Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value Anthology, 25 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis (Audio CD)
This for my money is one of the better JLL R & R collections on the market, and let's face it, there are quite a few out there. The main problem Joe Public has, is that Jerry Lee made umpteen remakes on umpteen different labels. For the uncommitted casual buyer, my suggestion would definitely be to listen to his Sun output above all others, and that's what's covered here (though not comprehensively of course - there are other collections which do the job on this - it depends how hard you want to hit your bank account).

Lewis's music grew out of Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, C & W and the earthy nightlife of the Deep South. He developed into a brash performer, and eventually parlayed his way into the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. He told them he "played the piano like Chet Atkins played the guitar". This got their attention and he hit the lower reaches of the charts with "Crazy Arms" - Country more than Rock, but soon he was into the big time with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and the incomparable "Great Balls Of Fire". This last number won him a spot in the classic 1957 R & R film "Jamboree". The country-flavoured blues had given way to a hard-driving,boogie-woogie style which earned Jerry Lee his place as a pioneer of Rock 'N' Roll.

For me it was no coincidence that Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins had also made their names through Sun - the common denominator was the sound created by producer/entrepreneur Sam Phillips.

There was a sociological connection as well. At the time the record charts in the U.S. (especially in the South) were segregated along racial lines, the Black audience generally being associated with R & B and Gospel, and the White side had Country and Mainstream Pop. Phillips was shrewd enough to see that Jerry Lee could neatly fill a niche as competition for piano-playing Black vocalists like Fats Domino and Little Richard, who were having great success on the crest of the R 'N' R wave.

Phillips' formula was based on three-or four-piece bands and the vocals were liberally laced with slap-back echo. To listen to Jerry Lee's "Well"s, "Oohs" and "Ahs" as he went through his routine is to hear the seminal sounds of 1950's R 'N' R. Gene Vincent was another great exponent of this, and there were many lesser imitators. Lewis's instrumental work was superb - dynamic and flamboyant with the boogie riffs pushing things neatly along. Fats and Little Richard must have been looking over their shoulders.

As the 1960's came around, Phillips expanded to a bigger studio and the slap-back echo now became a more respectable reverb - and for me, at least, that magical Sun ingredient was lost. The tight, crisp sound on "Little Queenie" gave way to a booming, cavernous sound on "Save The Last Dance For Me".

Come 1963 The Beatles changed everything and Jerry Lee left Sun. He eventually "crossed over" into Country and (IMHO) bland mediocrity.

He left a great legacy from the Sun days, however, and I still love to listen to things like the above-mentioned "Little Queenie" (which for me, eclipsed the Chuck Berry original by a mile); "Good Rockin' Tonight", (the piano solo captures him at his frantic best); "Lovin' Up A Storm", "Breathless", "Milkshake Mademoiselle", "Sixty Minute Man" - to my mind this is the authentic Jerry Lee Lewis.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: the UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,676