Live In America
Sound Of A Revolution
Result of your query: 1674 products
|VA: - Diddy Wah Diddy Ain't A Town, Ain't A City
1-CD DigiPac with 64-page booklet, 30 tracks. Playing time approx. 66 minutes. - An astonishing first CD reissue of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll music recorded by Delta Records of Jackson, Mississippi! 30 rare and rocking sides recorded between 1957 and the late '60s by Jimmie Ammons at his Delta Recording Studio - a converted garage next to a cow pasture! Every track is previously unissued (unless you count rare custom pressings)! Contains a rare first ever disc by Warner Mack! Plus the first four recordings ever made by Andy Anderson and the Rolling Stones! Features the cream of 1950s Jackson rock 'n' rollers - including Rick Richardson, the Red Counts, Cool Cat Cannon, Alton Lott and many others! The 64-page booklet by Martin Hawkins contains the first ever retrospective of the career of studio engineer and music promoter Jimmie Ammons, and the artists he issued on his Delta label and other labels! The booklet also contains many previously-unseen photographs! -- Today - fifty-five years after the emergence of rock 'n' roll and thirty-five years since rockabilly began to be reissued seriously in LP and CD compilations - it seems like pretty much everything that could possibly be issued, has been. But then along comes this CD chock-full of unissued music from the Delta Recording Co. of Jackson, Mississippi. It provides an overview of the rockabilly and rock 'n' roll music recorded at Delta between 1957 and 1964. Very few of these recordings were issued at the time although some were issued as custom pressings to be sold at live shows and others were used as demos to pitch to other record labels. Together, they tell a quality tale of the movement from Sun-style rockabilly to fully fledged rockers and rockaballads, touching later on gospel and folk influences. And the big thing is this: Most of the artists are new names to the reissue scene, and their music is remarkably exciting and worthwhile. This is an important CD, at last filling a void in the story of Mississippi music and rock 'n' roll in general.
|Bear Family 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Ding Dong Presents: Rabbit Action & Rock-A-Billy Blues
||Snapper 2010||CD||12.00 €
|VA: - DJ Andy Smith's Jam Up Twist
Wind your way down the stairs at The Book Club in Hoxton and the first thing you see is a pool table and the queue to the cloakroom. Beyond that a crowd has formed and the party is off and going. You have entered the world of Andy Smith’s Jam Up Twist. Instead of the area’s blend of the latest dance music trends, Andy is expertly weaving a mix of great music from the distant past. A blend of rockabilly, jump blues, 60s soul and ska is pulling a crowd, and from the moment I heard it I knew that Andy was once more creating a club night that we at BGP would like to celebrate on CD.
Andy came to prominence working as a DJ with Portishead when they hit the big time in the mid-90s. His inquisitive style of DJing has seen him pull music from all sorts of genres, creating an eclectic fusion that was celebrated in his seminal mix CD “The Document”. Since then he has hooked up with the BGP team for two compilations, including “Andy Smith’s Northern Soul”, which was based around his club night that attempted to introduce great 60s soul to a whole new crowd, and succeeded. We hope to repeat this success with “Andy Smith’s Jam Up Twist”.
Once again Andy creates a seamless mix of tracks from the 50s through to the 70s, but it is his skill as a selector that really catches the ear. In each of the genres covered by the compilation he pulls out gems that are not only great tracks but relevant to a modern dancefloor. The rockabilly and the jump blues are just the sort of sounds that provide the influence for modern acts such as Imelda May and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, and in cuts such as ‘Let’s Go Bopping Tonight’ by Al Ferrier, Jimmy Carroll’s ‘Big Green Car’, Mickey Champion’s ‘Bam-A-Lam’ or the Sonny Bono-penned ‘Touch And Go’ from Wynona Carr, Andy has chosen the very best.
He is equally at home in the worlds of ska and Northern Soul. From the Northern pile he’s picked longstanding classics from Mel Williams and Toni & the Showmen and joined them up with some more recent finds such as the San Francisco TKOs and Luther Ingram, whose version of ‘Oh Baby Don’t You Weep’ has been one of the great discoveries of the past few years. To hear the Skatalites on a BGP comp is a real pleasure (and apt, as on ‘Malcolm X’ they are in fact covering Lee Morgan’s jazz dance classic ‘Sidewinder’), as it is to hear the voice of the great Alton Ellis.
So let’s hope Andy is as successful in pushing the boundaries here as he has been in the past, because this is as great a blend as we could hope to hear.
By Dean Rudland (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Doo Wop Across America 2CD -New York & Connecticut 2CD
This is the first release in our series showcasing R&B vocal groups from different parts of the USA.
This collection features The Willows, The Valentines and The Fiestas from New York and The Nutmegs from New Haven, Connecticut.
Includes all the hits the four groups enjoyed including 'Church Bells May Ring' by The Willows, 'Lily Maebelle' & 'Woo Woo Train' by The Valentines, 'A Story Untold' & 'Ship of Love' by The Nutmegs and 'So Fine' & 'You Could Be My Girlfriend' by The Fiestas.
Fully detailed liner notes with biography and career achievements.
|Jasmine Records 2012||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Doo Wop Across America 2CD -Ohio Michigan 2CD
This collection features The Edsels from Ohio, The Eldorados from Chicago The Counts from Indianapolis, and The Turbans from Philadelphia.
Features the A and B sides of all The Counts early singles for the very first time on one CD in the UK. Plus all the hits and more you would expect from all of the groups including: 'Rama Lama Ding Dong', 'At My Front Door', 'Darling Dear', 'When You Dance' and 'Sister Sooky'.
Fully detailed liner notes with biography and career achievements are included.
|Jasmine Records 2012||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Double Cookin' - classic northern soul instrumentals
The instrumental has always been an integral part of the Northern Soul scene, right back to its very earliest days. Not everyone likes them, but they’re so ingrained into the culture of the scene that it’s hard to imagine life without them. Certainly enough people do like them for us to have been approached by those who have wondered why the Kent catalogue has never opened its arms to embrace a whole CD of Northern instros – especially considering how many of them there actually are.
Those who have, need wonder no more. After much thought and planning, we can finally lift the lid on Kent’s first ever overview of nearly a decade’s worth of floorfillers and all-time anthems that, between them, provide a comprehensive overview of what happens in a dance when the singing stops and the music takes over.
“Double Cookin’” brings together two dozen wordless wonders, the majority of which have proven their worth time and again as a means of filling a Northern Soul dance floor quickly. The vast majority of the titles on show will need not one word of introduction to the faithful. Indeed the popularity of some, such as the offerings of Hugo Montenegro and Bill Black’s Combo, date back to the very early days of the Northern Scene. For others, memories of the Mecca, Torch or Catacombs will be conjured up as soon as the intros to ‘Cigarette Ashes’, ‘Tracks To Your Mind’ and ‘Hey America’ come blasting through the speakers. Original and born again Wiganites will get their kicks out on the floor to our title track, ‘The Spy’ and the instrumentals to ‘Before It’s Too Late’, ‘The Same Old Thing’, ‘Turn Back The Hands Of Time’ and ‘Lay This Burden Down’ – all four of which were originally stripped of their vocals for play at the Casino. We’ve even thrown in a couple of newly-mixed instrumentals of proven vocal favourites that are exclusive to this CD, and that would have torn any dancefloor up had they been around during the instro’s peak years of popularity.
“Double Cookin” does not set itself up as high art. “Dave Godin’s Deep Soul Treasures” it most certainly is not. Wizened commentators will not have a field day sitting around discussing the subtle nuances of ‘The Champion’ or ‘Sliced Tomatoes’ because they don’t really have any. Future archivists of the scene will probably not be writing 2000 word essays on the importance of ‘Danse A La Musique’ or ‘Thumb A Ride’ to the development of Northern Soul. They and the other 22 tracks on this CD are here to enjoy, not to analyse.
These records have no power to change anyone’s life. What they do have is the power to propel anyone in the direction of their nearest dance floor in pursuit of maximum pleasuring of the feet, augmented by soul clapping where appropriate…
…Now where did I put that talc?
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2010||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Downey Story - Landlocked
24 of the best Downey records, including some unissued treasures, that present a snapshot of this important Californian independent label’s catalogue.
Which record label brought us one of the two biggest surf instrumental hits of the early 60s? The same label that issued a couple of future Northern Soul collector’s items. Not to mention a clutch of the best garage rockers, and some New Orleans R&B by the cream of the Crescent City’s ex-pat musicians living in Southern California in the mid-60s. Together with, of course, a plethora of instrumental rock and a fair smattering of Sunshine Pop. All this before I even mention the early work of Barry White and one of his first solo efforts.
The huge surf hit was ‘Pipeline’ by the Chantays. The label, Downey. Previous compilations in the five year-old Downey series have concentrated on instrumentals, early 60s pop, R&B, garage rockers and surf. This time out I have gathered tracks that proved hard to pin down to any of those genres, together with some previously unreleased gems and alternate takes, while revisiting a few important sides essential for a label overview such as this.
Following ‘Pipeline’ comes that great garage rocker ‘I Don’t Need You No More’, the flipside of ‘Boss’, the first Downey single by the Rumblers. Other, later, garage goodies include Bud & Kathy’s ‘Hang It Out To Dry’ (once the title of a collector’s LP), ‘Edge Of Nowhere’ by the Sunday Group and our old friends the Last Word, of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ fame, with ‘Freeway’, an unreleased 1966 recording.
A smattering of doo wop comes in the shape of the Invictas and the Debonaires, while the Invictas’ original lead singer, Sonny Patterson, delivers a bluesy ‘Troubles’ in an alternate take from his single. The great Little Johnny Taylor makes a welcome return, as does New Orleans veteran Jessie Hill with an alternate take of ‘TV Guide’. The Sunshine Pop element is present in Craig & Michael (another Chantays-related side), the Slipped Discs and the enigmatic E.S.P Limited.
The Northern Soul sides are ‘Do It’ by Pat Powdrill and ‘Jerk Baby Jerk’ by Carl Burnett. A future contender in that area might be Margaret Williams, whose ‘My Love’ makes its Ace CD debut here. The song was arranged by Barry White, who also appears as Lee Barry with ‘I Don’t Need It’, a solo 45 issued on Downey in 1966.
Rockin’ instrumentals are represented by the Rivaires doing ‘The Bug’, a previously unissued version of surf hit ‘Penetration’ by Ed Burkey and the great Revels’ ‘Comanche’. Interestingly, this compilation coincides with the issue on DVD of The Exiles, the Los Angeles cult film of 1961 for which ‘Comanche’ was written.
By Brian Nevill (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Dressin' Up
||Pan American||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Drumbeat / Saturday Club 2CD
his excellent new 2CD set focuses on the popular TV show Drumbeat and the Saturday Club radio show.
Featuring popular artists of the era including: Ricky Valance, Adam Faith and Cliff Richard.
Many of the tracks available here are new to CD and features a plethora of hits from the time.
This incredible 2CD set really captures the fun and excitement of the early Rock & Roll era and the two hit shows that millions tuned in to every week!
|Jasmine Records 2010||CD||13.00 €
|VA: - Early Rockin' Gold
+ five bonus instrumental tracks
|Collector Records 2011||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - East Coast Teen Party Vol. 10
|Eastcoast Music 2010||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Elvis Heard Them Here First
From his debut recording session to his last, Elvis Presley loved to reinterpret. The first song he ever cut, ‘My Happiness’, was one he probably learned from the 1948 recording by John and Sondra Steele. The last song, ‘He’ll Have To Go’, probably came via Jim Reeves (although Jim was not the first to record it – that honour went to one Billy Brown). In 24 years of studio and stage activity, Elvis cut over 150 songs that had been recorded previously – and put his own stamp on all of them, regardless of who sang them first. All of which makes him a guaranteed shoo-in for his own ‘special edition’ in Ace’s popular “You Heard It Here First” series.
Most people who buy Ace CDs will already know what the originals of songs such as ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, ‘One Night’, ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ sound like. We could have gone the obvious route with this project and stuck to Elvis’ revivals of R&B, blues and hillbilly material, but we’ve elected to compile “Elvis Heard Them Here First” from songs he cut after his military service put his career on hold for a while. We’ve tailored our selection to embrace the originals of some of his biggest hits – ‘Always On My Mind’, ‘Girl Of My Best Friend’, ‘Guitar Man’ – and some of his most obscure B-sides and albums cuts. Believe us, they don’t come much more obscure than Duane Dee’s ‘True Love Travels On A Gravel Road’, the Bards’ ‘Goodtime Charlie’s Got The Blues’ or Roger Douglass’ ‘Never Ending’. In doing so, we hope more than a few of even the most hardcore Elvis collectors will discover some original versions of songs they may not have even suspected were ever recorded by anyone other than Elvis.
We can’t say with 100% certainty that Elvis did hear these versions first, and we’re pretty sure that, in one or two cases, he definitely didn’t. Throughout his life, Elvis grabbed music from everywhere. A voracious collector and listener, he loved nothing more than to put his own stamp on a song that he loved, particularly in the years following the ’68 Comeback Special when he was no longer bound by the constraints of what his notorious management insisted he record.
The beautiful vintage Alfred Wertheimer cover shot of the young Elvis, an inevitably jam-packed booklet featuring the usual wealth of rare labels and ephemera, and a detailed sleeve note chronicling the songs in the order he cut his versions, it’s a package no Elvis fan will want to be without, even though he doesn’t sing one note.
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Elvis original Casting Album
Shakin' Stevens, James Proby, Timothy Whitnall And Fumble - live at the "Elvis" at Astoria Theatre 1978
|VA: - Embassy Records Story - Rock And Roll Vol. 1
30 tracks british R&R from the Embassy Records
|Pink N Black Records 2008||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Essential Rock'n'Roll Instrumentals 2CD
2CD = 40 tracks
|Primo 2010||CD||10.00 €
|VA: - Eteenpäin! Suomi-Jazz 1960-1975 3CD
Nimimerkki Pessimisti kirjoitti Rytmi-lehden numerossa 6/1960 synkästi: "Minne menet Suomen jazz? Tällä hetkellä vastaus näyttää olevan tuhoisan yksinkertainen: Kuolemaan. Suomessa jazz on henkihieverissään."
Nimimerkin ennustus ei onneksi toteutunut. Päinvastoin, sillä 1960-luku merkitsi suurta muutosta suomalaisessa jazzissa. Ripeä kehitys jatkui 1970-luvulla, jolloin suomalainen jazz vakiinnutti asemansa musiikin kentässä kansainvälisestikin.
|Artie Music 2013||2-CD||30.00 €
|VA: - Fabulous 50s 1959
29 hits from 1959
|Delta Leisure Group 2010||CD||8.00 €
|VA: - Fantastic & Rarities 50's & 60's Instrumental Guitars Vol. 1
24 tracks - mono 24bit mastering.
|Magic Records 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Feeling High - the Psychedelic Sound Of Memphis
Memphis is well known as the birthplace of the blues, the fount of southern soul and the locale that begat rock’n’roll. My colleagues and I have been digging deep in various Memphian vaults over the past decade, but the focus up until now has largely been soul and R&B. Lest we forget, the city boasted a healthy rock scene well into the 1960s and 1970s, but few retrospectives have documented Memphis music in the psychedelic era when, as a major recording centre, it was the nexus not just for local freaks, but those from neighbouring Arkansas, Mississippi and beyond. Big Beat’s “Feeling High – The Psychedelic Sound Of Memphis” shines a welcome light on this long-neglected area, focusing on the years 1967-1969 and principally on the work of two renowned Memphis mavericks.
With a decades-long career as an iconoclastic musical polymath, Jim Dickinson needs little introduction. However, his rarely-discussed apprenticeship as a producer-engineer at Ardent Studios in the late 1960s made Dickinson responsible for many of the wildest and wackiest sessions ever held in Memphis. Some excerpts slipped out at the time on obscure singles on Stax and elsewhere, such as the absurd version of ‘For Your Love’ by Honey Jug. “Whenever anybody came into Ardent, it was obvious who was going to do the crazy stuff, ”Dickinson recounted to me several years ago. The bands he produced there include the pyjama-wearing Kinks-ish Wallabys of Jackson, Mississippi and psychedelic hillbillies Knowbody Else, later to become famous as Black Oak Arkansas.
In contrast, James Parks was a young wet-behind-the-ears punk who took over the control room at uncle Stan Kesler’s Sounds Of Memphis studio in 1968, bringing in his freak friends from counterculture hotspots such as the Bitter Lemon. Parks’ production work included Changin’ Tymes, Mother Roses and Triple X, featuring future country star Gus Hardin, as well as crazoid studio-only experiments such as ‘Rubber Rapper’ and ‘Shoo Shoo Shoo Fly’. There is a palpable air of chaos about much of what Parks produced, which explains why he was unable to place a lot of it at the time – but in hindsight it’s a remarkable cache of work.
Dickinson and Parks represent the outer edge of the Memphis music scene in those years. While the vast majority of tracks on “Feeling High” have not been issued before, their inspired lunacy and a shared willingness to push the envelope make the recorded evidence very special indeed. Local notables such as the Poor Little Rich Kids, 1st Century and Goatdancers share the tracklisting, the sound quality is excellent, and the detailed liner notes spill the beans on this fascinating tributary of the city’s musical legacy. File alongside our “Thank You Friends – The Ardent Records Story” (CDWIK2 273) as another instalment of delicious Memphis madness.
By Alec Palao (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||18.00 €
|VA: - Fender - The Golden Age 1950-1970
Leo Fender’s contribution to the sound of modern music is immeasurable. The pop music explosion of the 1950s and 60s would not have happened without the electric guitar and, perhaps more importantly, the electric bass.”
So begins Martin Kelly’s notes for the CD of his book about Fender guitars. A book about music of course lacks the medium that it describes, so Martin came to Ace with a proposal to produce an accompanying CD that would make his pages even more vibrant. We were more than happy to celebrate the great sounds that Leo Fender helped conceive through his inspirational instruments.
As overseer of this CD, I was out of my depth in guitar minutiae, but was able to assist on the technical end and enjoyed a sharp learning curve in great guitar sounds. I thoroughly dug those ringing twangs of Bob Wills and Tennessee Ernie Ford. With Ike Turner and Otis Rush I was in more familiar music territory. The more poppy Crickets’ track ‘I’m Looking For Someone To Love’ was an inspired choice by Martin. It was the flip to the original ‘That’ll Be The Day’ which I’d managed to miss hearing for 55 years. ‘Suzie Q’ and the original ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ are better known numbers; listening to them in this guitar-based context gives them new relevance.
Guitar-led instrumentals were a must for the compilation and it is wonderful to relive the splendour of the Ventures’ signature tune and to hear the mighty Shadows at their most melodic. Breakaway Shadow Jet Harris then moves the spotlight to the renowned Fender bass on ‘Besame Mucho’. Booker T’s ‘Green Onions’ and Dick Dale’s ‘Miserlou’ are at the pinnacle of their genres and Jack Nitzche’s ‘Lonely Surfer’ shows how an inspired producer can use the guitar within a bigger production.
It is then back to basics with the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’, followed by Ronnie Hawkins’ ice-cold take on ‘Who Do You Love’. The Beach Boys and Bobby Fuller Four then demonstrate how to play straight down the middle pop: no frills but pure class. Then representing the awakening of British youth to the American dream, we have the Yardbirds’ take on Billy Boy Arnold’s ‘I Ain’t Got You’, a song that failed to score for its creator but became a belated blues classic once Eric Clapton had stamped his seal of approval on it.
Speaking of the blues, ‘Rock Me Baby’ by Otis Redding reminds us all that the world lost a brilliant blues singer, as well as the ultimate soul man, when his plane crashed in December 1967. By the time of this recording, Lewis Steinberg had been replaced by Duck Dunn on Fender Precision Bass duties.
As reflected by the Nashville-recorded Fender jingles, country music was always dominated by the guitar sounds of Fender. Buck Owens & the Buckaroos’ ‘Buckaroo’ features not only Fender electric and bass but acoustic too. The switch to the soul perfection of King Curtis’ ‘Memphis Soul Stew’ is surprisingly seamless and that city’s home-grown Willie Mitchell sound on ‘Soul Serenade’ shows how long-lived top flight R&B was down there. It is then just a year’s jump, but a small world away, to 1969 and the Velvet Underground’s 12-string Fenders. That is neatly followed by ex-Yardbird Jeff Beck on his Stratocaster and Stone-to-be Ron Wood playing a Telecaster bass; all in the admirable cause of helping Donovan’s ‘Goo Goo Barabajagal’ make musical if not literal sense.
I still may not be able to pick a Fender out in a crowd, but I now know how much listening pleasure I have derived from them.
Ady Croasdell (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Finders Keepers - Motown Girls 1961-67
It was Ace Records’ good fortune in 2009 to become the first independent record company in the world to acquire the rights to release previously unissued Motown material from the 1960s. Our tenth and latest Motown project is “Finders Keeper”, a compilation titled for the Marvelettes’ 1964 recording that first surfaced on the British Tamla Motown logo in 1980.
Women were a fundamental part of Motown’s early success: Raynoma Gordy was contributing harmonies and arranging skills before the company even got going; Janie Bradford co-wrote what became Motown’s most covered song, ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’; Mable John was Berry Gordy’s chauffeur as well as the first female artist he signed; Mary Wells was the first to take a Motown label record into the charts ... and the list goes on.
In this, Ace’s first various artists Motown CD, we focus on the company’s female acts – the well-known ones, the not-so-famous but much loved and a couple about whom we know next to nothing at all. It’s a half-and-half mixture of previously issued and unreleased titles. In the case of the reissued titles, we’ve taken the road less travelled and selected tracks which we feel haven’t had the attention they deserve down the years, amongst them very rare 45s from the Andantes and Saundra Mallett.
Collectors will particularly relish the dozen unissued tunes, which include superb offerings from Motown heroines Brenda Holloway, Martha and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and Kim Weston and gems by the lesser-known Carolyn Crawford, Hattie Littles, LaBrenda Ben, Liz Lands and Linda Griner. We’ve even managed to dig up tracks by a couple of girls who’ve never had a track out before: Thelma Brown and Anita Knorl.
To spotlight just one track of special interest, ‘When Somebody Loves You (You’re Never Alone)’ by Gladys Knight and the Pips is so well-known to Motown fans that it’s hard to believe it’s never been released before. One of the first songs completed by the group after they signed to Motown in early 1966, it sat on the shelf for over a year before they returned to it and re-recorded their vocals in the summer of ’67. Then it was put back on the shelf where it’s been ever since – apart from numerous outings on collectors’ cassettes and CDs, sourced from an acetate that found its way into the public domain. We are delighted to be able to offer a legitimate issue of this classic mid-60s Motown track for the very first time, fully re-mastered from the original tape and sounding better than ever.
Elsewhere, the set includes some prime Motown stompers (‘Let Love Live’), torchy ballads (‘It’s Too Soon To Know’), R&B (‘My Black Belt’) and jazz (‘I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues’) – something for everyone, we hope.
By Keith Hughes and Mick Patrick (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2013||CD||18.00 €
|VA: - Finnish Psychobilly Invasion
Kattava ja kova kokoelma Suomi Psychobillyä!
Kokoelma on ensimmäisiä cd julkaisuja, jossa esitellään tämän tyylisuunnan bändejä laajemmalle yleisölle! Mikko Aaltosta lainataksemme:
Vuonna 2009 psychobilly elää ja voi hyvin - myös Suomessa. Psychobilly on omaksunut entistä enemmän vaikutteita muista tyyleistä, kuten metallista ja popista. Se on levinnyt Britanniasta kaikkialle maailmaan ja on huomattavan suosittua muun muassa Brasiliassa ja Japanissa. Uuden sukupolven suosituimmat psycho-yhtyeet, yhdysvaltalaiset Tiger Army ja Horrorpops sekä saksalainen Mad Sin, myyvät Tavastia-klubin aina ennakosta täyteen.
"Rääväsuita ei haluta Suomeen", lauloi nuori aloitteleva punkyhtye Eppu Normaali pari vuotta ennen The Meteorsin maihinnousua. Psychobillyn suomalaiset konkariyhtyeet The Stringbeans ja The Hel-Gators sekä muun muassa sellaiset uudemmat tulokkaat kuin Vulture Club, Thee Apple Thieves ja The Westcoast Whippers todistavat tällä kokoelmalla ettei ylöjärveläisten toteamus osunut sittenkään oikeaan.
|Jupiter Stroll Records 2009||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
||Pan American||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Foot Tappin' And Dance At The Screamin' Festival Vol. 2
DJ AT from the Netherlands has combined a great compilation of various roots music styles from the early 1930s to the early 1960s.
This CD is very good for all Your dancers out there.
|El Toro Records 2009||CD||13.00 €
|VA: - Foot Tappin' And Dance At The Screamin' Festival Vol. 3
||El Toro Records 2010||CD||10.00 €
|VA: - From The Ghetto
29wild rock&roll and R&B movers
|Vee-Tone Records 2011||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Further Mellow Cats 'N' KIttens - Hot R&B and Cool Blues
The “Mellow Cats’n’Kittens” series has been a pleasure for me to work on during the past few years. I’d always admired my late friend and colleague Ray Topping’s work on the Modern catalogue and I’ve tried to maintain and build on what he started. While I don’t pretend to have Ray’s dedicated appreciation of discographical minutiae, I’d like to think that, with this and a host of other projects, I’ve also done my bit to keep alive the wonderful productions of the Modern Music Company’s founder, Jules Bihari.
For the fifth volume in the series, we’ve taken the opportunity to complete the digitisation of the Modern discographies of several artists who have appeared on previous volumes, such as the Three Bits Of Rhythm and Felix Gross. We’re also premiering tracks by mainstays of the Modern catalogue that were previously thought lost (Jimmy Witherspoon’s first solo Modern track, ‘Motel’) or were undiscovered until relatively recently (our Hadda Brooks track, located on the back of a Smokey Hogg acetate).
There are quality cuts by past contributors such as Sylvester “Big Duke” Henderson, the equally “Big” Jim Wynn, Herb Fisher and Johnny Alston’s Orchestra – all fine purveyors of the kind of music that lit up Central Avenue in the decade immediately following the end of WWII. Our other points of call include Houston, Texas, where we take in selections from Gory (sic) Carter’s lone Modern session, before heading south west to New Orleans for a cut by the George Alexander band that was originally disguised as the work of Ramp Davis. Back on the west coast we feature the great boogie pianist Pete “P.K.” Johnson rollin’ ’em just as he did for so long with Big Joe Turner, and jazz guitar/vocal group legend Teddy Bunn jamming with a hot trio led by Kansas City piano king Jay McShann. For those who, like me, couldn’t experience the era personally, or the venues from which music like this poured seven nights a week, it’s the next best thing to being there.
As ever, deeper research has allowed us to include a copious amount of previously unissued recordings to add further spice to what is already a potent mix – 9 in total. Although this is the fifth instalment of “Mellow Cat’n’Kittens”, the contents are as strong as on any previous volume – and there’s still plenty of quality vintage Modern repertoire slated for reissue in the next few years.
Jump you some boogie? We certainly can, man!
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Germany's Swinging 50's 3CD
50s Swing And Jazz from Germany. 3CDs = 74 tracks
|Music And Melody 2011||2-CD||10.00 €
|VA: - Glitter And Gold -Words And Music by Barry Mann And Cynthia
a hand-picked collection of the very best work by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, one of the most revered and succesful songwriting partnerships of the modern era
|Ace Records 2009||CD||18.00 €
|VA: - Go Psycho with Batmobile and Other Dutch Acts
Four bands with some of the very best Holland had to offer in the
field of 80's psycho..
|Kix 4U Records||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Golden Age Of American R&R - Special Doo Wop Edition Vol. 2
Special Editions of “The Golden Age of American Rock’n’Roll” have to be special to justify their existence and sequels, such as this, are subjected to even greater analytical scrutiny in the preparation process than even the preceding volume, thus avoiding the sense of déjà vu that blights many a follow-up work. Considering that doo wop was a largely American phenomenon and very much of its time, Ace’s Special Doo Wop Edition proved exceptionally popular.
Volume 2 mines the same rich seam of vocal group splendour – only it digs deeper, to bring us many of the more obscure or lesser doo wop hits – but hits nonetheless – by groups lost to posterity, counterbalanced by some better known names. Point is, they’re all great records and, as the majority of titles appear here on a legitimate CD for the first time (with the benefit of high quality mastering) both aficionados and the casual listener will find much to savour in this 30-track package.
Compiled by the painstakingly fastidious Rob Finnis and Trevor Churchill, Doo Wop 2 is programmed as much for listening pleasure as for its archival value. At this distance, one is struck by the purity of the performances – it’s the voices that win over every time, confirming doo wop’s standing as one of the truest American art forms.
The detailed and entertaining annotation by the American doo wop authority Peter Grendysa combined with the rare pictures in the mega-booklet bring the same warm glow to the senses as the music itself. Enjoy!
By Rob Finnis (Ace Records
|Ace Records 2009||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 12
This admirable series is so aptly named. Contrary to popular thought, if you had a bit of imagination and knew where to search, it really was a golden age, as any old relics (like me) who remember it will readily agree. We’re looking and feeling increasingly weird and marginalised these days, of course.
At a time when most music purveyors and consumers care little about history, context, who wrote a song, who played on it, who produced it, which region it burst from, what inspired it, which label it was released on, and other important sniff-snaff, I think we should all get down on our knees every so often and thank the great cosmic duck for the unswerving Ace Records and all who sail in her.
Disinterred, as usual, by the meticulous and inexhaustible Rob Finnis, this is the 12th volume of 45 rpm treasure. Thirty gems; no clinkers. Some familiar; some obscure. Stimulating examples not only of rock’n’roll (as advertised) but of R&B, teen-pop, country rock, Motown, surf, Spector, soul and other emerging strands. Magnificent sound; illuminating notes.
Back in the late 50s, one could dehydrate, wither up and die waiting for the useless, fusty, paternalistic BBC to play any (okay, practically any) of these records. Were it not for the legal payola of Radio Luxembourg we would have been lost – but thanks to their fluctuating long-reach signal, beamed towards war-torn, Conservative-governed, broke and busted, soot-encrusted Britain, we glimpsed the exotic wonder of America.
For many of us, worship of all things American had become an established religion. Everything seemed so much better over there ... girls, cars, clothes, gangsters, cowboys, songwriters, films, film stars, Negroes, trains, planes, juke boxes, jazz, climate, beaches, history, geographical features, place names, rivers, hair styles, radio, television, sport, street names, magazines, food, skyscrapers, athletes, boxers, confectionery, sunshine, comics, even their flag and their money. But at least we got our hands on some of their music – and that was the key, that’s what coloured up our drab world, changed the very nature of our existence.
As a result of hearing their records on Lux, the hippest kids of my generation – the Eric Burdons, the George Harrisons, the Mick Jaggers, the Guy Stevens, the Ian Samwells, the Roger Eagles – grew up idolising the likes of Larry Williams, Bo Diddley, James Ray, Slim Harpo, Charlie Gracie and Arthur Alexander.
They marvelled at the clang of the guitar solo on ‘Bad Motorcycle’, at the undulating riff of ‘Raunchy’, the teenage ingénue Gladys Horton pleading with the postman, the grisly imagery of ‘Dinner With Drac’, the falsetto braggadocio of Jimmy Jones, the open-hearted anguish of Jerry Butler.
They gurgled at lines like “I knew by the way he smoked, he was a bad motorcycle”, “I found to my shock, I was on the wrong block!” and “I used to lie, I used to cheat, and step on people’s feet – but now I’m stepping on to glory ... I’m saved!”
But few would have heard the fabulous “5” Royales cut or fleeting vocal groups the Velaires and the 3 Friends – showcased here in pristine quality.
Mesmerised by ‘Whole Lotta Woman’, Brian “Hank” Rankin changed his name to Marvin – while another young British guitarist, Jim Sullivan, unwittingly provided Conway Twitty with the arrangement for ‘Lonely Blue Boy’.
I still find this music endlessly fascinating – but, as my parents always predicted, I’m sure I’ll grow out of it one day.
By Pete Frame (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Goldwax Story Vol. 3
The Goldwax Story Vol 3 is intended to be our final volume of this fascinating, and for many, crucial series. However the revered Memphis label does seem to give up its treasures over years rather than months and more tapes may materialise yet.
Finished but unissued recordings by the Ovations, Ben Atkins, George (Jackson) & (Dan) Greer and the Lyrics will be enough to sell the CD to committed Goldwax fans but there is much more here than just those gems.
Some would have been scheduled for future Goldwax 45s, as several contracts list singles that were never pressed. The biggest discovery was that the George Jackson ascribed acetate of ‘You Hurt Me So Good’ / ‘You Gotta Have Soul’ was actually Chicago soul singer Lee “Shot” Williams: so please change the credit on your “Goldwax Northern Soul” CD. His take on the excellent O.B. McClinton ballad ‘You Hurt Me So Good’ is superior to James Carr’s to my ears if only for the more simplified arrangement.
The Ovations have a whacking four tracks: one that couldn’t be squeezed on to their solo CD; two authentic new Goldwax songs that will thrill; and one classic that has been misrepresented on Ace in the past. The original take of the Sound Of Memphis album track ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ is my favourite; it’s another case of less is more.
Even better represented is Unknown Artist. The tapes were well-preserved but there were a few cases where the box or reel had no annotation at all. Damaged or loss along the way, or perhaps a tired producer, after a long hot day left the note-making to tomorrow and let it slide. Two such tracks are the alternate vocal to the Ovations’ ‘Recipe For Love’ and possibly the original version of ‘What Can I Call My Own’ that James Carr and Marvin Preyer cut; both are fascinating listening for southern soul aficionados. Of the rest ‘I Think I’m Gonna Cry’ is a particularly notable deep mournful number, almost in the tradition of the haunting prison ballads of an earlier era.
George Jackson gets his name rightfully all over the credits, as apart from his duet with Mr Greer, he is represented by two sparse piano demos of his own songs. ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ has the added bonus of a fine vocal group behind it and ‘I Can See Sadness Ahead Of Me’ is as bleak and soulful as the title suggests.
Issued 45s include Phillip & The Faithfuls oddball ‘Rhythm Marie’ which takes a few plays to get under the skin. Wee Willie Walker rips it up on the Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ giving it the full Memphis treatment, while Oboe, aka O.B. McClinton, crosses Arthur Alexander with Ernie “K” Doe and gets a possible homicide rap for ‘Mother-In-Law Trouble’.
This is a satisfying end to a long musical saga. Recently discovered company photos only serve to enhance the Memphis label’s professional reputation. We’re still praying for more tapes to filter their way out of Soul City USA but as you can’t depend on miracles, enjoy these last soulful minutes.
By Ady Croasdell (ACE Records website)
|Ace Records 2010||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight !
CD Digipac (4-palted) with 52-page booklet, 34 tracks. Playing time approx. 74 minutes. - Long overdue retrospective of a forgotten West Coast label! Includes alternative country stars like Whitey Pullen, Jenks Tex Carman, the Georgia Crackers, Lonnie Barron, and many more! Plus the guitar wizardry of Roy Lanham! Many songs on CD for the first time! Biographies by Colin Escott and many previously unseen photos! -- Sage & Sand Records operated from an upstairs office on Hollywood Boulevard near Capitol Records, but only scored one hit in the fifteen years it was in existence. Sage & Sand recorded an eclectic mix of hillbilly, western, and rockabilly, and the best of the uptempo country recordings are here (the best of the rockabilly recordings are on our companion volume, 'That'll Flat Git It', Sage & Sand, BCD 16838). This is the sort of collection that sets collectors' hearts racing: songs they've never heard-of together with records they could never afford in one generously full package ... plus all the stories and photos you'd ever want! What about Lonnie Barron, who called himself the Elvis of Muttonville, and who was shot by a jealous husband just as his newest Sage & Sand record was becoming a hit. And what about Al Muniz who recorded half-a-dozen incredible singles for Sage & Sand before leaving music to work with the poor in central America They're all here alongside oddballs like Jenks Tex Carman, and wild men like Gene Vincent's former road manager, Whitey Pullen. Incredible stories, incredible music, incredibly restored and packaged... just like you'd expect from Bear Family.
|Bear Family 2011||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Good Timin' - Rockin' Into The 60s 2CD
''Good Timin''' is a unique collection of mostly rock material with folk, country and easy listening tracks of the late '50s and early '60s.
The Leading artists include: Brenda Lee, Dorsey Burnette, Lloyd Price, The Everly Brothers, The Drifters, Marty Robbins, Dee Clark, Connie Francis and more!
Million sellers include 'Good Timin'', 'Corinna, Corinna', 'So Sad', 'Handy Man', 'Lollipop', 'North to Alaska', 'White Silver Sands', 'Tweedle Dee' and 'The Three Bells'.
|Jasmine Records 2011||CD||12.00 €
|VA: - Got Them Hillbilly Blues - 32 black blues boppers
While it is not often documented, it stands to reason that of all the many black artists who were influenced by country music radio in their childhood, a percentage would grow into maturity with a real feeling for hillbilly music and incorporate the style it into their own musical heritage, just as the white rockabillies introduced an urban blues element into their country music.
This album has been compiled to showcase this inverted spin on the conception of rockabilly - got them Hill Billy Blues?
|El Toro Records 2009||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Granpa's Gully Rock - 25 Dynamite R&B Gems Vol. 1
Great brand new cd, just released!. 25 amazing dynamite R&B tracks. Most of the stuff is rarely found on other compilations. If you are into new breed r&b, early soul and so surely you'll find some great stuff you already didn't knew.
|Floridita Records 2008||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Granpa's Gully Rock Vol. 4
25 Dynamic R&B Gems
|Floridita Records 2013||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - Greasy Rock'n'Roll Vol. 14
|Blakey Records 2010||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Great 60s Instrumentals
In the twenty first century Rock and Pop instrumentals are no longer a force on the music charts but there was a time, a brief golden era, when Instros ruled.
The classic Rock and Roll era of the 1950's and 1960's brought to the fore countless instantly recognizable instrumental hits and many are featured on this groovy little collection.
All the tracks featured on this CD are cover versions of the original hits but that's not to say they are in any way inferior to their better known twin brothers and sisters. Quite the contrary, most of these songs were considered standards and were recorded time and time again by a host of different recording artists back in the day.
Tracks such as Pipeline, Wipe Out, Memphis and Telstar are almost indistinguishable from the original versions and in some cases are cleaner and edgier than the hits. It's no wonder as some of the musicians featured here had serious Rock and Surf credibility, having written and performed on many records of the genre, including Jan and Dean, Ronnie and The Daytonas and Gary Lewis & The Playboys among others. Most of the tracks featuring horns would have been produced by William Beasley withoots Randolph playing sax and leading the band.
Boots had a successful recording career as well as working with everyone from Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison to Ronnie Hawkins and REO Speedwagon. This is good crusin' music...Good music is timeless!
|T-Bird Records 2010||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Great British Skiffle Vol. 5 2CD
||Smith & Co 2011||CD||12.00 €
|VA: - Great Googly Moo
It’s been a long time since “Great Googa Mooga” (CDCHD 880), a collection of answers to profound issues confronting mankind for millennia and a comprehensive overview of the finest minds of the 20th century. People are still talking about it, often for its danceability and entertainment value, of all things! It’s been heard said that a follow-up volume already exists, people have waited so long for its appearance. Now, finally, we bring you that long overdue sequel.
In January 1960 Pat Boone launched a record label called Agoom Agooc. This is Cooga Mooga reversed. The Phantom’s ‘Love Me’ may have been the only release on the label. Does this help set the tone? We hope so, but need to add that the above mentioned tune does not grace this album. So what does?
The Quasar of Rock, His Royal Highness, Little Richard, is once again present. This time with an alternate take of that epitome of undisputed truths, ‘Tutti Frutti’. Also back in attendance is the Great Pretender to the throne and a king among rockers himself, Larry Williams, this time with the wildest take of ‘Hocus Pocus’. The Rivingtons, whose ‘Mama Oom Mow Mow’ can be heard on “Great Googa Mooga”, return with ‘The Bird’s The Word’.
The Spaniels lend us our title with ‘Great Googly Moo’, one of their late and just as great Vee-Jay 45s. You can’t hear too much about that mysterious place described in Sheriff & the Revels’ ‘Shombalor’. We are very excited about releasing for the first time anywhere the great wordsmith Shirley Ellis’ unissued ‘Ka Ta Ga Boom Beat’, from the time of her huge hits ‘The Name Game’ and ‘The Clapping Song’. And the irrepressible Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is ‘Hearing Voices’. Altogether 24 upbeat tracks that will mentally beat you up.
In much the same way that the blues is full of idiosyncratic language that has baffled even the hardiest of scholars, songs written for teenagers in the 50s and early 60s were often couched in a similarly veiled sub-cultural tongue. Bop talk among jazz musicians of the 1920s alienated white listeners. Likewise, the language of rock’n’roll was often contrived to alienate adults (squares). Many of these songs were written and recorded in alliance with radio DJs eager to get a leg up on their competition by promoting an in-lingo known only among their own listeners. In this way we got, among many others, the Bobbettes with ‘Rock And Ree Ah Zole (The Teen-Age Talk)’.
Some fascinating stories emerge: people going ‘Oonka Chicka’, for no understandable reason; others creating answer records to ‘Sh-Boom’. Where would you start? The last word should probably have gone to the Tammys and their epic ‘Egyptian Shumba’, but it doesn’t. It goes to Macy Skipper, who gets caught ‘Goofin’ Off’. What else can I tell you? In this volume we get a little closer to some answers. But we don’t delve too deep. We’re scared!
By Brian Nevill (ACE Records)
|Ace Records 2010||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Great Rock'n'Roll Instrumentals 2CD Vol. 3
||Smith & Co 2011||CD||12.00 €
|VA: - GreazeFest - Kustom Kulture Festival
Greazefest - held annually in Brisbane, Australia, the GreazeFest is crankin' weekend of hot rods, loud and live rockabilly, low brow artists, pinstripers, vintage threads and heaps more.
This release celebrates the first 10 years of the GreazeFest with a tip-of-the-top collection of Australian and American bands.
20 tracks !
|Robot International 2009||CD||15.00 €
|VA: - GWP - NYC - TLC VOL. 2
For a company who only put out nine R&B singles on its own logos, GWP sure had some soul. Originally a production set-up that placed recordings on major labels, they had a fruitful history before the initial 1969 GWP release, but at least half the story is about the recordings that didn’t come out.
The Devonnes, the Shaladons, the Modettes, Bobby Penn and Milton Bennett were acts who cut some very worthy music for the company that never saw the light of day. Others like Benny Gordon and Larry Banks & Jaibi had top quality material left over from their singles sessions that will be welcomed by soul fans of all persuasions.
The dance tracks featured here are particularly good. The earliest is probably Lilly Fields pacey and pure Northern ‘Changes’, a Detroit Pied Piper recording from a New York/New Jersey artist. Sadly, most of the paperwork was destroyed just prior to Ace’s purchase of these tracks, so the history is speculative, but the recordings were made at Detroit’s United Sound and the rhythm track is indicative of the Funk Brothers featuring Joe Hunter on piano. Bobby Penn is virtually unknown; there was one 45 by an artist of that name on Uptight Records in 1968, which could well be the chap. His version of the Larry Banks/Joan Bates song ‘Without Your Love’ is probably the best of the several versions. Banks and Bates combined vocally to great effect on the self-written ‘My Life Is No Better’, a Dynamics number, even out-performing the creators. We just released this previously unissued RCA recording as the flip of the latest 100 Club anniversary 45 and already demand for this track is massive.
The latter period GWP provided some fabulous singles and tracks like ‘Detour’ by the Persians. ‘Stop’ and ‘Never Gonna Let Him Know’ by Debbie Taylor would ironically be more revered over here if they hadn’t been so abundant, due to good Stateside sales. The Hesitations’ ‘Go Away’, however, was found on an unreleased multi-track tape and its release two years ago as a 100 Club anniversary 45 has already created demand for this sublime slice of mid-tempo soul dance music. The rest of the GWP and GWP’s Grapevine releases are also high quality. Debbie Taylor and the Persians recorded exquisite ballads in ‘How Long Can This Last’ and ‘Here It Comes’. The Hesitations then funked-up Aretha’s ‘Good To Me’, as did Little Rose Little on her Pazant Bros-backed recording of Otis’ ‘Tennessee Waltz’. Both of these only ever came out on GWP’s two compilation LPs, a year after the 45s had ceased.
More beautiful balladry comes from the Devonnes with another Banks/Bates creation, ‘I Don’t Care What He’s Done’, and a real grower from the terminally obscure Modettes with ‘I Won’t Be Such A Fool’, which is my current top play. Southern soul fanciers will be pleased that Benny Gordon has three previously unreleased songs, including a 1967 update on Saint Maxine’s ‘All In My Mind’ and the rhythmically complex ‘Never Give Up On Love’. He also presented a version of his Estill recording ‘So Much In Love’ by the vocal group the Exceptions, who really excelled on this fine song. (The recording does not suffer the terrible sound distortion as Benny’s 45 of the song.)
There’s a Northern soul standard from Alice Clark with the George Kerr-produced and wonderfully titled ‘You Hit Me (Where It Hurt Me)’, a Larry Banks demo of the Cavaliers’ RCA 45 ‘I Really Love You’ and mo’ George Kerr from Plus 4’s lead singer telling us how she’s ‘The Happiest Girl In The World’ and really sounding like she is. The finale is certainly grand, a master tape of Dave Godin’s “greatest soul record ever”, ‘You Got Me’ by Jaibi that is the Kapp 45 version but with extra added girl backing vocals. Now that’s something every self-respecting soul freak’s just gotta have.
by ADY CROASDELL (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2009||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Gypsy Jazz 2CD
||Primo 2009||CD||10.00 €
|VA: - Hall Of Fame
Nearly two years after we began our initial excavation of the Rick Hall’s FAME Studios tape vault, our findings continue to enthral. So far we’ve brought you CDs of the complete FAME recordings of Spencer Wiggins, Candi Staton and Jimmy Hughes, the first of several volumes by George Jackson and a fantastic boxed set, as well as numerous vinyl treats. Now we’re reaching into the deepest corners of the FAME vaults for our first multi-artist scoop of rare and precious soul, part of an ongoing series we call “Hall Of Fame”.
The series will focus primarily on unreleased gems from the studio’s vaults, but will also make room for unreissued sides along the way. Most recordings are finished masters, although we will also be including some demos to give the listener a glimpse behind the scenes at Avalon Avenue. Many will be early recordings of acknowledged classics, as is the case here with Clarence Carter’s demos of ‘Tell Daddy’ and ‘Too Weak To Fight’.
The quality is never less than first-rate and is really quite staggering at times. Even allowing for the vast quantity of great Southern soul that was around at the time, it beggars belief that Rick Hall was unable to find takers for so many great performances – many of them proving to be more than a match for any of FAME’s readily acknowledged classics.
Many of FAME’s major players get a look-in on our series debut. Numerous of the songs will be familiar to collectors in recordings by others who plied their trade at the studio, but the versions here are mostly previously unheard by anyone other than those who participated in the sessions.
The CD abounds with highlights. I’d like to give an especially big hand for Ralph “Soul” Jackson’s fantastic take on Jimmy Hughes’ ‘You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy’ and for Jimmy’s own riveting version of Etta James’ ‘I Worship The Ground You Walk On’. I’d also like to commend June Conquest’s Motown-style rendition of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s ‘I Do’ and Prince Phillip Mitchell’s chunky remake of James Barnett’s ‘Keep On Talking’ – one of only three tracks on here to have been previously issued in any format. But really I can recommend literally everything on a CD for which the phrase “all killer, no filler” could have been coined.
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||17.00 €
|VA: - Handy Man - The Otis Blackwell Songbook
Arguments over who the greatest rock’n’roll songwriter is will abound long after those reading this have gone to meet their maker. But surely near the top of everyone’s list of contenders would have to be Otis Blackwell, a one-man hit factory whose catalogue includes more classic rock’n’roll songs than any other single songwriter of his time. His compositions for Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis alone would guarantee his entry into every music Hall Of Fame.
“Handy Man”, named after the song that brought worldwide chart fame to Jimmy Jones in 1959, is a worthy tribute to a man who, if he’d only written ‘Fever’, would still be regarded as one of the foremost composers of the rock’n’roll era.
Compiled in the spirit of previous entries in our songwriter series, it’s much more than merely a collection of Otis’ 24 greatest hits, sung by those who recorded them first. We like to mix it up a bit, so the title track is heard in Del Shannon’s stomping 1964 version, while Jimmy Jones is represented with another fine Otis Blackwell song. Those interested enough to purchase will have more than a passing familiarity with Elvis’ version of ‘All Shook Up’, so rather than reissue that for the gazillionth time, we instead bring the song to you by David Hill, whose rare original makes its first legitimate CD appearance here. Likewise ‘Don’t Be Cruel’: rather than Elvis we bring you Jerry Lee Lewis’ uproarious take, in preference to any of the Otis Blackwell compositions generally associated with him. As for Elvis, being spoilt for choice made us opt for his first, and one of his very best, post-Army recordings; ‘Make Me Know It’ reignited his recording career and was deemed potent enough to kick off his “Elvis Is Back” album.
The songs featured in “Handy Man” cover roughly from around 1953 to 1963. Later offerings by Solomon Burke and Sam Butera show that, unlike some of his peers, Otis easily adapted to the changes in music as the 1960s unfolded. How durable his compositions were are demonstrated by Derek Martin’s classic 1962 cut of ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’, which Otis had recorded as a menacing blues almost a decade earlier. Via Martin, the song became a boastful declaration of intent for a new generation of sharp boys, and of English mods in particular.
Brace yourself for a masterclass in rock’n’roll songwriting by a man who was much more than merely handy with a pen and paper.
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||18.00 €
|VA: - Hard To Handle - Black America Sings Otis Redding
His achievements as a singer may cast a giant shadow over everything else he achieved. Anyone with a passing interest in music should be able to tell you that Otis Redding wrote ‘Respect’ and ‘Dock Of The Bay’ – that’s a given. But the vast majority of his many other singles had an Otis composition or co-write on at least one side, while almost all of the albums released during his lifetime featured additional Otis Redding copyrights. A prolific tunesmith and savvy A&R man, Otis also found time to write songs specifically for Arthur Conley and others whose careers he hoped to boost.
Otis wrote a staggering number of quality songs in a very short period of time. In fact the more Otis wrote, the more he wanted to write: in the few weeks leading up to his death, he went into Stax’s McLemore Avenue studio and cut around 30 new songs, leaving behind enough material for a trio of posthumously released albums which, for many fans, are better than many of those that came out while he was still alive.
There’s no way of telling how Otis would have progressed as a songwriter had his plane not crashed in December 1967, but the unreleased songs he left behind give a pretty good indication that he was moving in interesting and special directions. The quality of many of those posthumously issued compositions was quickly recognised by his peers. Fine versions of several of them, by Buddy Miles, Etta James, Patti Drew, Percy Sledge and others, appear in “Hard To Handle”, the latest volume in Ace’s occasional “Black America Sings” series.
As befits one of the greatest purveyors of a soul ballad, many of the best songs here allow their singers to tug at the heartstrings in the way Otis’ own versions still do. A significant number are performed here by women, who seemed to gravitate to Otis’ catalogue in the wake of Aretha’s blockbuster success with her revival of ‘Respect’.
But as well as the ballads there are numerous great examples of Otis’ up-tempo work, exemplified by his protégé Arthur Conley’s romp through ‘Wholesale Love’ and an alternate take of Otis’ own Northern Soul floor-filler ‘Loving By the Pound’ (written for Bettye Lavette, apparently!). There are more previously unissued treats here from Mitty Collier and Arthur Conley, as well as several sides receiving their CD debut.
Otis’ skills as a songwriter were patently second to none and it’s hoped that “Hard To Handle” will increase perception of just how important an all-rounder he was, and how long his career as a singer-songwriter might have sustained if the Grim Reaper hadn’t had other plans.
By Tony Rounce (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||18.00 €
|VA: - Have Mercy! The Songs Of Don Covay
This latest addition to our songwriter series focuses on the behind-the-scenes endeavours of Don Covay, provider of great material to some of the biggest stars of the 1960s.
Don made his recording debut in 1956 as a member of the Rainbows vocal group. His idol at this time was Little Richard, whom he managed to meet in 1957. Richard took him on as his opening act, bestowing upon him the nickname Pretty Boy, as which Don released his first solo disc. When record sales proved meagre, he channelled his energy into writing songs with John Berry of the Rainbows. Off the bat their compositions were picked by name artists Gene Vincent, Dee Clark and Wanda Jackson.
‘Pony Time’, Don’s first record to bear an additional credit for his backing combo the Goodtimers, saw him enter the Hot 100 for the first time in 1961. The same week, a cover by Chubby Checker debuted on the charts on its way to #1, leaving Don stuck at the lower end. Convinced that financial security would come from writing rather than recording, he signed with song publishers Roosevelt Music in New York’s famous Brill Building, where he shared a cubicle with his cousin, ace arranger Horace Ott.
Gladys Knight & the Pips delivered Don’s ‘Letter Full Of Tears’ into the Top 20 in 1962. His profile raised, Don was sought out by Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler on the hunt for material for Solomon Burke, thus beginning a long and fruitful relationship that would see the name Don Covay grace the record labels of many of the company’s major soul stars.
In 1964 Goodtimers’ guitarist Ronnie Miller came up with a catchy lick that evolved into ‘Mercy Mercy’, which saw Don finally crack the Top 40. The number would be a cream cut on the Rolling Stones’ “Out Of Our Heads” album in 1965, swelling Don’s coffers further.
Meanwhile, he was added to the roster of Atlantic, who dispatched him to Stax Records’ studio in Memphis to record. The trip did as intended, returning him to the charts with the blistering ‘See Saw’, co-written by guitar genius Steve Cropper. 1965 also saw Little Richard enjoy the biggest hit of his post-50s career with Don’s masterpiece ‘I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Got Me’.
Don continued to record prolifically for Atlantic, but of his subsequent singles for the company, not one reached the Hot 100. Fortunately, the fallow period was offset by the massive success of Aretha Franklin’s version of Don’s ‘Chain Of Fools’ and her revival of ‘See Saw’.
Don remains best remembered as a performer. Given that his catalogue runs to several hundred songs and his client list as a writer includes – in addition to those already mentioned – Connie Francis, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Ben E King, Jerry Butler and dozens more, the man deserves to be a household name, regardless of his great body of recorded work.
By Malcolm Baumgart (Ace Records)
|Ace Records 2012||CD||20.00 €
LEVYMESSUT / TAPAHTUMAT
GOOFIN' RECORDS TULEVIA JULKAISUJA
GOOFIN' RECORDS VESIVAHINKO / WATER DAMAGE