Sunday, 25 October 2015

"The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 12 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (2011 Ace Records CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...



"...Let The Four Winds Blow..."

Following the same route as Volumes 1 to 11 – the twelfth entry in this fabulous CD series from Ace Records of the UK offers fans 30 cleverly sequenced Mono US 7" singles that hit the American Pop charts between 1954 and 1963. As the chart entries range between No. 1 to No. 75 – the overall play features a nice combo of the obvious versus the obscure - and like preceding volumes some are in Stereo (five this time - see track list below) and only a handful actually made the British Pop charts even though many are now well known to collectors and oldies fans.

All of this rare and hip material is presented to music lovers on both sides of the pond by a British 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 'Let's Go Trippin'" on a 'Bad Motorcycle' so we can 'Boom Boom' with 'Short Fat Fannie' (all in the best possible taste of course)...

UK and USA released February 2011 - "The Golden Age Of American Rock 'n' Roll Volume 12: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace Records CDCHD 1280 (Barcode 029667043120) is a 30-track CD and breaks down as follows (74:52 minutes):

1. Road Runner – BO DIDDLEY
January 1960 US 7" single on Checker 942 (peaked at 75)
April 1960 UK 7" single on London HLM 9112 (didn't chart)
Real name Elias McDaniel – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £20

2. Bad Motorcycle – THE STOREY SISTERS with Al Browne & His Orchestra
January 1958 USA 7" single on Cameo C-126 (peaked at 45)
March 1958 UK 7" single on London HLU 8571 (didn't chart)
Ann and Lillian Storey – the British 45 is a listed UK rarity at £100

3. Raunchy – BILL JUSTIS and His Orchestra
September 1957 US 7" single on Phillips International 3519 (peaked at 2)
November 1957 UK 7" single on London HL-S 8517 (on re-entry it peaked at 11 in January 1958) – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £25

4. Silhouettes – THE RAYS
September 1957 US 7" single on Cameo 117 (peaked at 3)
November 1957 UK 7" single on London HLU 8505 (didn’t chart)
Originally issued August 1957 on XYZ Records X-102 – the reissue on Cameo 117 charted – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £40

5. Handy Man – JIMMY JONES
September 1959 US 7" single on Cub K 9049 (peaked at 2)
January 1960 UK 7" single on MGM Records MGM 1051 (peaked at 3)
Co-write between Jimmy Jones and Otis Blackwell

6. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody – JAMES RAY
October 1961 USA 7" single on Caprice CAP-110 (peaked at 22)
February 1962 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N 25126 (didn’t chart)
Stereo Version - Written by Rudy Clark

7. Bristol Stomp – THE DOVELLS
August 1961 USA 7" single on Parkway P-827 (peaked at 2)
October 1961 UK 7" single on Columbia DB 4718 (didn’t chart)

8. Rainin' In My Heart – SLIM HARPO
January 1961 USA 7" single on Excello 45-2194 (peaked at 31)
August 1961 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N 25098 (didn’t chart)
Real names James Moore – the US release originally listed the track as the B-side of "Don't Start Cryin' Now" – UK issues had it as the A

9. Short Fat Fannie – LARRY WILLIAMS
May 1957 USA 7" single on Specialty 608 (peaked at 5)
August 1957 UK 7" single on London HLN 8472 (peaked at 21)
The British 45 is a listed rarity at £40

10. Dinner With Drac (Part 1) – JOHN ZACHERLE
March 1958 USA 7" single on Cameo C 130 (peaked at 6)
April 1958 UK 7" single on London HL-U 8599 (didn’t chart)

11. Back To School Again – TIMMY "Oh Yeah!" ROGERS and Bernie Lowe Orchestra
September 1957 USA 7" single on Cameo 116 (peaked at 36)
November 1957 UK 7" single on London HL-U 8510 (didn’t chart)
The British 45 is a listed rarity at £90

12. Little Latin Lupe Lu – THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS
November 1962 USA 7" single on Moonglow M-215 (peaked at 49)
June 1963 UK 7" single on London HL 9743 (didn't chart)
Written by Bill Medley

13. If I Can't Have You – ETTA & HARVEY
July 1960 USA 7" single on Chess 1760 (peaked at 52)
September 1960 UK 7" single on London HLM 9180 (didn't chart)
Stereo Version - Etta James and Harvey Fuqua (of The Moonglows) – also written by them

14. Think – THE "5" ROYALES
May 1957 USA 7" single on King 5053 (peaked at 66)
Not released in the UK
Written by their Guitarist Lowman Pauling

15. Lonely Blue Boy – CONWAY TWITTY
December 1959 USA 7" single on MGM Records K12857 (peaked at 6)
February 1960 UK 7" single on MGM Records MGM 1056 (didn't chart)
Stereo Version - Used in the American TV Series "Mad Men" – there is also a 'UK' version available on Bear Family's "Rocks" CD – the US version is used here

16. Butterfly – CHARLIE GRACIE
February 1957 USA 7" single on Cameo 105 (peaked at 1)
March 1957 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4290 (peaked at 12)
The British 45 is a listed rarity at £50

17. Please Mr. Postman – THE MARVELETTES
August 1961 USA 7" single on Tamla T-54046 (peaked at 1)
December 1961 UK 7" single on Fontana H 355 (didn’t chart)
Its rare American Picture Sleeve is repro'd on Page 18 of the booklet – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £55

18. Let The Four Winds Blow – ROY BROWN
April 1957 USA 7" single on Imperial X5439 (peaked at 29)
Not released in the UK
Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino song – Fats Domino eventually recorded the song and released it April 1961 on Imperial X5764 which peaked at 15

19. Whole Lotta Woman – MARVIN RAINWATER
January 1958 USA 7" single on MGM K12609 (peaked at 60)
January 1958 UK 7" single on MGM Records MGM 974 (didn’t chart)
Also issued in the UK as part of the 4-track EP "Whole Lotta Marvin!" released 1958 on MGM Records MGM EP 662 (Track 2, Side 2) – a British rarity listed at £50

20. Let’s Go Trippin' – DICK DALE and THE DEL-TONES
September 1961 USA 7" single on Deltone 5017 (peaked at 60)
Not released in the UK
Real name Richard Monsour

21. He Will Break Your Heart – JERRY BUTLER
August 1960 USA 7” single on Vee-Jay VJ 354 (peaked at 7)
December 1960 UK 7" single on Top Rank JAR 531 (didn't chart)
Stereo Version – written by Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and Calvin Carter - the British 45 is a listed rarity at £55

22. Boom Boom – JOHN LEE HOOKER
April 1962 USA 7" single on Vee-Jay VJ 438 (peaked at 60)
July 1963 UK 7" single on Stateside SS 203 (didn't chart)
Stereo Version – his first British 45 "Boom Boom" is a listed rarity at £25

23. You Better Move On – ARTHUR ALEXANDER
December 1961 USA 7" single on Dot 16309 (peaked at 24)
March 1962 UK 7" single on London HLD 9523 (didn't chart)
The British 45 is a listed rarity at £40

24. Saved – LaVERN BAKER
April 1961 USA 7" single on Atlantic 2099 (peaked at 37)
May 1961 UK 7" single on London HLK 9343 (didn't chart)
Stereo Version – Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller song

25. There's No Other (Like My Baby) – THE CRYSTALS
August 1961 USA 7" single on Philles 100 (peaked at 20)
January 1962 UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4867 (didn't chart)
Co-written (with Leroy Bates) and Produced by Phil Spector – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £150

26. Roll Over Beethoven – THE VELAIRES
June 1961 USA 7" single on Jamie 1198 (peaked at 51)
Not released in the UK
Chuck Berry cover version – the first CB song to reach the charts as a cover

27. Dedicated (To The Songs I Love) – THE 3 FRIENDS
July 1961 USA 7" single on Imperial X5763 (peaked at 89)
Not released in the UK
Walter and Clay Hammond (of The Olympics) and Julius Brown

28. The Jam – Part 1 – BOBBY GREGG and HIS FRIENDS
March 1962 USA 7" single on Cotton 1003 (peaked at 29)
April 1962 UK 7" single on Columbia DB 4825 (didn't chart)

29. Come To Me – MARV JOHNSON
February 1959 USA 7” single on United Artists UA 160 (peaked at 30)
May 1959 UK 7" single on London HLT 8856 (didn't chart)
Written by Marv Johnson and Berry Gordy of Tamla and Motown fame – the British 45 is a listed rarity at £100

30. Every Day I Have To Cry – STEVE ALAIMO
December 1962 USA 7” single on Checker 1032 (peaked at 46)
January 1963 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N 25174 (didn't chart)
Arthur Alexander cover version

NOTES: all tracks are in MONO except tracks 6, 13, 15, 21, 22 and 24 – which are in STEREO

Volume 12 has an info-packed 32-page booklet festooned with ROB FINNIS liner notes and cool pics - quality publicity photos of forgotten names like The Storey Sisters, The Rays, Jimmy Jones, Larry Williams, Timmie "Oh Yeah!" Rogers, Dick Dale and Bobby Gregg (to name but a few). These snaps run alongside rare Trade Adverts for Bo Diddley, Bill Justis (Sheet Music), Slim Harpo, John Zacherle, The Righteous Brothers, Marvin Rainwater, The Silhouettes and James Ray (Sheet Music). The two-page colour collage of British 45s in their labels bags that was a feature on Volumes 1 to 4 has been replaced for Volumes 5 to 12 with smaller pictures of various UK and US record labels throughout the text (all songs in chronological order) - Finnis connecting all the musical and historical dots. Compiled by ROB FINNIS (with help from John Broven, Bill Millar, Tony Rounce , Victor Pearlin and other good names involved in reissue for decades now) – the clever sequencing makes it feel like an old jukebox (especially if you shuffle play) and it features a generous total playing time of 74+ minutes.

The DUNCAN COWELL Remasters are fantastically good – toppermost of the poppermost Audio quality on forgotten nuggets like the clever combo of powerhouse voices on "If I Can't Have You" – Etta James and Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows - here in truly glorious Stereo (Saxophone and Drums so clear). Is it any surprise that TV's "Mad Men" ended a show on the pained moocher of "Lonely Blue Boy" (stunning Stereo) - Conway Twitty doing his best misery voice on this achingly brilliant nugget that absolutely shouldn't be forgotten nor ignored any longer (better than Presley's film version that was canned). An uber-clean transfer too on the fantastic R&B romancer "Rainin' In My Heart” – Slim Harpo getting all mushy about his main squeeze. In fact despite the disparate sources – the Audio is uniformly great throughout (like all the other volumes) and will warm the cockerels of collector's hearts that have wanted this quality on CD for decades now.

Volume 12 opens with an irrepressible new decade winner – Bo Diddley's January 1960 chug-a-bug 'beep beep' song "Road Runner" while The Storey Sisters want to warn all the girls about the tell-tale 'vun vun' of a "Bad Motorcycle" (well done ladies). It's extraordinary now to think that if George Harrison hadn’t bought the 45 to the Saxophone led instrumental "Raunchy" by Bill Justis and demonstrated his mastery of the riff on his guitar atop a Liverpool double-decker bus (Lennon and McCartney took him into the band after this) – how music history would have been so much the less for it. The Rays are concerned about the lovely couple behind the curtains in their voyeuristic lovelorn way as they croon through "Silhouettes" – while Jimmy Jones is dreaming in his 'come-a come-a' way of the Royalty payments he's going to get when James Taylor covers his "Handy Man" (a 1977 No. 4 chart hit in the USA on Columbia Records). I've never heard "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody" by James Ray – a cool sort of Bacharach/David tune anchored by a wistful melody and a cute harmonica throughout. The drums on "Bristol Stomp" by The Dovells has the 'joint jumping' while Larry Williams has the Thought Police itchy with his delightfully un-PC "Short Fat Fannie" – a 1957 homage to his brand new lover that's likely to get him arrested in 2015.

Beautifully clear Audio accompanies the brass-driven mashed-potato-baby of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" by a clearly frazzled Righteous Brothers while classics don’t get much better that The "5" Royales doing "Think" – a genius slice of bop-along happiness written by their guitarist Lowman Pauling – a song that crosses the Vocal Group, R&B and Pop divide at the same time (stunning audio too). 'I knew from the first time I kissed you' Charlie Gracie tells us on the Vocal Group Vaudeville "Butterfly" - while The Marvelettes keep checking the mailbox in the breakthrough Tamla hit "Please Mr. Postman" (looking for royalty cheques from Berry Gordy or is that luncheon vouchers?) . Properly fabulous audio accompanies Roy Brown's joyous "Let The Four Winds Blow" – an utterly infectious New Orleans R&B winner penned by Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino. It's smartly followed in the running order by "Whole Lotta Woman" - a Marvin Rainwater bopper where our hero wants his girl to know that he's equal to the challenge by being a 'whole lotta man' (attaboy Marvin).

As I said of Volumes 1 to 11 – what's wicked about these Ace CD compilations is the oddities – finding gems you just don't know. I've never heard the neck-nibbling novelty number "Dinner With Drac" by John Zacherle – a man worried about the main course not being chicken and asparagus (genius choice and a properly great Monster Mash type laugh). Timmie "Oh Yeah!" Rogers is sorry to be waving bye-bye to good times as he and his buddies say hello to History and Maths again in the saxophone-driven "Back To School Again". Surf guitar drives the wicked instrumental "Let's Go Trippin'" by Dick Dale and The Del-Tones and 60ts Soul doesn’t get more sophisticated than the beautiful shuffle of "He Will Break Your Heart" penned by Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield (of The Impressions) and Calvin Carter. And how good is the 'put you in my house' footstompin' genius of "Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker (how did this not chart in the UK?). Both Arthur Alexander and LaVern Baker bring up the R&B front with the slow shuffle of "You Better Move On" and the manic drums and vocals of "Saved" because our LaVern no longer drinks nor does the Hoochie-coo (thank Gawd for that).

We get our daily dose of Phil Spector melodrama with The Crystals on their mini Pop Opera "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" – but rocking in two-by-two comes The Velaires and their cool cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" – here in superbly atmospheric sound. Songs get rama-lama-ding-dong'd in the song-naming tune "Dedicated (To The Songs I Love)" by The 3 Friends who turn out to be members of The Olympics moonlighting on this novelty number. Drummer Bobby Gregg famously played on Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" LP and the monster hit "Like A Rolling Stone" – enough to ensure immortality. But along comes Ace and unearths this Saxophone and Organ and Drums instrumental blaster that managed a No. 29 placing in early 1962. He would also play on Simon & Garfunkel recordings. It ends with Marv Johnson earning his place of importance in the Motown history books with the catchy "Come To Me" and the unexpectedly touching "Every Day I Have Cry" by handsome Steve Alaimo – teen-popping up an Arthur Alexander song.

Like Volumes 1 to 11 – installment No. 12 is an adventurous, period evocative, cleverly paced compilation that barely puts a foot wrong. In fact it may the best CD compilation yet. Loving the whole damn lot. And there are seventeen more volumes to return to where this came from...

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 Wop 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 Wop 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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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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