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4.4 out of 5 stars23
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Being a teen idol rockabilly artist in the late fifties seems to have been a dangerous profession, as many of the best known names died young (Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and of course Cochran). Luckily they all left plenty of recorded material behind them.

Cochran's work was pretty classic, and many of his songs have really stood the test of time. Summertime Blues, which struck such a chord with the angst of the teenage market of the late fifties, has dated a little, but tracks such as `Three Steps to Heaven', `C'mmon Everybody' and `20 flight rock' still work well today, 50 years after they were recorded.

Cochran's music is deceptive, it sounds simple to today's ears, but was groundbreaking at the time. As well as developing the relatively new rockabilly and rock'n'roll styles, he was an innovator in recording technique, pioneering the art of multilayered tracks and studio tricks that would so influence people like the Beatles. The genius of it is that you don't notice the use of fancy technique, it all sounds perfectly natural. The end result is track after track of truly classic rock'n'roll, an essential addition to any music collection.

This collection was originally a collection of 12 tracks released as '12 of his biggest hits' just before Cochran's death. Following his demise it was repackaged and rereleased as `The Memorial Album'. As such it contains his smash hit singles of the time and is an interesting single disc collection of his best work. However, a single disc cannot do the man justice, and I would recommend The Best Of Eddie Cochran or The Eddie Cochran Story as more comprehensive and better value compilations.
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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 (Sunday the 17th on his way to London's Heathrow) - he was only 6 months into his 21st year and had already clocked up over 200 recordings. Yet when it comes to CD the fabulous Cochran is usually represented by a single disc 'Best Of' – few thinking to track down his original LP legacy.

Well I'd argue that its time to go back to basics and hear his 2nd platter (posthumously) called "The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album" as a stand-alone. Despite its morbid title and artwork that wasn’t nearly as pretty as his July 1958 debut LP "Singin' To My Baby" - I'd argue it's a truly fantastic Rock 'n' Roll album that contains huge hits like "C'mon Everybody", "Three Steps To Heaven", "Summertime Blues" and "Somethin' Else" as well as other lesser-heard goodies like the rockin' "Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie".

You can get the album on this cheap-as-chips Hallmark CD - or do what I did - fork out big time. I found the tracks inside "Somethin' Else: The Ultimate Collection" by EDDIE COCHRAN – a mammoth Box Set typical of my favourite German reissue company’s legendary excellence. Released February 2009 on Bear Family BCD 15989 HK (Barcode 4000127159892) – "Somethin' Else" gives punters best-audio 8CDs housed in label-themed 2-disc jewel cases inside a 12" x 12" Box Set offering up a huge 262 tracks. There's a beautifully illustrated album-sized 194-Page Hardback Book that is a truly a thing of beauty (yes 'hardback'!). The set was compiled and prepared across several years by noted experts 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. A team consisting of 'BOPPIN' BOB JONES, JAY RANELUCCI, SAM SZCZEPANSKI (for Ivywood Productions) and PETER J. REYNOLDS handled the transfers and remasters. And being Bear Family - the sound quality is gorgeous - first generation tapes used - meticulous transfers - a superb job done. Here’s how to locate the album within the Box Set (3/6 = Disc 3, Track 6 and so on):

Side 1:
1. C'mon Everybody [3/6]
2. Three Steps To Heaven (Version 2) [3/32]
3. Cut Across Shorty (Speeded Up Version) [3/33]
4. Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie [2/26]
5. Pocketful Of Hearts [2/24]
6. Hallelujah, I Love Her So [3/26]
7. Don't Ever Let Me Go [3/5]

Side 2:
1. Summertime Blues [4/1]
2. Teresa [2/28]
3. Somethin' Else [3/17]
4. Pretty Girl [2/25]
5. Teenage Heaven [3/8]
6. Boll Weevil Song [3/18]
7. I Remember [3/9]
His 14-Track 2nd UK LP "The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album" was released in MONO on London HA-G 2267 in September 1960.

It was to be called "12 Of His Greatest Hits" and released just before the accident - but fate stepped in. Withdrawn and given the new moniker - Cochran's official 2nd LP opens on a stunner – "C'mon Everybody". Even now it gives me a thrill when he sings "...when you hear the music you just can't sit still...if you're brother won't rock...then your sister will..." This was young music and kids knew that handsome Eddie was their kind of guy. Every bar band has cut their teeth on "Three Steps To Heaven" (not sure if they found the girl they love in Step 1 though). Marijohn Wilkin and Wayne Walker penned the witty rabbit and hare song "Cut Across Shorty" which Rod Stewart covered on his 2nd album "Gasoline Alley" in 1970. Next up is my fave-rave "Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie" - a fabulous Rock 'n' Roll rave up. There's a superb Rockstar Records reissue LP from may 1985 called "Portrait Of A Legend" that featured 10 STEREO tracks for the first time - one of which is a STEREO 'overdub with guitar' take of this stunning rocker - it turns up as Track 7 on Disc 5. Fred Dexter's "Pocketful Of Hearts" is a tad sappy but his cover of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Her So" lifts proceedings considerably. Dale Fitzsimmons provided "Don't Ever Let Me Go" - a very Buddy Holly influenced shuffling ballad.

Side 2 opens on another winner and teenage rebellion anthem – the 'too young to vote' song "Summertime Blues". It sounds great here - big acoustic guitar and those hand claps. Things get decidedly schlocky with "Teresa" - a 'cuter than a rosebud' crooner tune complete with awful girly vocals (best avoided). It's annihilated by the real deal - the 'sure fine looking' rumble of "Somethin' Else". What a tune and given full reign with the big remaster (a co-write with Sharon Sheeley). Cochran and songwriter Jerry Capehart pumped out the next three rockers - "Teenage Heaven" (featuring in the movie "Go, Johnny, Go!" in 1959 and was a hit single for Eddie on Liberty F-55177), "Boll Weevil Song" and the final ballad - the lovely and criminally forgotten "I Remember". It leaves you feeling that the whole album is one of the greats - albeit an overlooked one.

Issue No. 17,522 of The Daily Mail (Monday, 18 April 1960) headlined that 'Rock Star Dies In Crash' - picturing a smiling Cochran and the mangled British Taxi that took his life and injured Gene Vincent and Eddie's girl and songwriter Sharon Sheeley. Sad, sad, sad - better to remember him with this superb Rock 'n' Roll album...
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on 12 January 2016
although this CD has fourteen tracks it runs for less than 35 minutes (which back in the sixties was an acceptable length for an LP). on the other hand it's available new for less than £1.50 plus postage and it contains all the three classic songs that Cochran is famous for, namely C'mon Everybody, Summertime Blues, and Somethin' Else, plus lots of other goodies ranging from rockabilly (Cut Across Shorty, Boll Weevil Song) to teen anthem (Teresa, I Remember) so it is excellent value and no point in paying lots more money unless you really want lots more of his music.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2015
Eddie Cochran died very young, but not before producing some great songs and bringing in a new guitar style. The big hits (postumous) were C'mon Everybody, Three Steps to Heaven and Summertime Blues. My favourite is Somethin' Else, a perfect little two minute single about girls and cars. It was what rock'n'roll was all about. Some of the other songs are a bit weak but the good ones are among the very best of that long-lost era.
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on 14 November 2013
I have had a copy of this album in every format since it was first released and this was to replace my mislaid CD copy so I new what to expect. I was very pleased to receive it so quickly and at a very reasonable price but was very disappointed to find that the album artwork had been substituted for an ordinary photograph with the opposite profile (not as illustrated). This is an iconic album cover and it is almost sacrilege to change it for this inferior shot. Sorry if I'm being picky but Eddie deserves better.
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on 3 March 2016
Fantastic record. Sounds great and my dad loved it! Took him straight back to his youth.
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on 27 August 2015
Absolutely brilliant album. I have the vinyl and just needed the CD to play in the car.
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on 3 March 2014
An old LP from the past and [still] available on digital: he still sounds the same. It takes you back!
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on 24 April 2016
Spot on. I originally had the album on record.
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on 7 March 2013
Always wanted this CD , now I have it although it doesn't have the original iconic sleeve cover on my copy , so feel cheated
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