Graham Reid | | <1 min read
The great thing about Fifties rock'n'roll songs is they give you more bang for your buck -- this single disc from the German reissue label Bear Family (sort of Ryko-and-Rhino out of Hambergen) delivers 36 -- yep, count 'em, 36 -- tracks "carefully selected for moondogs and hepcats".
There are many familiar names here for sure and a number deliver their classic songs: Smiley Lewis (Big Mamou); Dale Hawkins (Suzie Q covered by the young Stones); Wanda Jackson (Let's Have a Party); Eddie Cochran (Twenty Flight Rock); Johnny Burnette Trio (Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee); Connie Francis (Lipstick on Your Collar) and Pat Boone with the rather more tame treatment of Rock Around the Clock.
But what is also here are the less common, collectable and odd songs of the rock'n'roll era, some from big names: Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps weigh in with Flea Brain, Jerry Lee Lewis rocks out with Breathless; Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers appear with I Want You to be My Girl; here's Glen Glenn with Blue Jeans and a Boy's Shirt; Roy Hall with Three Alley Cats; Roy Orbison (from his pre-shades days) with Rock House; Rusty York with Shake 'Em Up, the mad Screamin' Jay Hawkins with Little Demon. . .
The rock'n'roll era is increasingly well served by labels like Bear Family, those terrific rhythm and blues collections featured previously at Elsewhere, and box sets like the essential Loud, Fast and Out of Control . . .
Suppressed sexuality, lust, youth's rage for life and dance party mania is always worth re-discovering on collections like these.