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Some reissue LPs stay with you and you love them to distraction - Rockstar's 1985 Eddie Cochran Compilation "Portrait Of A Legend" (with Stereo Takes), Big Joe Turner's "Rhythm & Blues Years" double album on Atlantic from 1986 and this cracker from Ace Records of the UK covering two great R'n'B Vocal Groups from the mid Fifties...The Cadets and The Jacks...

It was first issued as a 16-track VINYL LP called "The Cadets Meet The Jacks" on Ace CH 196 in January 1987. This September 1994 CD reissue called "The Cadets Meet The Jacks: Stranded In The Jungle" on CDCHD 523 expands that initial count by 9 more to 25 tracks (65:22 minutes). The CD also replaces Ted Carroll's liner notes with those of Chicago R'n'B expert JIM DAWSON.

THE CADETS released 14 singles on Modern and THE JACKS managed 6 on their subsidiary label RPM (the same group using a different name) as well as an ultra-rare one-off by THE ROCKATEERS on M.J.C. Records. But each of these intertwined R'n'B Vocal Group incarnations charted big just once. THE JACKS got there first in July 1955 with "Why Don't You Write Me?" on RPM Records 428 (rose to Number 3) while THE CADETS made it with the novelty hit "Stranded In The Jungle" on Modern 944 in July 1956 (rose to Number 4). "Stranded In The Jungle" was in itself a cover of a JAYHAWKS song on Flash Records 109 that made Number 9 in July 1956.

Using both CDs - here is a discography for THE CADETS and their American singles:
[7/1] = Track number 7 on Volume 1 while [7/2] = Track 7 on Volume 2 etc...

1. Don't Be Angry [7/1] b/w I Cried [7/2] (Modern 956, April 1955)
2. Rollin' Stone [6/1] b/w Fine Lookin' Baby [10/2] (Modern 960, June 1955)
3. I Cried [7/2] b/w Fine Lookin' Baby [10/2] (Modern 963, July 1955)
4. Annie Met Henry [5/1] b/w So Will I [24/2] (Modern 969, 1955)
5. Do You Wanna Rock [4/2] b/w If It Is Wrong [15/2] (Modern 971, November 1955)
6. Heartbreak Hotel [18/1] b/w Church Bells May Ring [15/1] (Modern 985, February 1956)
7. Stranded In The Jungle [1/1] b/w I Want You [19/2] (Modern 994, June 1956)
8. I Got Loaded [22/1] b/w Dancin' Dan [22/2] (Modern 1000, September 1956)
9. I'll Be Spinning [23/1] b/w Fools Rush In [3/1] (Modern 1006, Nov 1956)
10. Love Bandit [13/1] b/w Heaven Help Me [3/2] (Modern 1012, December 1956)
11. Wiggle Waggle Woo [12/2] b/w You Belong To Me [20/2] (Modern 1017, 1957)
12. Pretty Evey [10/1] b/w Rum, Jamaica Rum [20/1] (Modern 1019, May 1957, credited as Aaron Collins & The Cadets)
13. Hands Across The Table [8/1] b/w Love Can Do Most Anything [11/1] (Modern 1024, August 1957 credited as Will Jones & The Cadets)
14. Ring Chimes [17/1] b/w Baby Ya Know [12/1] (Modern 1026, December 1957)

This CD has 4 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED - Tracks 5, 14, 19 are 'Alternate Takes' of Annie Met Henry, Why Did I Fall In Love and Dancin' Dan - while Track 25 is an 'Undubbed Version' of Stranded In The Jungle (without the overdubbed Jungle sounds). The much-revered LITTLE WALTER DE VENNE researched and compiled the set and the hugely informative 12-page booklet by JIM DAWSON gives a virtual track-by-track history - even reproducing tiny Cashbox Adverts in between the text. But the big news (as it was with the LP) is the stunning audio quality. The greatly missed 'BOPPIN' BOB JONES mastered the tracks initially for the 1987 LP - whilst this set boasts 1994 Post Production work done by DAVID YOUNG at Sound Mastering in London. The sonic clarity is fabulous - clear, full of life, great presence and sounding like they were recorded yesterday and not a half-a-century ago.

The handsome quartet on the cover shot (from left to right) are Will "Dub" Jones, Willie Davis, Thomas "Pete" Fox and Aaron Collins. Sporting two world-class frontmen - Will Jones had the most extraordinary low-low-low Bass voice while Aaron Collins was the other Lead Tenor (he also co-wrote "Car Crash" and "Don't"). Collins and Jones handled the leads on The Cadets sides while Tenor Willie Davis fronted The Jacks. Not featured on the glorious album cover are the other three integral parts of the group - Ted Taylor (Tenor), Glendon Kingsby (who left to pursue Gospel) and Lloyd McCraw (Baritone).

The Cadets specialized in doing cover versions of other people's hits. Their debut single is a version of Nappy Brown's "Don't Be Angry", "Do You Wanna Rock" is a re-working of Clyde McPhatter & The Drifter's Atlantic hit "Whatcha Gonna Do" and they even had an unsuccessful stab at Elvis Presley on the A and The Willows on the B for Modern 985 in the heat of Rock 'n' Roll in February 1956. Whilst this almost total reliance on covers doesn't sound promising - one of the reasons I love these CD compilations so much is that their versions are actually ace in my books. The group could effortlessly switch between Slow Vocal Group Crooner tunes and outright Rocking R'n'B - having the lead tenor vocalists able to slay both. I adore "Hands Across The Table" (a song stretching all they way back to 1934) with Dub Jones' voice literally startling the neighbours - while the Johnny Mercer/Glenn Miller perennial "Fools Rush In" is gorgeous. They take the wonderful crossover hit "Sixty Minute Man" by Billy Ward & The Dominoes and turn it into an equally cool dancer - "Dancin' Dan". And the drinking song "I Got Loaded" made it onto many of my Shop Play CDs when I was at Reckless.

Ted Taylor enjoyed a great solo career - both Collins and Davis would join The Flairs in 1961 while Betty and Rosie Collins (his sisters) recorded as The Teen Queens. Will "Dub" Jones later went on to be with The Coasters as their Bass Vocalist - staying with them for over 10 years.

Cool, classy and crack-a-lackin' - I love these CADETS and JACKS CDs and I urge you to do the finger-clickin' same...

PS: see also my review for Volume 2 - "Why Don't You Write Me?"
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on 26 September 2012
jacks/cadets are in fact the best vocal group there is.maybe it`s strange and unusual but cover-versions are better than the originals. just listen and soon you agree with me. great and highly recommendable and you know it,don`t you
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