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VINTAGE ROCK 'N' ROLL & ROCKABILLY
Jerry Lee Lewis -> Bob Luman

JERRY LEE LEWIS
MARGARET LEWIS
LITTLE RICHARD
THE LIVELY ONES
TRINI LOPEZ
LOST & FOUND
ROBIN LUKE
BOB LUMAN

 

JERRY LEE LEWIS Ace CDCH 326 Live At The Vapors Club ● CD $18.98
Ol' Jerry Lee keeps on pumpin' em out - this live performance was recorded on the Killer's 55th birthday in front of friends and fans in Memphis. Mostly concert favorites like Chantilly Lace/ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Me And Bobby McGhee/ Whole Lot Of Shakin'/ Will The Circle Be Unbroken, delivered with the customary high energy. 12 cuts. (MB)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Ace CDCH 332 Honky Tonk Rock 'N' Roll Piano Man ● CD $18.98
Sometimes I worry that someone has taped everything the Killer ever did, but this reissue actually has a reason to live. In the mid-Eighties, Jerry Lee released several records on the SCR label. Ace has already reissued one of these as the fiery Live At The Vapors Club (Ace CDCH 326), and this 15-track disc concentrates on many of the studio recordings from the period. Instead of being a straight reissue, this is a remix job, with some instrumentation that producer Dave Travis considered extraneous lopped off, and new guitar overdubs from Sun specialist Eddie Jones. The changes neither improve or dismantle substantially, although the new mixes place the piano and vocal farther in front, where they belong. The songs aren't all that great (many showed up on two early-Eighties MCA LP's), but the performances are a cut or two above his usual of the period. JG)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Ace CDCH 348 Pretty Much Country ● CD $18.98
The third of Ace's repackagings of the Killer's mid-eighties SCR material is much like the second, Honky Tonk Rock And Roll Piano Man (CD 332), and not only because it shares several songs in common. Both discs offer an intermittently excited Jerry Lee leading a band of the usual suspects (Bob Moore on bass, Buddy Harmon on drums, Kenny Lovelace on guitar and fiddle), with guitar overdubs added recently by Sun specialist Eddie Jones. Historical revisionism aside, the remixes are noticeably superior to the original issues, although I wish producer Dave Travis had scraped off the backing vocals when he grafted on the new guitar. Song quality varies on this ballad-heavy collection, but when the Killer bothers (about half the time), it's worth the ride. Ace's first SCR-era CD, Live At The Vapors Club (CD 326) is live, highly recommended, and probably not recorded at The Vapors Club. (JG)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15408 Up Through The Years 1956-1963 ● CD $21.98
This incredible CD, featuring 24 of The Killer's Sun sides, misses the mark for being THE Jerry Lee CD to buy for the stupidest reason -- I can almost understand not having Milkshake Mademoiselle , but some idiot left off High School Confidential ! And instead we get stuff like the definitely sub par LP cut of Don't Be Cruel and such non-important stuff as John Henry and Carry Me Back To Old Virginny . With those complaints gone, let me say that the sound is fantastic, courtesy of Boppin' Bob Jones, and besides the big hits (you know what they are) includes lots of my fave minor hits like Lovin' Up A Storm / Break Up / Down The Line / Big Blon' Baby , plus lots of shots from the famed hair-combin' photo session. GM

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15420 The Definitive Edition Of His Sun Recordings 1956-1963 ● CD $169.98
This is it - rock'n'roll's version of the Rosetta stone, the Blarney stone, Stonehenge and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. When you graduate from the greatest hits collection this is the foreboding door that beckons. This 8 CD box set of Sun & Phillips recordings has expanded upon the 209 track LP version, adding a further 35 cuts. Everything is programmed in chronological order so you can hear the way Jerry Lee develops a song, which actually isn't all that often since he usually knocked 'em off in one take. The 4 takes of High School Confidential and the 3 takes of Milkshake Mademoiselle is about as indulgent as it gets. The sessions begin with the November, 1956 session that produced his first Sun 45 Crazy Arms/ End Of The Road and ends with a pair of August, 1963 dates where Sam Phillips has Lewis rockin' up a variety of music styles on tunes like Hong Kong Blues , Love On Broadway and Carry Me Back To Ol' Virginia , with strings and chorus, an approach they'd tried throughout the 60's. In between there were close to 200 songs cut, most with the nucleus of Lewis on piano, Roland Janes on guitar and J.M. Van Eaton on drums. There are dozens of astounding numbers here and virtually everything else is fascinating due to Lewis' unique stylistic approach to the wide variety of material he tackled. Who else but Jerry Lee would have the audacity to shake it up on Old Time Religion , Hand Me Down My Walking Cane , Deep Elem Blues and even The Marines' Hymn . You'll get to hear some outrageous studio patter and even the legendary religious discussion with Sam Phillips during the recording of Great Balls Of Fire . So in a nutshell, you get 246 songs, original versions of all Sun singles, tons of unissued stuff, all remastered from the mastertapes plus a deluxe LP size booklet with fantastic vintage photos and an up to date (1989) discography of everything in the Sun vaults. Jerry Lee's quest to put his personal stamp on every tune ever recorded (see the Bear Family Mercury reissues for the continuation) includes Frankie & Johnny/ Matchbox/ Ubangi Stomp/ Ooby Dooby/ Settin' The Woods On Fire/ Hound Dog/ Jambalaya/ Sweet Little Sixteen/ What'd I Say/ Mexicali Rose/ Be Bop A Lula and on and on. (AE)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15467 Live At The Star-Club Hamburg ● CD $21.98
On April 5, 1964 the Killer performed at Hamburg's famed Star Club accompanied by British band The Nashville Teens and stormed his way through 13 classic rock 'n roll tunes including Mean Woman Blues/ Money/ What'd I Say, Parts 1 & 2/ Great Balls Of Fire/ Lewis Boogie/ Houd Dog/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On and others. In keeping with Bear Family's high standards the sound as remastered by Bob Jones is impeccable and the cover has a nice shot of the Star Club and the booklet features several dynamic photos from the gig. (FS)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15608 The Greatest Live Shows On Earth ● CD $21.98
Until Bear Family gets around to transferring its landmark Killer LP box sets to CD, top-rank reissues like this will keep us fans very happy. This 72:38 disc includes two shows, a 1964 Birmingham date and a 1966 Fort Worth gig, originally released as The Greatest Live Show On Earth/ More Of The Greatest Live Show On Earth, respectively. The LP titles don't lie, especially the first. At Birmingham, the chosen repertoire was perfect for Jerry Lee (heavy on Chuck Berry and Little Richard), and it features him at his rockin' peak. The Fort Worth date is not as consistently mesmerizing, although the small band is excellent, and the song selection still ideal, with more of a tilt toward country. Along with the earlier Live At The Star Club (BCD 15467), this is one of the best live recordings ever. For anyone who cares about rock'n'roll or country music, this CD is indispensible. JG)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15783 The Locust Years And The Return To The Promised Land ● CD $199.98
8 CDs, 162 cuts, roughly 8 hours, essential Subtitled "and the return to the promised land," this typically hefty Bear Family set replaces the first of three landmark "The Killer" LP boxes, including all of Jerry Lee's Smash studio recordings from 1963 to 1968. (His live albums of that period are already available on two indispensible Bear Family discs.) The breadth and the consistency here are astonishing, especially since the mid-Sixties are usually considered the period between his Sun triumphs and his return to the charts with What Made Milwaukee Famous, Another Place Another Time, and She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye, all included here. There are some dud Sun rerecordings as well as Lincoln Limousine, a JFK memoriam that may be the weirdest thing the Killer ever cut (think about that), but 90 percent of what's here is amazing, from early rockers like I'm on Fire early on to Disc 8, which offers yet another show from the Fort Worth 1966 stand that previously yielded "More of the Greatest Live Show on Earth". A 48-page booklet by Colin Escott improves on the excellent booklet he wrote for the LP release, augmented by Ari Bass's rigorous discography. So shut up and buy this. You know you want to. (JG)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Bear Family BCD 15784 Mercury Smashes ... And Rockin' Sessions ● CD $239.98
The second compilation of Jerry Lee's Mercury/ Smash sides - 10 CDs featuring all of his recordings from 1970 to 1978 with the exception of the London Sessions and the live albums which will be issued separately.

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Collectables 5694 The Mercury/ Smash Years Recordings ● CD $14.98
14 tracks - live and studio - Jenny Jenny/ Memphis/ I Got A Woman/ No Particular Place To Go/ Long Tall Sally/ Chantilly Lace/ Turn On Your Love Light, etc.

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Collectables 6012 The Very Best, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
24 classic Sun rockers - Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On/ High School Confidential/ Sixty Minute Man/ Milkshake Mamoiselle/ Real Wild Child/ Ooby Dooby/ Pinl pedal Pushers/ Good Goilly Miss Moll, etc.

 
MARGARET LEWIS Ace CDCHD 572 Lonesome Bluebird ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 70 min., good Margaret who? The word I've heard is that Ace released this set because on their earlier compilation of Ram label recordings, Shreveport Stomp (Ace CD 495), the few cuts by Lewis attracted some positive response. Be that as it may, this full program devoted to her performances, even with Ace's stringent production values, suggests that she was rather deserving of her anonymity. Most of these numbers, particularly the late 50's to early 60's cuts, are pretty amateurish. Her versions of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven and Elmore James' Dust My Blues are particularly scary. On the other hand, the demos included here of her later work as a successful songwriter are occasionally pretty good. I particularly like her demo of Reconsider Me, a major country hit in 1975 by Narvel Felts. (DH)

 
LITTLE RICHARD Bear Family BCD 15448 The Formative Years ● CD $21.98
This is your chance to get all the pre-Specialty recordings on one clean CD. OK, so the RCA sides were recently reissued on (RCA (UK) 89965) and the Peacock on Ace (CHA 193). But you have to have all the alternate takes and now that they're all on CD, well, why not? Spring for it! The Bear Family crew have put out a fine package with good photos and notes by Rick Coleman who also did the booklet for the Specialty box. This may be Richard's formative years, but the recordings are still great, ranging from fine blues ballads to Roy Brown type shouters. ( RF)

 
LITTLE RICHARD Specialty 7012 The Georgia Peach ● CD $15.98
If there's anyone out there who doesn't yet have a Little Richard greatest hits compilation, this is the one for you - chock full of 25 howlers in chronological order. Chances are that every Penniman fave you can name is here, as well as less chartworthy, but equally great cuts like I Can't Believe You Wanna Leave/ Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey and more. Compiler Billy Vera's notes are astute and usually on the mark, but this material (which has already come out on Specialty, Ace and Rhino CD's) could have really benefitted from a more creative repackaging angle. (MB)

 
LITTLE RICHARD Specialty 7063 Shag On Down By The Union Hall ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 53 min., recommended Billy Vera, notes writer & compiler for this volume, says it best when he writes that the music here comes from Little Richard's most creative period (1955-1957) when everything (music, lyrics, production & promotion) were a cohesive whole. The soloists include Lee Allen (tenor sax), Justin Adams (guitar), Joe Tillman (tenor Sax) and Grady Gaines (tenor sax). We even have pioneer electric bassist Lloyd Lambert's band backing him up on an early version of Long Tall Sally. Half the CD is made up of master takes not included in the 1991 compilation, including Directly From My Heart, I Got It, Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo (I'll Never Let You Go) and She Knows How To Rock. Those of us who have the Specialty boxset will notice that I Got It and Bama Lama Bamo Loo differ in length of time. (EL)

 
THE LIVELY ONES Ace CDCHD 957 Surf Rider/ Surf Drums ● CD $18.98
Reissue of both Lively Ones LP's on one CD, originally released by Del-Fi in 1963. The Lively Ones, originally known as The Surfmen, were one of the top surf bands in Southern California. Jim Masoner(lead gtr.), Ed Chiaverini(gtr.), Ron Griffith(b), Joel Willenbring(sax) and Tim Fitzpatrick(d) were from Orange County and by all accounts really got the surfers a-stompin' at places like the legendary Retail Clerk's Hall in Buena Park. Great sound mastered from the original master tapes on these 24 tunes. Surf Beat/ Misirlou/ Let's Go Trippin'/ Happy Gremmie/ Tuff Surf/ Bustin' Surfboard , etc., and no drippy vocals either! (AE)

 
TRINI LOPEZ GNP 2216 The Best Of Trini Lopez - All The Original Classics ● CD $16.98

 
LOST & FOUND Collectables 552 Every Body's Here ● CD $11.98

 
ROBIN LUKE Bear Family BCD 15547 Susie Darling ● CD $21.98
If Robin Luke were any more wholesome looking, he would be a glass of milk. As it is, he was a minor teen idol who played the ukulele and hit it big in 1958 with Susie Darlin'. These songs (all 31 of them!) were recorded between 1958-62, and include many demos and other previously unissued stuff. Sure, he sounds like an Elvis/ Buddy Holly wanna-be a lot of the time, and yes, he finds the subject of teen romance endlessly fascinating; but despite it all, songs like Won't You Please Be Mine/ Everlovin'/ Five Minutes More/ Sugar have a certain charm. Not surprisingly, the early cuts are better than the sixties tracks, which often suffer from wretched strings and hokey backup singers. And as usual Bear Family has done an excellent job with everything including the liner notes - the pictures of Luke with Sam Cooke and The Everly Brothers are less telling than the one of him in the high school chemistry lab. (JC)

 
BOB LUMAN Sparkletone 99010 .. Rocks - His 50s Recordings ● CD $21.98
Collection of Bob's 50s rocking sides cut before he hit it big in 1960. It includes his 1955 demo session with Mac Curtis's band and his commercial recordings from 1957-59 including many cuts not originally issued - some with great guitar from james Burton. Includes Stranger Than Fiction/ Hello Baby/ No use In Lying/ Red Cadillac & A Black Mustache/ Whenever You're Ready/ Wild Eyed Woman/ / Everybody's Talkin'/ Svengali/ Class Of '59/ Love Creator, etc.

   

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