CD Great Rock & Roll Instrumentals: Just About as Good As It Gets (CD 4334137),
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Great Rock & Roll Instrumentals: Just About as Good As It Gets

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. In-Go - Chuck Berry
    2. Movin 'N' Groovin' - Duane Eddy & The Rebels
    3. Electrode - B.B. Cunningham
    4. Flip Flop & Bop - Floyd Cramer
    5. Big Guitar - Owen Bradley
    6. Fast Freight - Ritchie Valens
    7. Midnighter - The Champs
    8. Have Guitar-Will Travel - Scotty Moore Trio
    9. .38 Special - Ace Cannon
    10. Itchy - Sonny Burgess
    11. Moon Rocket - Lynn Vernon
    12. Blue Feeling - Chuck Berry
    13. Dance with Me Henry - Chet Atkins
    14. Guitar Boogie - Arthur Smith & His Crackerjacks
    15. I'll See You in My Dreams - Merle Travis
    16. Rebel Rouser - Duane Eddy & The Rebels
    17. How High the Moon - Les Paul & Mary Ford
    18. Scratchin' - B.B. Cunningham
    19. Nola Boogie - Merrill Moore
    20. Hot Strings - Country Cats
    21. Rockabilly Walk - Buddy Knox & the Rhythm Orchids
    22. Deep Feeling - Chuck Berry
    23. Gone Train - The Champs
    24. Big Shot - Ace Cannon
    26. Tweedle Dee - Chet Atkins
    27. Ramrod - Al Casey
    28. Big Baby Blues - Ritchie Valens
    29. Cannonball Rag - Merle Travis
    30. Thunderbird - Sonny Burgess
    31. Train to Nowhere - The Champs
    32. Blue Comet Blues - Bill Haley & His Comets
    33. Rumble - Link Wray
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Tequila - The Champs
    2. Raunchy - Bill Justis
    3. Slow Walk - Sil Austin
    4. Dumplings - The Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band
    5. Fats Frenzy - Fats Domino
    6. Rudy's Rock - Bill Haley & His Comets
    7. Hard Times (The Slop) - Noble "Thin Man" Watts
    8. Bongo Beat - Willie Mitchell
    9. Walkin' with Mr. Lee - Lee Allen
    10. Foolin' Around Slowly - Red Holloway
    11. Back Biter - T.J. Fowler
    12. Rock 'N' Roll - Red Prysock Band
    13. Second Line Jump - Fats Domino
    14. Footstompin' - Jimmy Cavallo & His House Rockers
    15. Skip's Boogie - Kid King's Combo
    16. Walk On - The Blazers
    17. College Man - Bill Justis
    18. Walkin' the Boogie - Albert Ammons/Pete Johnson
    19. Stroll, The - The Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band
    20. Dinner with Drac - Dave Appell/The Applejacks
    21. Crawl, The - Willie Mitchell
    22. Honeydripper, The - Rusty Bryant
    23. Swannee River Hop - Fats Domino
    24. Grey Bear, The - Alan Freed & His Rock 'N Roll Band
    25. Goofin' Around - Bill Haley & His Comets
    26. Heartburn Motel - Nino Tempo
    27. Yancey Special - The Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band
    28. Honky Tonk - Bill Doggett
    29. Fat Man's Hop, The - Fats Domino
    30. Jay-Dee's Boogie Woogie - The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SCCD 1173

  • Credits

    The subtitle "The Original Rock 'n' Roll Recordings 1950-1960" further clarifies the contents of this double-CD compilation tightly packed with 63 predominantly instrumental tunes from the early days of rock & roll. Most of the usual suspects are here, such as "Tequila," "Rebel Rouser," "Rumble," and "Honky Tonk," but it's the rest of this set that is such a revelation. Obscure choices from legends such as Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & the Comets, and Fats Domino share space with less familiar names such as Kid King's Combo, Lawson Haggart Rockin' Band, Dave Appell & the Applejacks, and Merrill Moore, best known only by rabid fans of the genre. The strict chronological time frame precludes any surf, which generally came to prominence after 1960, so much of this stays in the blues, country, and R&B veins. There are a few obvious omissions such as Santo & Johnny's classic "Sleep Walk" but that doesn't detract from the wealth of rare and seldom-anthologized songs that make this such an enjoyable spin for enthusiasts of the time period. Only two tracks break the three-minute mark; these nuggets, typically guitar or sax based, get in, swing for a few minutes, and end quickly, never extending into the jams that would seem natural to the idiom. Six pages of detailed, tiny-type liner notes by compiler Dave Travis provide fascinating background information on even the most under-the-radar selections and artists, although there are no specific personnel listed. The tracks aren't arranged in chronological order, or seemingly any order at all, and after nearly two-and-a-half hours all the honking saxes, twangy guitars, and walking pianos seem to run together. But this remains a minor goldmine of frisky instrumentals from these early years of rock & roll when the music was still heavily influenced by jump blues and country, and just starting to evolve into its singular style and form. ~ Hal Horowitz

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