CD The London American Label, Year by Year: 1959 (CD 6985788),
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The London American Label, Year by Year: 1959
1. I'm Ready - Fats Domino
2. Sermonette - Della Reese
3. You Went Back on Your Word - Clyde McPhatter
4. Here Comes Summer - Jerry Keller
5. Luther Played the Boogie - Johnny Cash
6. Charlie Brown - The Coasters
7. Come On-A My House - Julie London
8. Red River Rock - Johnny & the Hurricanes
9. Sweet Annie Laurie - Sammy Turner
10. Back in the USA - Chuck Berry
11. I Don't Know - Ruth Brown
12. Just Keep It Up (And See What Happens) - Dee Clark
13. Teenage Heaven - Eddie Cochran
14. Ring-A-Rockin' - Neil Sedaka
15. Letter to an Angel, A - Jimmy Clanton and the Aces
16. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
17. Some Kind-A Earthquake - Duane Eddy
18. Starry Eyed - Gary Stites
19. Diamond Ring - Jimmy Isle
20. My Life
21. So High, So Low - LaVern Baker
22. Say Man - Bo Diddley
23. She Said "Yeah"
24. Cruising - Jimmy and the Night Hoppers
25. Run, Boy Run - Sanford Clark
26. Let's Talk About Us - Jerry Lee Lewis
27. Deck of Cards - Wink Martindale
28. I'm Moving On - Ray Charles
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1285
Liner Note Author: Alan Warner.
Like the other volumes in this series, this 28-track anthology has an assortment of American rock & roll, R&B, and pop (though usually rock-oriented) records that were released in the U.K. on the London American label. The resulting strange hybrid is a grab-bag of big hits, small hits, and items that missed the charts entirely, running the gamut from classics to efforts that many would feel have been justly forgotten. In the classic category, we have such goodies as Fats Domino's "I'm Ready," Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," Ray Charles' "I'm Moving On," the Coasters' "Charlie Brown," Bo Diddley's "Say Man," Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA," and Johnny Cash's "Luther Played the Boogie" (though the last song didn't make either the U.S. or U.K. charts as a single). There are also a bunch of cuts by significant artists like Eddie Cochran, Ruth Brown, Dee Clark, Clyde McPhatter, Neil Sedaka, Chuck Willis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and LaVern Baker that don't rank at (or sometimes near) the level of their best work. Also present are worthy instrumental hits by Duane Eddy and Johnny & the Hurricanes, as well as Jerry Keller's curious one-shot "Here Comes Summer," which was a solid hit in the U.S., but a chart-topper in the U.K. Of the obscure or relatively obscure selections, only Larry Williams' "She Said 'Yeah'" (covered in the mid-'60s by the Rolling Stones) and Della Reese's "Sermonette" are of much interest. Some of the milder, poppier tracks by non-stars make little impression whatsoever; Jimmy Clanton's "A Letter to an Angel" is a blatant reworking of Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love," and Wink Martindale's maudlin "Deck of Cards," though a huge hit, sits most uncomfortably in these surroundings. ~ Richie Unterberger
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Virtually every track is worthy of special mention on a selection that thoroughly maintains the series' past qualities."
Uncut (magazine) (p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Featuring cuts] from amped-up novelty instrumentals to slick big band workouts."
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