Tuesday, 29 June 2010

“All We Wanna Do Is ROCK” by VARIOUS ARTISTS. A Review of the June 2010 Bear Family Sampler CD For Its “Rocks” and “Rockin’ Rollin’” Series Of CDs.

"…A-Movin’ And A-Groovin’ Gonna Satisfy My Soul…Let’s Have A Party…”

In 2008 Bear Family released 3 sampler CDs in 5” card sleeves - “Snatch & Grab It”, “Country Boy’s Dream” and “Juke Joint Boogie”. These initial singular card issues were retailing at £2 in some places and as Bear Family product is the best and NEVER sold cheap, not surprisingly these cute little tasters with their huge number of tracks and great sound got snapped up for the bargains they were. They were then reissued in jewel cases with proper booklets at full price once that initial offer expired.

“All We Wanna Do Is ROCK” is another sampler in that vein – this time concentrating on Bear Family's highly successful and much-praised “Rocks” series and it’s complimentary “Rockin’ Rollin’” issues (over 40 CDs since 2002 and counting).

Issued in June 2010 on Bear Family BCD 17038, "All We Wanna Do is ROCK" has 36 remastered tracks, a gate-fold card sleeve (no booklet) and clocks in at a mighty 80:27 minutes. It retails online at £4 to £5 depending on where you buy it and it breaks down as follows:

1. MARVIN RAINWATER: I Dig You Baby
2. BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS: R-O-C-K
3. SMILEY LEWIS: Big Mamou
4. CONWAY TWITTY: Shake It Up
5. AMOS MILBURN: Chicken Shack Boogie
6. DALE HAWKINS: Susie-Q
7. BUDDY KNOX: Somebody Touched Me
8. BOB LUMAN: Red Hot
9. JERRY LEE LEWIS: Breathless
10. WANDA JACKSON: Let's Have A Party
11. SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: Little Demon
12. FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS: I Want You To Be My Girl
13. JACK SCOTT: Leroy
14. GENE VINCENT & THE BLUE CAPS: Flea Brain
15. EDDIE COCHRAN: Twenty Flight Rock (2nd version)
16. CARL MANN: Blueberry Hill
17. FATS DOMINO: Whole Lotta Loving
18. THE TRENIERS: Rockin' Is Our Bizness
19. JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO: Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
20. RICKY NELSON: Stood Up
21. THE CADILLACS: Speedoo
22. RONNIE HAWKINS: Southern Love
23. BOBBY DARIN: Queen Of The Hop
24. GLEN GLENN: Blue Jeans And A Boys Shirt
25. SLEEPY LABEEF: Tore Up
26. ROY HALL: Three Alley Cats
27. CARL PERKINS: Right String, Wrong Yo-Yo
28. PIANO RED: Big Rock Joe From Kokomo
29. SHIRLEY & LEE: Let The Good Times Roll
30. CHARLIE RICH: Break Up
31. ROY ORBISON: Rock House
32. RUSTY YORK: Shake 'em Up Baby
33. LLOYD PRICE: Hello Little Girl
34. SONNY JAMES: A Mighty Lovable Man
35. CONNIE FRANCIS: Lipstick On Your Collar
36. PAT BOONE: Rock Around The Clock

The song choices are of course a mixture of the good, the great and the crappy. Not even the most liberal-minded Rock ‘n’ Roll fan is going to say that Pat Boone “rocks” – more like “sucks”. And the teen pap that is Connie Francis’ “Lipstick On Your Collar” – yuck!

Both Cochran and Vincent are naturally included (their “Rocks” sets come out in July 2010) as are more Rhythm ‘n’ Blues based acts like The Cadillacs, The Treniers and Lloyd Price. Rock’n’Roll is here too in the shape of Wanda Jackson (“Let’s Have A Party” lyrics above), Bill Haley and Jack Scott. There’s some Country with Charlie Rich (fabulous voice) and Conway Twitty. One of my favourites is the brill Screamin’ Jay Hawkins track “Little Demons” which makes me laugh every time and also the fantastic 1956 remake of his 1948 break-through hit “Chicken Shack Boogie” by Amos Milburn - an absolute sax-rocking gem that’s liable to make the dead literally get up and dance.

Niggles - on the strength of this sampler, I was reminded that I had precious little music on two Rhythm 'n' Blues giants - Amos Milburn and Smiley Lewis. So I bought both. They arrived and I was suitably knocked out. Each of the "Rocks" issues has a 3-way card digipak with a 40 to 50+ page booklet featuring beautifully rendered 78's and 45"s, concert posters, themed CD labels, clear tray with a suitable 7" single pictured beneath, a biography on the artist peppered with pictures and even a detailed discography pertaining to every track at the end of the booklet. They are properly beautiful and of course given Bear Family's legendary excellence at remasters - they sound fab too. My point is that the gatefold card sleeve of this sampler gives no real indication of this - and it should. It would have been far better if this set had reflected the way the series actually looks. A 3-way digipak with a proper booklet, maybe sell it at £6 and act as a loss leader. As it stands, it feels like a magazine or a Sunday newspaper freebie - and that does "All I Wanna Do Is ROCK" a huge disservice. Genuinely - when you actually have one of the "Rocks" CDs in your hands, it's a thing of beauty.

Still, I did buy two compilations because of it, so I suppose it worked...

All in all, I urge you to check out this sampler - it's shockingly enjoyable. But as a music lover, be prepared to punish that credit card, because after the Amos Milburn and Smiley Lewis purchases, I'm now thinking I need at least 10 more of the titles listed below...

In the vernacular - recommended Daddy-O!

The “Rocks” Series by Bear Family features the following artists:

The "Rocks" Series by Bear Family features the following artists:

1. Pat Boone
2. Johnny Burnette
3. The Cadillacs
4. Eddie Cochran
5. Bobby Darin
6. Fats Domino
7. Connie Francis
8. Don Gibson
9. Glen Glenn
10. Bill Haley
11. Roy Hall
12. Dale Hawkins
13. Ronnie Hawkins
14. Screamin' Jay Hawkins
15. Wanda Jackson
16. Sonny James
17. Buddy Knox & Jimmy Bowen with the Rhythm Orchids
18. Sleepy LaBeef
19. Jerry Lee Lewis
20. Smiley Lewis
21. Bob Luman
22. Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers
23. Carl Mann
24. Amos Milburn
25. Ella Mae Morse
26. Ricky Nelson
27. Carl Perkins
28. Roy Orbison
29. Lloyd Price
30. Piano Red
31. Charlie Rich
32. Jack Scott
33. Shirley & Lee
34. The Treniers
35. Conway Twitty
36. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
37. Rusty York

The Bear Family "Rockin' Rollin'" Series features:

1. Johnny Horton
2. Marvin Rainwater
3. Marty Robbins Vol.1
4. Marty Robbins Vol.2
5. Marty Robbins Vol.3

No comments:

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc