).
So if you have the new (2005 and 2 CD's that is) version of "The Best of Eddie Cochran" then it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to get this one unless you're a completist. On the other hand if you only have the old version of "Best of EC" then this one might be a pretty good buy.
So what is here?
* Plenty of tracks recorded while our man was at Liberty, excluding the more well known ones but including a variety of flip sides, album tracks and unreleased material. It's generally pretty good but it is in this section that the overlap occurs - for six tracks ("Dark Lonely Street", Little Angel", "Pink Peg Slacks", "Milk Cow Blues", "Nervous Breakdown" and "Skinny Jim" - to confuse things further, the last two were on the single CD "Best of"!).
* Six instrumentals recorded at Liberty. The Notes suggest that these were all purely Eddie with overdubs and it sounds as if that's true. They're a bit of a mixture but I like "Guybo", "Jungle Jingle" (a Diddley beat number) and "Nice'n'Easy".
* Four pre-Liberty recordings from the time at Ekko with our hero plus a gent called Hank Garland, with the pair known as the Cochran Brothers. Three of these are decent rockabilly efforts but the fourth falls more in the novelty vein.
* One track with Hank Garland solo (under the name of Bo Davis) and Eddie on guitar - this is very good rockabilly (and Eddie`s excellent).
* Four live tracks, three of which are from the fated 1960 British tour and the other "Sittin' in the Balcony" from 1957. I'd see this grouping as being for completists only.
Overall this is a cheap and cheerful set but I do think you need to be aware of what you're getting. And why can't compilers on mixed sets like this put the tracks in order of recording? Makes life easier for everyone.Read more ›
This is an album i originally listened to after borrowing from the local library some years ago, although there are some good tracks there are also some poor sounding recordings, but for a lover of original rock n roll recordings it is great. If you want to listen to more polished tracks it may be better to buy a greatest hits of Eddie Cochran cd. Having said this i had to eventually purchase this album because i could not do without it in my collection.
From his first recording, this fantastic rocker had me as one of his fans, and even today the garbage they try to pass as music, couldn't even come close to his talent.THIS IS MUSIC NOT SOME JUNK THAT PASSES FOR MUSIC THESE DAYS!!!