- Audio CD (26 April 2004)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Ace
- ASIN: B0001V5UTO
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,621 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
The UK Sue Label Story Vol.2: Sue's Rock 'n' Blues CD
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The second volume of Aces tribute to its "spiritual ancestor" concentrates its attentions on the vast amount of blues and rocknroll that the UK Sue label put out in singles and albums during is six-year life span. The labels late A&R head, Guy Stevens, was as much of a fan of those genres as he was of the soul music that made up the greater part of UK Sues output. Guy took as much pride and care in selecting only the best in blues and rocknroll for release on the beloved red-and-yellow imprint, as this CD shows. The label gave most of the artists featured here their first domestic releases. The names featured just on this volume will reinforce just how important that makes UK Sue to collectors then and now. Many of the tracks have also never been reissued domestically since their first appearance on UK Sue nearly 40 years ago. With an essay and track-by-track annotation by lifelong Sue fan and collector Mike Atherton, plus copious label shots and period ads/memorabilia, this maintains the high standard of the previous volume of "The UK Sue Story" and looks forward to the third and final instalment of the trilogy, "The Soul Of UK Sue".
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The sleeve notes to the first volume in this series - see also my review - document extensively Guy Stevens' love for both basic rock'n'roll, and the blues. In the latter field he helped Pye with their International label which released Chess/Checker material. He also played a major role in the first release of artists from the Excello label in the UK via the groundbreaking album, "Authentic R&B", still a classic of its type. These credentials were put to good use in Guy's selection of such music to release on the Sue label.
Under the r'n'r label we have such items as the legendary Canada-based rockabilly Ronnie Hawkins' "Forty Days", Bobby Hendricks' "Itchy Twitchy Feeling" - this one was a reasonable size hit in the US but virtually unknown in the UK, and "Like Longhair" from Paul Revere and the Raiders. We also have two tracks heavily influenced by Little Richard, "Hattie Malatti" from Lee Diamond, and, "Shout Bamalama" from the early Otis Redding. There's also "Little Latin Lupe Loo" from the Righteous Brothers. It you only know "....Loving Feeling" from these guys then this one will be quite a surprise.
On the blues sides the tracks here are even stronger. Classics like John Lee Hooker's stomp, "Boogie Chillen", one of guitar King Freddy`s classy instrumentals, "Driving Sideways", plus a great pleading blues from James Brown in "Why does everything happen to me". Again if you only know the later, much sampled, up-tempo stuff you should try this.
There's decent slightly lesser known stuff like Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae", a raucous slab of blues, which neatly covers both headings in the album's title, and Elmore James` "It Hurts me too" which gets away from his trademark "Dust My Blues" pattern. I`ve always like this one. John Mayall covered it in `67 (and he also recorded a tribute to Elmore titled "Mr James). Then there's "I feel so good" from JB Lenoir and his African Hunch Rhythm (?!?!) which may be an acquired taste. There's another one of JB's tracks on the first album in the series; he certainly had an unusual sound - maybe anticipating World Music!
Mention of the first album reminds that a couple of excellent blues tracks are contained on that one, Elmore's "Dust my Blues" and Bobby Parker's piledriving "Watch your step". Not to mention the Louisiana Red track.
Great selection and packaging from Ace as we've come to expect. I love the reference to Ace as Sue's "Spiritual Ancestor".
At the same time came a British label called Sue who were in the right place at the right time when the owner Guy Stevens and a distribution deal with Island began to issue stuff from other labels selected due to at least some sort of demand which the corporate labels were ignoring.
What few hit singles emerged were on the Island label such as Robert Parker's Barefootin' and Roy C's Shotgun Wedding.
This was the time of pirate radio and a lot of this stuff was being played
Now a record label set up mainly by collectors is being reissued by what is in essence a CD label-Ace- for collectors hence 4 volumes covering most of the Sue releases.
This was a time before Rock Critics raised their ugly heads and people just listened to the music without analysing it.
Critical opinions have been the subject of countless books where records are rated but its better not to be involved otherwise you don't get the full picture