Friday, May 4, 2012

VA - British Rock 'n' Roll

VA - British Rock 'n' Roll Anthology (1956-1964)

This 5 CD set contains some of the best pioneering Beat Boom recordings, including British takes on US R&B hits like 'Some Other Guy' by the Big Three, 'Just Little Bit' by The Undertakers and Rufus Thomas' recording 'Walking The Dog' by Merseyside group The Dennisons. You can add to those Bern Elliott & The Fenmen's interpretation of the Motown favourite 'Money' and Dave Berry & The Cruisers' unique take on the early Elvis favourite ' My Baby Left Me'. Also highlighted are outstanding original songs like ' That's What I Want' by The Marauders and 'Everything's Alight' from Liverpool's Mojos.
One of the most interesting features of this collection has to be the inclusion of many of the first or very early releases by some of the biggest acts of the later years. Numbered among these are The Animals, Tom Jones, Georgie Fame and The Who, whose first release 'I'm The Face' (issued as by The High Numbers) is highlighted. There are also early records by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, Steve 'Small Faces' Marriott, Joe Cocker, Spencer Davis, Lulu (with what else but 'Shout'), the inimitable Rod Stewart and of course The Beatles, who are featured with their 1961 revival of the 1920s song 'Ain't She Sweet'.
Between 1956 and 1964, the years that this set spans, there were many big changes in the music world. For example, the breakable 10” 78rpm records which accounted for almost all UK single sales in 1956, had by 1964 become museum pieces, and been replaced by the 7” unbreakable 45rpm singles. The music itself too had, of course, altered significantly in the period when teens went from Teddy Boys to Mods, and British rock'n'roll artists went from fans to followers to leaders. This anthology includes most of the varied faces of UK rock'n'roll in that era including a few somewhat dated or carefully cloned covers, novelty numbers, skiffle songs, praiseworthy interpretations of US hits, outstanding original rock songs, instrumentals, teen beat/pop rock, early British R&B and Merseybeat. It does in fact include almost every musical area of note in British rock music's rise, and goes literally from big bands to The Beatles.

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