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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...No Harm Done...Just Havin' Some Fun...On The Weekend..." - Somethin' Else: The Ultimate Collection by EDDIE COCHRAN (2009), 17 Jun. 2009
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
It's astonishing to think that when Ray Edward Cochran was taken from us in a freak car accident while on tour in England in April 1960 - he was only 6 months into his 21st year and had already clocked up over 200 recordings - the bulk of which are presented in this eagerly awaited and sumptuous box set...

"Somethin' Else - The Ultimate Collection" is typical of Bear Family's legendary excellence - released February 2009, 8 CDs are housed in label-themed 2CD jewel cases inside a 12"x12" Box Set offering up a huge 262 tracks. There's a heavily illustrated album-sized 194-Page Hardback Book that is a truly a thing of beauty.

The set was compiled and prepared across several years by noted expert ANTOON VAN OLDEREN and Bear Family label boss RICHARD WEIZE. But this kind of quality and high-art finish doesn't come cheap - there's little change out of one hundred & fifty pounds - even online.

The remastering was handled by 'BOPPIN' BOB JONES, JAY RANELUCCI and PETER J. REYNOLDS - and being Bear Family - the sound quality is GORGEOUS - first generation tapes used, meticulous transfers - a typically superb job done. It's distributed in the UK by John Beecher's Rollercoaster Records of Chalford, Gloucestershire.

CONTENTS:
Disc 1, 35 Tracks, 74:13 minutes
Disc 2, 35 Tracks, 74:10 minutes
Disc 3, 34 Tracks, 76:45 minutes
Disc 4, 24 Tracks, 50:27 minutes
Disc 5, 24 Tracks, 60:04 minutes
Disc 6, 43 Tracks, 78:17 minutes
Disc 7, 28 Tracks, 62:09 minutes
Disc 8, 39 Tracks, 63:32 minutes

For US fans there's the first 3 singles on Ekko as The Cochran Brothers, the lone 7" on Crest, the 14 that followed on Liberty (A&B for each) and the 3 Liberty albums proper from 1957, 1960 and 1962. For UK fans there's the 13 London singles followed by the 10 Liberty ones and the 4 important albums - "Singin' To My Baby" (1958), "The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album" (1960), "Cherished Memories" (1962) and "My Way" (1964). I've checked and they're ALL on here.

The 70's to 90's gave us major EMI retrospectives - the "Legendary Masters" 2LP set from 1972, the 4LP "20th Anniversary" box from 1980 and the "Eddie Cochran" 6LP/4CD box of 1988 - the bulk of these are here too (with some omissions). On top of that, Tony Martin's ROCKSTAR label of the UK carried the flag for Cochran for years and put out 9 EPs and 9 LPs worth of material (much unreleased) - the bulk (not all) of these reissues are also here.

The songs themselves consist of master versions, alternate takes, stereo mixes, interviews, live tracks, false starts and studio chatter - and as you can imagine, it's a mixture of the great and the un-listenable (the stereo stuff on Disc 5 is thrilling while the live tracks are badly recorded and filled with screaming...)

THE HARDBACK BOOK:
The book is both gobsmacking and problematic. Firstly it's bent and curved when you take it out (other buyers have had the same) because the binding can't take the weight. And while the endless photographs of British, Irish, German, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch and even Israeli 7"s, 78"s, EPs and Albums are a wonder to behold and most are in colour - there's an unforgivable 'lack' of info beneath or beside them. Text should be embellishing all of these snaps - chart positions, B-sides, writers credits, what album it came off - but nothing - there isn't even release dates on them...

Take Page 161 - you're shown his July 1958 UK debut LP on London HA-U 2093 with another sleeve beneath it - Liberty LBY 1158. There's no explanation that LBY 1158 is the May 1963 reissue of HA-U 2093 - there's no track list for either LP - there's no rear sleeves pictured either. All the Rockstar photos are slightly blurred - like their copies of copies. And disappointingly there's no printed US or British discographies for easy reference - numerical pointers as to where the tracks are on this massive box. (I've created my own for fans in the 'Comment' box - both singles and albums).

What is good is the 5000-word essay by Stuart Coleman peppered with rare full-sized photos combined with stunning outtake stills and global posters for his 3 movies "The Girl Can't Help It", "Untamed Youth" and "Go, Johnny Go". My favourite photos are on Page 37 where the beautiful actress Yvonne Lime from "Untamed Youth" holds Eddie's cheeks in her hands with a look of pure affection and then on Page 66 there's Cochran and his flame Sharon Sheeley flicking through records racks in a Hollywood vinyl store - she clearly in love with him and unable to hide her pride.

The Discography between Pages 99 and 118 is more of a jazz-style date-by-date Sessionography compiled by Antoon van Olderen, STUART COLMAN, RUSS WAPENSKY and RICHARD WEIZE. 132 entries start with his earliest stuff in mid 1953 through to his last recordings in February 1960 for the "Boy Meets Girls" UK TV Show - including all session work and collaborations in between. You find out that the June 1961 UK single "Weekend" b/w "Cherished Memories" on London HLG 9362 has exclusive mixes - different to the US versions. Also I count a little under 10 previously unreleased versions exclusive to this box, with the bulk of others having appeared on albums/CDs now long deleted.

Ultimately it's down to the music - and as I sit here listening to "Weekend" and "Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie" in STEREO - tears are in my eyes. God bless you Eddie Cochran wherever you may be...

Wallet-buster or not - and despite the book niggles - this is a stone 5-star recommended.

PS: this review is dedicated to "Boppin'" Bob Jones who died in April 2009 - he remastered 1000's of recordings for Ace Records, Bear Family and other top reissue labels and brought joy to millions of fans.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC, 19 Feb. 2009
By 
S. BAILEY "s4wgb" (Oxford. UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Anything by Eddie Cochran is always worth waiting for.Eddie who died so young has left us with GREAT music and even more rarities to find & listen to.This fits in well with my Eddie collection.The book is brilliant with fab pics and many record covers.Any Eddie fan should buy this for their collection.I wonder what else is still out there! Just buy it NOW.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent box set of this great performer, 30 Oct. 2014
By 
Peter Vizor "Rootsman" (Bristol,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Excellent box set of this great performer. As usual the quality of the set and sound is exceptional from Bear Family. If you are an Eddie fan then get this before it is deleted from the catalogues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most, 18 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
As with most Bear Family releases it does not get any better than this a must have item for any fan of Rock And Roll one tiny moan a bit more info to go with the pictures of records!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!, 13 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else! The Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
Love this!
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