Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just wanna hear some of that rock'n'roll music, 4 Nov 2011
This review is from: The London American Story 1957 (Audio CD)
I've made some general remarks about this series already - please see my review of London American Story 1956. I took a look at the next year and declared "1957, as represented on the One Day set was an absolute stormer combining a great combination of familiar but great, plus less familiar but also great." It looked so good I had to take a longer look which more than confirms initial impressions.

For a start, One Day haven't half book ended it well with fantastic openers and closers for each of the discs. Big Joe Turner gets proceedings underway with one of his best shouted shuffles "Lipstick, Powder and Paint". Then Lloyd Price closes the disc with "Just Because", a great slow blues ballad in what would much later become known as swamp pop style. His erstwhile valet and chauffeur Larry Williams also released a version which was again excellent. Then the Everly's first single "Bye Bye Love" kicks off Disc number two - it may have been their first but it remains their most memorable, talk about a kick start to country rock! And for the final closer we get Chuck "Crazylegs" Berry, duckwalking across the stage and wailing that he wants some rock'n'roll music....

"Any old way you choose it.
It's gotta backbeat, you can't lose it,
any old time you use it.
It's gotta be rock'n'roll music, if you wanna dance with me."

In between we get the manic "Glad all Over" and "Your True Love" from good ole Carl Perkins. Alan Freed used to play the latter a lot on AFN. This was also about the time that there was a ballad single out from a film called "True Love" (Bing Crosby and someone else). A tad confusing. Then a month or so later Freed went on to play "Whole lotta shaking" from some new guy who really murdered the piano keys, what a record! And I think I'd forgotten that "Great Balls of Fire" was the same year. And then there's Little Richard in his pomp, Haley on one of his better cuts, Larry Williams - not his greatest track but anything from him is good, more Berries including that Beethoven one, Eddie Cochran just starting his brief career plus the now rather obscure and I have to say, dated but charmingly so, Charlie Gracie.

But the greatest strength of this set is its doowop. I'm not really the greatest fan but the stuff here is enough to convince anyone. There are classics and near classics all the way through. Let me start with the original cut of "Little Darlin'" from the Gladiola's fronted by Maurice Williams (famed for "Stay"). This one should warm the cockles of anyone's heart. On that marvellous multi-coloured Excello label. And it's one we never get to hear. Instead we get the cynically planned and executed near parody cover by the Diamonds. Then there's the Moonglows with "I knew from the start". Youtube has a great clip of the band from the movie, "Rock, Rock, Rock" introduced by the aforementioned Alan Freed. It's that chord sequence which has been used a million and one times, and those really hammered piano triplets, "... you were the one for me". And there's a Youtube comment "Malcolm X on guitar?". Then there's the Del Vikings with "Come go with me" which opens with so many "dum, dum's" you almost forget that some real words are actually coming. And that screech on the final line! And "go, go's" on the sax break. Can anyone resist this one? And there's the Silhouettes - those guys had ties like my band - but ours were clip on and never stayed on! But there's still more, The Five Satins, the Tune Weavers, the Dubs, the near legendary Billy Ward and his Dominos who had the training ground for lead tenors like Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson.

And in between there are still other tracks, often more obscure, but with plenty of interest. The near rockabilly, "Rakin' and Scrapin'" from Dean Beard, Nappy Brown's "Little by Little" which I hadn't heard before, the stone classic extremely early soul of Sam Cooke's "You send me", Dale Hawkins (and James Burton") on "Susie Q", a rare white rock offering from Chess, a great black rockabilly cover of "Party Doll" from Roy Brown. There's some teen idol stuff here from Tab Hunter and Andy Williams (!?!?) several years earlier than the Fabians and Avalons - it`s pleasant period music if hardly classic. And there's some tough R&B from LaVern Baker and there's Fats, I almost forgot him. And there's "I walk the line" from you know who. And there's a strange item from a guy called Ken Copeland - have a look at the comments on Youtube. And there's probably something else I've forgotten.

Value? You bet. Utterly fantastic.

And who was it who rhymed "across the tracks" with "wailin' sax"? First ever poet in rock'n'roll.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Dec 2011 05:00:18 GMT
MelAus says:
Thanks for the great review, I'm going to order some of these.
Can you tell me what is the basic difference between the "London America Story" series and the "London America Label" series?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2011 09:52:10 GMT
Both use the same source, that is, the London American releases in the UK in the year of 19XX. In 1949, UK Decca formed a subsidiary called London-American in order to distribute material from the American independent labels. The indies covered included Imperial, Chess, Dot, Atlantic, Specialty, and Sun. More were added over the years. These labels would not have had any outlet in the UK if it had not been for London American. And bear in mind that a lot of rock'n'roll came out on indies - they were the groundbreakers then as they are, to a lesser extent, now.

The "London American Story" series is from OneDay and each release for a year comprises of 2 CD's with 50 tracks - there are exceptions like their "Rarities". The "London American Label Year by Year" series is from Ace, the renowned reissue label. Each of its issues is on a single CD with, something like 28 tracks. The OneDay series sets costs much less than the Ace equivalent.

So you could say game, set and match to OneDay. But it's not as simple as that. Ace always use the original masters from the year stated. OneDay have sometimes used a later versions of the same song i.e. not the one from the year covered (though this practice isn`t over frequent). This really annoys serious collectors. Ace also give you very scrupulously researched detail on the artists and songs contained. In terms of the music OneDay seem to stick closely to numbers that performed well in the US Charts in the relevant year. While there's often a fair bit of overlap the Ace compilations are more subjective and sometimes quirky - I would imagine several of their staff vote for favourites.

If you want to find out more about Ace they have a good website and give you quite a chunk of info about each of their releases. OneDay also have a site but you'll see from looking at it that it's more nostalgia based.

Does that help?

Assuming you're posting from Oz, how's the sunshine over there? My daily dose of sun from Bondi via Aquabumps isn't too sunny at the moment. In fact the guy writing it leads off "This ain't Summer!"

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Dec 2011 10:49:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2011 10:50:21 GMT
MelAus says:
Thanks again for the appreciated response.
Yes, I really attempt to stick with the original recordings, even if the re-do's often sound technically better.
Infact the second hand type shops here will not trade-in the "oldies" if they in the main comprise re-recordings. It is well proven here that those in the 60-70 age group will not touch them!
Melbourne weather at this time is usual, Central heating needed at odd times and Aircon the next day. Hot and sticky for Xmas day supposedly......Cheers

Posted on 21 May 2012 15:04:37 BDT
WPW says:
Dave, the rhymer in question was the late and much lamented Jerry Leiber, arguably the greatest lyricist of all, in the Coasters' That Is Rock 'n Roll". Or was your question rhetorical?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2012 20:17:45 BDT
Yup, that was a touch of rhetoric showing it's head, and I don't have too many arguments with regarding the late, and very much lamented, Jerry L as the "First ever poet in rock'n'roll" though a certain Chuck "Crazylegs" Berry may choose to differ.
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