The Leiber & Stoller Story, Vol. 1: Hard Times, the Los Angeles Years, 1951-56 CD
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The first of three Ace anthologies chronicling the songwriting achievements of arguably the two most famous names in rocknroll songwriting, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This first volume deals with their early years as (predominantly) rhythm and blues songwriters in Los Angeles, starting with their first recorded compositions by Jimmy Witherspoon and the Robbins and ending just prior to the start of their great successes with the Coasters and Elvis Presley. It also includes the first of their earliest national and international pop successes with the Cheers, Vicki Young and Edith Piaf! Several of the tracks are featured in previously-unreleased alternate versions, while many others are being digitised for the first time here. Compiled with the personal assistance and approval of Jerry and Mike, and featuring their commentary on many of the tracks in the sleevenotes, this is a long-overdue Ace salute to two men who, for most, are the alpha and omega of rocknroll songwriting.
Top Customer Reviews
Leiber & Stoller had the knack of writing in the style of a black man and most of the time they took from the general stock of 12 bar blues and its variants.Never especially noted for creating great melodies like Lennon & McCartney the songs would frequently have additional output from other writers but the main thing about Leiber/Stoller songs was the lyrics.
Songs would be retreaded and in some cases were "borrowed" from other sources.Thus Stand by me was according to its part writer Ben E King "loosely based on a Gospel song" and even the title was kept making it a different song to the one Elvis recorded.
Eventually Leiber/Stoller tired of writing R & B and RnR and by 1959 were moving closer to what became high school pop or straight ahead Tin Pan Alley stuff as recordings by Peggy Lee and Johnny Mathis testify.
They dabbled in girl group pop and even in a sense the British Invasion when Stealers Wheel charted in the 70s when America looked to Britain for new trends.
Like Buddy Holly they were interested in the idea of rock'n'roll with strings and the Drifters' There goes my baby moved R & B into Uptown Soul