Bought this just before Christmas - along with the Barry triple - more for reasons of nostalgia than anything else, the years listed being my prime record buying period. It appears that Apex, a Canadian label, was set up to release US product, along similar lines to our much-loved London American label (and opening here with a British Pye B-side!). Chronologically, the Ritchie Valens is from 1958, and one or two others enjoy recording dates previous to those in the title.
So, typical pop of the period, mixing one or two solid rock'n'rollers (Rock-A-Teens, Fendermen, Chan Romero), a little country (Justin Tubb, Dub Dickerson, Johnny Bond, Johnny Seymour), some doo-wop (Cleftones, Pentagons, Bobby Domino, DeVilles - a Canadian group, here recording for the US label Jerden - Regents etc.) and several intro's, all pretty good, arguably the best being Fat Daddy Holmes' "Chicken Rock".
Nothing revelationary in the pop, tho did bring back memories for me. Doug Sheldon, an early cover king, was all over the place with "Your Ma Said...", I think I bought "Do You Mind?" by Anthony Newley, I laughed at the so-mannered vocals of early Gene Pitney, loved the peerless harmonies of the Ev's, I'd forgotten what a great voice Lenny Welch had. Jan & Dean's "Heart And Soul" made me go buy the Cleftones, Little Frankie Brunson was a would-be Jackie Wilson, Ron Holden sounds 'different' to my well remembered "My Babe", "Hully Gully Again" from Little Caesar and crew reminded me of the Olympics. For sure, there were one or two disappointments, but I expected as much. So overall, an enjoyable set, I got my money's worth.
ACTION THE APEX RECORDS STORY 1960 - 1962 contains 50 original recordings by the original artists but Amazon have scrunched all the tracks up together making it hard to decypher what on the CDs so I've spaced them out to make it a little more clear.
This isn't review proper just an aide. These sets really are a steal at this price.
Why are these releases so reasonably priced I hear you ask?
The simple reason that these sets are as cheap as chips is that the tracks are public domain.
That means the rights to the music has gone and any old Dick or Harry can release them.
The bad news for the previous rights holders' means good news for us, the buyers for if the price is too high we will not buy. So the sets are at a more than reasonable price. Next year the law changes to fall in line with the Americans and the 50 year rule will be finished but that will apply only to stuff released after 1963. (Thanks to AJ Taylor for putting me right)
But Amazon have scrunched up all the tracks making it hard for people to read which tracks let alone which artist is on so I've spaced them out making it easier to read.
CD1 1. Action ~ Lance Fortune 2. Every Breath I Take ~ Gene Pitney 3. Doggone It Baby ~ The Rock-A-Teens 4. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night ~ Kenny Dino 5. I Love You The Way You Are ~ Bobby Vinton 6. Heart And Soul ~ Jan & Dean 7. Drum City ~ Gary Webb 8. You'll Never Get Away ~ `Little' Frankie Brunson 9. Deed I Do ~ The Cleftones 10. Poetry In Motion ~ Johnny Tillotson 11. You Don't Know Me ~ Lenny Welch 12. Won't You Give Me A Chance ~ Darwin & The Cupids 13. Black Rock ~ The Five Spots 14. When WIll I Be Loved ~ The Everly Brothers 15. Searching For Love ~ The DeVilles 16. The Countryside ~ Jim Henson 17. Marilyn ~ Bobby Domino 18. To Be Loved ~ The Pentagons 19. Chicken Rock ~ Fat Daddy Holmes 20. Do You Mind? ~ Andy Williams 21. Cry, Cry, Cry ~ Ritchie Valens 22. Hully Gully Again ~ Little Caesar & The Romans 23. Big Fool Of The Year ~ Justin Tubb 24. Robot Romp ~ Charlie Daniels 25. Too Much Tequila ~ The Champs
CD2 1. Barbara-Ann ~ The Regents 2. Fever ~ Little Caesar & The Romans 3. The Hip Swing ~ The Hounds 4. We'll Wait ~ The Debonaires 5. Southern Love ~ Ronnie Hawkins 6. Darlin' ~ Lenny Welch 7. Dead Man ~ George Weston 8. La Mer ~ Trade Martin 9. Cherry Berry Wine - Charlie McCoy 10. Town Without Pity ~ Gene Pitney 11. Fiesta ~ Dave `Baby' Cortez 12. Can You Waddle ~ The Spartans 13. The Bottle ~ Dub Dickerson 14. My Little Ruby ~ Chan Romero 15. Wizard Of Love ~ The Ly-Dells 16. Beatnick Sticks ~ Paul Revere & The Raiders 17. True Love Can Be ~ Ron Holden 18. Hot Rod Lincoln ~ Johnny Bond 19. Lonely Guy ~ The Gallahads 20. Mule Skinner Blues ~ The Fendermen 21. Pledging My Love ~ Johnny Tillotson 22. Gonna See My Baby ~ The Addrisi Brothers 23. In The Heart Of A Fool ~ Johnnie Ray 24. Red Eye ~ The Champs 25. The Same Way You Came In ~ Johnny Seymour 26. The Hessle Wrestle -Stevie D'Or and The Dockers.