I'm a tad surprised that no one has reviewed this set before. In reference to the title it's certainly the greatest rockabilly collection in terms of length; 240 tracks with a total playing time of just over 9 hours is unprecedented. The question remains though, is it the greatest in other respects? In some respects the overwhelming length makes it difficult to form a judgement that does justice to all the material present but here goes anyway:
1. The compiler has done a simply stunning job in sticking to his/her brief. Very little of the content is other than real, authentic rockabilly unlike most other collections which tend to chuck in bits of hillbilly or other contemporary material. He (or she) also hasn't ventured too far into the wider rock'n'roll arena (without getting too hung up on these descriptive terms). Yes I know "Shaking all over" doesn't fit the brief. Nor does "Who do you love" but they're still nice to have. So's Don Gibson's "Blue blue day".
2. He (or she) has kept much of the Sun material down to a reasonable minimum. Don't get me wrong. I've nothing at all against Sun, quite the opposite in fact but most compilers tend to overload their collections with Sun goodies. That tendency is all very well but any rockabilly collector will already have oodles of Sun stuff.
3. Similarly the really big names aren't over represented which is just as well. However I'm still happy to hear the occasional Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, early Holly or Johnny Burnette. Such tracks make the ears prick up while one is still getting familiar with more obscure stuff.
Would it be too much to ask Master Classics if they're intending to release another set along these lines? Judging by what I know they have omitted from this set both in terms of the big names and lesser known names - for example there's more that could be included from the likes of Sanford Clark, Glen Glenn, Pat Cupp, Bob Luman, Jackie Lee Cochran, Wayne McGinnis, Al Ferrier, Mac Curtis and many more. And that's just some of the more obvious names. Only if you guys do go on and produce another set, please, please, please, don't duplicate stuff from this set. Call it volume 2 or something and mean it!
OK I give in. This IS the greatest `50's rockabilly collection. Ever. What else can I say.
Brilliant, this music has been around for sixty years in one form or another and this cd showcases how it all started a great cd if anybody is just getting started into this exciting scene and it's music!
This collection is excellent value and gives a comprehensive view of 50s rockabilly. Purists may quibble about a few of the tracks and real fans will already have some of the recordings but overall this anthology will be a useful addition to your collection. Rock on!