Bought this just before Christmas - along with the Barry triple - more for reasons of nostalgia than anything else, the years listed being my prime record buying period. It appears that Apex, a Canadian label, was set up to release US product, along similar lines to our much-loved London American label (and opening here with a British Pye B-side!). Chronologically, the Ritchie Valens is from 1958, and one or two others enjoy recording dates previous to those in the title.
So, typical pop of the period, mixing one or two solid rock'n'rollers (Rock-A-Teens, Fendermen, Chan Romero), a little country (Justin Tubb, Dub Dickerson, Johnny Bond, Johnny Seymour), some doo-wop (Cleftones, Pentagons, Bobby Domino, DeVilles - a Canadian group, here recording for the US label Jerden - Regents etc.) and several intro's, all pretty good, arguably the best being Fat Daddy Holmes' "Chicken Rock".
Nothing revelationary in the pop, tho did bring back memories for me. Doug Sheldon, an early cover king, was all over the place with "Your Ma Said...", I think I bought "Do You Mind?" by Anthony Newley, I laughed at the so-mannered vocals of early Gene Pitney, loved the peerless harmonies of the Ev's, I'd forgotten what a great voice Lenny Welch had. Jan & Dean's "Heart And Soul" made me go buy the Cleftones, Little Frankie Brunson was a would-be Jackie Wilson, Ron Holden sounds 'different' to my well remembered "My Babe", "Hully Gully Again" from Little Caesar and crew reminded me of the Olympics. For sure, there were one or two disappointments, but I expected as much. So overall, an enjoyable set, I got my money's worth.
ACTION THE APEX RECORDS STORY 1960 - 1962 contains 50 original recordings by the original artists but Amazon have scrunched all the tracks up together making it hard to decypher what on the CDs so I've spaced them out to make it a little more clear.
This isn't review proper just an aide.
These sets really are a steal at this price.
Why are these releases so reasonably priced I hear you ask?
The simple reason that these sets are as cheap as chips is that the tracks are public domain.
That means the rights to the music has gone and any old Dick or Harry can release them.
The bad news for the previous rights holders' means good news for us, the buyers for if the price is too high we will not buy.
So the sets are at a more than reasonable price.
Next year the law changes to fall in line with the Americans and the 50 year rule will be finished but that will apply only to stuff released after 1963.
(Thanks to AJ Taylor for putting me right)
But Amazon have scrunched up all the tracks making it hard for people to read which tracks let alone which artist is on so I've spaced them out making it easier to read.
1. Action ~ Lance Fortune
2. Every Breath I Take ~ Gene Pitney
3. Doggone It Baby ~ The Rock-A-Teens
4. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night ~ Kenny Dino
5. I Love You The Way You Are ~ Bobby Vinton
6. Heart And Soul ~ Jan & Dean
7. Drum City ~ Gary Webb
8. You'll Never Get Away ~ `Little' Frankie Brunson
9. Deed I Do ~ The Cleftones
10. Poetry In Motion ~ Johnny Tillotson
11. You Don't Know Me ~ Lenny Welch
12. Won't You Give Me A Chance ~ Darwin & The Cupids
13. Black Rock ~ The Five Spots
14. When WIll I Be Loved ~ The Everly Brothers
15. Searching For Love ~ The DeVilles
16. The Countryside ~ Jim Henson
17. Marilyn ~ Bobby Domino
18. To Be Loved ~ The Pentagons
19. Chicken Rock ~ Fat Daddy Holmes
20. Do You Mind? ~ Andy Williams
21. Cry, Cry, Cry ~ Ritchie Valens
22. Hully Gully Again ~ Little Caesar & The Romans
23. Big Fool Of The Year ~ Justin Tubb
24. Robot Romp ~ Charlie Daniels
25. Too Much Tequila ~ The Champs
1. Barbara-Ann ~ The Regents
2. Fever ~ Little Caesar & The Romans
3. The Hip Swing ~ The Hounds
4. We'll Wait ~ The Debonaires
5. Southern Love ~ Ronnie Hawkins
6. Darlin' ~ Lenny Welch
7. Dead Man ~ George Weston
8. La Mer ~ Trade Martin
9. Cherry Berry Wine - Charlie McCoy
10. Town Without Pity ~ Gene Pitney
11. Fiesta ~ Dave `Baby' Cortez
12. Can You Waddle ~ The Spartans
13. The Bottle ~ Dub Dickerson
14. My Little Ruby ~ Chan Romero
15. Wizard Of Love ~ The Ly-Dells
16. Beatnick Sticks ~ Paul Revere & The Raiders
17. True Love Can Be ~ Ron Holden
18. Hot Rod Lincoln ~ Johnny Bond
19. Lonely Guy ~ The Gallahads
20. Mule Skinner Blues ~ The Fendermen
21. Pledging My Love ~ Johnny Tillotson
22. Gonna See My Baby ~ The Addrisi Brothers
23. In The Heart Of A Fool ~ Johnnie Ray
24. Red Eye ~ The Champs
25. The Same Way You Came In ~ Johnny Seymour
26. The Hessle Wrestle -Stevie D'Or and The Dockers.