Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Best Of Crest Records - Rockin' & Rollin

The Best Of Crest Records - Rockin' & Rollin
Yellow Records – SPV 306652 CD.

1. Wild Man Wild - Jackson, Hal / Chromatics, The 2. Skinny Jim - Cochran, Eddie 3. Can You Bop? - Wilson, Tom 4. Stack A Records - Tall, Tom 5. Been Gone A Long Time - Sanders, Hank 6. Somebody To Love - Bowen, Jimmy 7. Primitive Love - Reeves, Tom 8. Buzzsaw - Gee Gees, The 9. Lovin' Lorene - Garrison, Glen 10. Rock'n'Roll Blues - Skylar, Norm 11. Umm, Kiss Me Goodnight - Lowe, Buddy 12. Spotlight - Frank and Ernie 13. I.O.U. - Lewis, Jack 14. Ballin' Keen - Caraway, Bobby and Terry 15. Pretty Little Devil - Denton, Bob 16. Ridin' The Frets - Desert Stars, The 17. You're The Reason - Edwards, Bobby 18. Rockin' And Rollin' - Bills, Dick 19. Can't Walk Em Off - Cooper, Marty 20. Drowning All My Sorrows - Gene Bo Davis 21. What Happened Last Night - Donn, Johnny 22. Yea, Yea, Come Another Day - Casanova, Tony 23. Date Bait - Skidmore III, Bill 24. Bumble Twist - Baugh, Phil 25. Cool Juice - Law, Tommy 26. You're The Prettiest One - Classics, The 27. Three Carburettors - Carson, Don 28. Function At The Junction - Whitfield, Smoki 29. Don't Be Bashful Little Girl - Four Young Men 30. Three Stars - Dee, Tommy

Yellow Records is a subsidiary of the German label SPV and they are hitting the market with a trio of Eddie Cochran related releases in collaboration with Tony Barrett's long running Rockstar Records. This one is a 30-track celebration of the Hollywood based Crest label. Rockstar released “Talk About A Party” which covered virtually everything on offer here, but it’s likely that quite a few will have missed that as looking at my copy here, I was shocked to see that it came out back in 1999. Where has time gone?

Eddie Cochran was the star name of the label and although he only had one release on Crest he was often to be heard backing some of their artists. His single was the wonderful Skinny Jim, and it’s in crystal clear sound here, exploding from the speakers with all the freshness of the best timeless rockabilly. He also provides the guitar on Gene Bo Davis’ Drowning All My Sorrows which I first heard on a Rockstar vinyl many moons ago, but the version here is different and the guitar doesn’t sound like Eddie. Jack Lewis’ IOU is only a so-so song, saved by Eddie’s guitar which is head and shoulders above the material. Pretty Little Devil is a contry tinged rockaballad duet between Eddie and Bob Denton which hits the spot and features his signature ending. It’s thought to be Eddie playing the solo onm the wild rocker, Cool Juice by one-off artist, Tommy Law, a great slice of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll.

Ramblin’ Tommy Scott’s Been Gone A Long Time is given a superb rockabilly treatment by Hank Sanders, a full decade after Scott’s original. Glen Garrison’s Lovin’ Lorene has rightly become a rockabilly classic over the past few decades as has Ballin’ Keen by Bobby and Terry Caraway.

Crests biggest hit is here, Bobby Edwards’ You’re The Reason, a perfect combination of rock ‘n’ roll and country. Country fans might be shocked to learn that the hard-edged instrumental, Buzzsaw by the Gee Cees is Glen Campbell - no mean guitarist. Dick Bills was his uncle and Bills has a great rocker here, Rockin’ And A Rollin’ which has two fabulous guitar breaks, which I assume are Campbell as he was part of his uncles band in the early days.

From the black end of the market we get Smoki Whitfield’s sax rocker Function At The Junction and Hal Jackson and the Chromatics whose Wild Man Wild gets the CD off to a flying start, despite a violin solo. You’re The Prettiest One by the Classics is a good doo-wopper that wasn’t on the Rockstar CD. I really liked Don Carson’s Three Carburettors, a strong novelty rocker that sees him backed by a vocal group, believed to be the Four Dots.

The sound throughout is clear and full and the packaging is colourful with informative sleevenotes from Fred James. A great CD which will hopefully do well enough for the label to be encouraged to bring out further releases.

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