Thursday, 15 October 2015

"The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 7" by VARIOUS ARTISTS (1998 Ace Records CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...




"...Book Of Love..."

The seventh instalment of Ace's "The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll" CD Series follows the same route as Volumes 1 to 6 – 30 cleverly sequenced Mono US 7" singles that hit the American Pop charts with a nice combo of the obvious and the obscure. "I Like It Like That Part 1" by Chris Kenner and "Hushabye" by The Mystics are in Stereo – while only Ernie K-Doe (6) and The Cascades (23) made the British charts. And all of this rare and hip material is presented to fans by a record company that gives a damn - with a hard-won reputation across four decades of reissue quality (best tape sources used – no needle drops). The full 18 volumes up to late 2015 are listed below. So lets avoid the 'Mother In Law' as we succumb to the 'Ling, Ting, Tong' and do 'The Caterpillar Crawl' (all in the best possible taste of course)...

UK and USA released November 1998 - "The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 7: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace Records CDCHD 700 (Barcode 029667170024) is a 30-track CD and breaks down as follows (72:32 minutes):

1. Book Of Love – THE MONOTONES
February 1958 US 7" single on Argo 5290 (peaked at 5)
May 1958 UK 7" single on London HLM 8265 (didn’t chart)

2. Susie-Q – DALE HAWKINS
May 1957 USA 7” single on Checker 863 (peaked at 27)
September 1957 UK 7" single on London HL 8482 (didn’t chart)
In the liner notes it states that Ace has 'taken the original master and re-created the reverb to produce a better quality master with extra length at the end'...

3. C. C. Rider – CHUCK WILLIS
March 1957 US 7" single on Atlantic 45-1130 (peaked at 12)
June 1957 UK 7" single on London HLE 8444 (didn’t chart)

4. Echo – THE EMOTIONS
December 1962 US 7" single on Kapp 490 (peaked at 76 in January 1963)
December 1962 UK 7" single on London HLT 9640 (didn’t chart)

5. Come On, Let's Go – RITCHIE VALENS
August 1958 US 7" single on Del-Fi 4106 (peaked at 42)
November 1958 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N 25000 (didn’t chart)
The American B-side is "Framed" – a Lieber Stoller song first recorded by The Robins in 1955

6. Mother-In-Law – ERNIE K-DOE
February 1961 USA 7" single on Minit 623 (peaked at 1)
April 1961 UK 7" single on London HLU 9330 (peaked at 29)
Real name Ernest Kador – song written, produced and featuring Allen Toussaint (on Piano)

7. Ling, Ting, Tong – THE FIVE KEYS
October 1954 USA 7" single on Capitol F 2945 (peaked at 28)
November 1954 UK 7" single on Capitol CL 14184 (didn’t chart)
Their first British 45 and very rare – listed at £500+

8. Sea Cruise – FRANKIE FORD
December 1958 USA 7" single on Ace 554 (peaked at 14)
April 1959 UK 7" single on London HL 8850 (didn’t chart)
Written by Huey "Piano" Smith

9. Just A Dream – JIMMY CLANTON And His Rockets
July 1958 USA 7" single on Ace 546 (peaked at 4)
September 1958 UK 7” single on London HLS 8699 (didn’t chart)
Credited as Jimmy Clanton in the UK

10. The Caterpillar Crawl – THE STRANGERS
March 1959 USA 7" single on Titan FF-1701 (peaked at 49)
Not released in the UK
An instrumental featuring Joel Scott Hill on Guitar

11. To Be Loved (Forever) – THE PENTAGONS
January 1961 USA 7" single on Donna 1337 (peaked at 48)
April 1961 UK 7" single on London HLU 9333 (didn’t chart)
Rare UK 45 booked at £100 - originally released in 1960 on Fleet International F-100 in the USA – B-side to “Down At The Beach”

12. Cherrystone – THE ADDRISI BROTHERS
May 1959 USA 7" single on Del-Fi 4116 (peaked at 62)
June 1959 UK 7" single on London HL 8922 (didn’t chart)
Don and Dick Addrisi

13. Unchained Melody – VITO & THE SALUTATIONS
September 1963 USA 7" single on Herald H-583 (peaked at 66)
Not released in the UK
Vito Balsamo – written in 1955, the song "Unchained Melody" has been a hit for a large number of artists – Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, Roy Hamilton, Jimmy Young and most famously by The Righteous Brothers in 1965 (many went to No. 1)

14. Pretty Girls Everywhere – EUGENE CHURCH and The Fellows
August 1958 USA 7" single on Class 235 (peaked at 80)
Not released in the UK
Eugene Church and Jesse Belvin were part of The Cliques whose song "The Girl In My Dreams" is on Volume 3 of this series (track 24)

15. Confidential – SONNY KNIGHT
September 1956 USA 7" single on Dot 45-15507 (peaked at 17)
January 1957 UK 7" single on London HLD 8362 (didn’t chart)
US 45 originally issued on Vita V-137 – it was the reissue on Dot 15507 (78") and Dot 45-15507 (7" single) that charted. The original gold-label tri-centre 45 in the UK on London is rare – booked at £350+

16. Watch Your Step – BOBBY PARKER
July 1961 USA 7" single on V-Tone 223 (peaked at 51)
July 1961 UK 7" single on London HLU 9393 (didn’t chart)
Guitarist with The Paul Williams Big Band who played as the live back up group for huge names in the Rock 'n' Roll field – Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry etc

17. Harlem Nocturne – THE VISCOUNTS
November 1959 USA 7" single on Madison M 123 (peaked at 52)
December 1959 UK 7" single on Top Rank JAR 254 (didn’t chart)
This instrumental was reissued in September 1965 in the USA on Amy 940 and charted at 39 – higher than the original Madison release

18. I Like It Like That, Part 1 – CHRIS KENNER
April 1961 USA 7" single on Instant 3229 (peaked at 2)
September 1961 UK 7" single on London HLU 9410 (didn't chart)
Chris Kenner also wrote, "Land Of 1000 Dances" - which was a hit for him in 1962 on Instant 3252, Cannibal and The Headhunters in 1965 on Rampart 642 and Wilson Pickett in 1966 on Atlantic 2348

19. Foot Stomping – Part 1 – THE FLARES
June 1961 USA 7" single on Felsted 8624 (peaked at 25)
October 1961 UK 7" single on London HLU 9441 (didn’t chart)
The US B-side is Part 2 – the UK issue is "Foot Stomping" b/w "Hotcha Cha-Cha Brown"

20. Money (That’s What I Want) – BARRETT STRONG
November 1959 USA 7" single on Anna 1111 (peaked at 23)
April 1960 UK 7" single on London HLU 9088 (didn’t chart)

The A-side is credited as written by Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy, Jr (of Motown) but Barrett Strong has always maintained that his name should have been in the writing credits. It was reissued on Tamla 54027 and was only the 2nd single issued in the UK with Motown connections - and was made famous by The Beatles who played it live and recorded in on their "With The Beatles" LP in November 1963

21. Tear Drops – LEE ANDREWS (and THE HEARTS)
November 1957 USA 7” single on Chess 1675 (peaked at 20)
January 1958 UK 7" single on London HLM 8546 (didn’t chart)
There was also an export issued pressed in the UK on London HL 7031 – both it and the stock copy on HLM 8546 are very rare – listed at £300+ each

22. Mr. Lee – THE BOBBETTES
June 1957 USA 7" single on Atlantic 45-1144 (peaked at 6)
September 1957 UK 7" single on London HLU 8477 (didn’t chart)
They provided backing vocals on Johnny Thunder's "Loop De Loop" on Diamond D-129 in late 1962

23. Rhythm Of The Rain – THE CASCADES
November 1962 USA 7" single on Valiant 6026 (peaked at 3)
January 1963 UK 7" single on Warner Brothers WB 88 (peaked at 5)

24. I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight – BARRY and The Tamerlanes
August 1963 USA 7" single on Valiant 6034 (peaked at 21)
November 1963 UK 7" single on Warner Brothers WB 116 (didn’t chart)
Barry DeVorzon

25. Hushabye – THE MYSTICS
April 1959 USA 7" single on Laurie 3028 (peaked at 20)
July 1959 UK 7" single on HMV Records POP 646 (didn’t chart)

26. Clap Your Hands – THE BEAU-MARKS
April 1960 USA 7" single on Shad 5017 (peaked at 45)
May 1960 UK 7" single on Top Rank JAR 377 (didn't chart)

27. Sugar Bee – CLEVELAND CROCHET & Hill Billy Ramblers
December 1960 USA 7" single on Goldband G-1106 (peaked at 80)
Not released in the UK
Some copies credit '...& Hill Billy Ramblers' – others '...and Band' – first Cajun record to break Top 100

28. Shop Around – THE MIRACLES
October 1960 USA 7" single on Tamla 54043 (peaked at 2 in February 1961)
February 1961 UK 7" single on London HL 9276 (didn't chart)
Featuring Smokey Robinson

29. Daughter – THE BLENDERS
July 1963 USA 7” single on Witch 114 (peaked at 61)
Not released in the UK

30. Yea, Yea - THE KENDALL SISTERS
February 1958 USA 7” single on Argo 5291 (peaked at 73)
May 1958 UK 7” single on London HLM 8622 (didn’t chart)

NOTES: all tracks are in MONO except Tracks 18 and 25 - which are in STEREO

Volume 6 has an impressive 24-page booklet festooned with ROB FINNIS liner notes and cool pics - quality publicity photos of forgotten names like The Strangers, Chuck Willis, Jimmy Clanton, Dale Hawkins, The Pentagons and Sonny Knight. These snaps run alongside rare Trade Adverts for Ritchie Valens, The Addrisi Brothers, The Bobbettes, Lee Andrews, The Mystics, Ernie K-Doe and The Miracles. The two-page colour collage of British 45s in their labels bags that was a feature on Volumes 1 to 4 has been replaced with smaller pictures of various UK and US record labels throughout the text - Finnis connecting all the musical and historical dots. Compiled by Trevor Churchill, John Broven and Rob Finnis – the clever sequencing makes it feel like an old jukebox and it features a generous total playing time of 72+ minutes.

The DUNCAN COWELL Remasters are blindingly good – toppermost of the poppermost Audio quality on rarities like the echo-marvel of "Susie-Q" by Dale Hawkins or the 'ooh wee...' old man rhythm in my shoes of "Sea Cruise" by Frankie Ford. Despite the disparate sources – the Audio is uniformly great throughout and will warm the cockrels of collector's hearts.

Volume 7 opens with a crystal-clear Vocal group classic "Book Of Love" by The Monotones that is followed by a song that practically gave a young John Fogerty and CCR their entire sound – the wonderful "Susie-Q" by Dale Hawkins. Beautifully clear Audio also accompanies the rolling rhythms of Chuck Willis "C.C. Rider" (what a great R&B tune) while layered voices swoon "Echo" by a smitten vocal group The Emotions. You forget how cool the jiver "Come On, Let's Go" by Ritchie Valens is – sounding just brill on that tasty guitar solo - as does the tale of marital horror "Mother-In-Law" where Ernie K-Doe reckons she was 'sent from down below'. I’ve always loved The Five Keys as an R&B group and their bopper "Ling, Ting, Tong" comes with a infectious beat and dodgy lyrics about Chinamen.

As I said of Volumes 1 to 6 – what’s wicked about these Ace CD compilations is the oddities – finding gems you just don’t know. The 'you'd be mine' pleader "Just A Dream" by Jimmy Clanton is fab stuff – riddled with teenage 'won't forget you' angst and tattoo your name on my buttocks 'misery'. A Link Wray quivering guitar fills the stunning and slinky instrumental "The Caterpillar Crawl" while The Addrisi Brothers sound like a happy Everly Brothers doing a bop-winner on the impossibly catchy "Cherrystone". Bizarre is the only way to describe Vito & The Salutations indecently speedy butchery of "Unchained Melody" – a travesty quickly forgotten by a fantastic sounding Eugene Church who finds that "Pretty Girls Everywhere" are causing his teenage libido considerable botheration (you can’t even go to the beach man and 'they're everywhere!').

Sonny Knight's smoocher "Confidential" is a very clever choice – but it gets absolutely stomped on by Bobby Walker's "Watch Your Step" – a barnstormer of a tune with a wicked 60ts guitar line that makes you want to do the neck jerk and not give a damn. Equally smart is the echoed guitar instrumental of  "Harlem Nocturne" by The Viscounts while the crowd-pleasing 'name of the place' is "I Like It Like That" by Chris Kenner comes at you in wonderfully alive Stereo. I'd also forgotten what a powerhouse of a tune "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong is – hardly surprising I suppose as it’s a derivative of the Ray Charles Atlantic Records classic "What I'd Say" (those Liverpudlians covered "Money" on their 2nd LP "With The Beatles" in late 1963).

Genius inclusions – the gorgeous Vocal Group "Tear Drops" by Lee Andrews tells us that he was wrong to take the chance with somebody new (my dear) – and I never tire of the party song "Mr. Lee" – a hugely popular tune by The Bobbettes (on the mighty Atlantic Records). It may be sappy by today's standards but its hard even now to resist the lovely "Rhythm Of The Rain" by The Cascades. The frisky "Daughter" by The Blenders advises its listeners that the girl must leave those boys alone (not sure she's gonna listen to mother on this one). We even get a little Eddie Cochran with the vocals of "Yea, Yea" by The Kendall Sisters where the rhythm could be Eddie but fronted by girls trying to resist 'one kiss' (not having a lot of luck either). But my fave on here is "Sugar Bee" by the wonderfully named Cleveland Crochet – a first time breakthrough Cajun 45 that features the most amazing overall sound – a guitar chug that’s both Creole and Captain Beefheart at the same time (if you can imagine such a thing). It’s a Rock 'n' Roll record – a Cajun tune – it’s guitar boogie – what a winner...

Like Volumes 1 to 6 – instalment No. 7 is an adventurous, period evocative, cleverly paced compilation. But most important of all – it’s blindingly great fun to listen to - stirring up so many fond memories. So even if you weren't there - you will feel all "American Graffiti" after a night in with this CD compilation. But most of all you get a real sense of why UK fans in the 50ts and 60ts looked to the USA with such awe. The Yanks had it all – the cool - the cars - the girls - the film stars and best of all - the music. And there are seventeen more volumes where this came from...

PS: Titles in "The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll" CD Series are:

1. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Hard-To-Get Hot 100 Hits From 1954-63 (Ace CDCHD 289, November 1991)
2. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 2: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 445, March 1993)
3. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 3: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 497, January 1994)
4. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 4: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 500, October 1994)
5. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 5: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 600, October 1995)
6. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 6: 30 Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 650, January 1997)
7. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 7: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 700, November 1998)
8. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 8: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 750, November 1999)
9. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 9: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 800, February 2001)
10. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 10: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 850, September 2002)
11. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 11: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 1200, September 2007)
12. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 12: 30 Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963 (Ace CDCHD 1280, February 2011)

13. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special Country Edition (Ace CDCHD 845, April 2002)
14. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special Novelty Edition (Ace CDCHD 890, November 2003)
15. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special Doo W*p Edition 1953-1963 (Ace CDCHD 1000, May 2004)
16. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special "Bubbling Under" Edition – Regional Hits That Just Missed The Hot 100 1959-1963 (Ace CDCHD 1050, March 2006)
17. The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll – The Follow-Up Hits: Hard-To-Get Hot 100 Hits (Ace CDCHD 1190, January 2008)
18.  The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll: Special Doo W*p Edition Volume 2 1956-1963 (Ace CDCHD 1230, May 2009)

This review and hundreds more like it can be found in my SOUNDS GOOD Music Book Series - BLUES, GOSPEL, RHYTHM 'n' BLUES and ROCK 'n' ROLL - Exceptional CD Remasters is available to buy/download at Amazon at the following link...


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