Monday, 2 November 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.82 - Link Wray

Link Wray - Good Rockin' Tonight
Swan S-4201 (1965)

Link Wray's Swan period in the early 60's produced some of the hardest rock 'n' roll you'll ever hear. His playing was sensational and whether he was doing originals or covering famous hits he pretty much blew the amps and made the songs his own. None more so than Good Rockin' Tonight which was no mean feat when you consider the versions by Elvis and Roy Brown to name but two.

Link's version is what we call a mother-humpin' road house stomp. He plays the ass of it and his voice is something else. He growls along before squeeling like a pig, showing why he made his name as an instro man. While the voice might have it's limitations and a career in a sweet-singing doo-wop band was never in the cards, the energy and enthusiasm put him up there in the Esquerita bracket.

The band play their part as well with the drummer making Wild Bob Burgos sound like Pat Boone's best friend. And if you're going to have hand claps in a song, use them like Link does here. They sound like an Alabama church revival - full blooded and hip to the beat. Everything in this song is on the money and right up-front. Roll over Wynonie and tell Roy Brown the news - Link is picking his guitar and there will be good rockin' tonight.

Recommended downloads: From the Swan period I love Ace of Spades, Jack the Ripper, Black Widow and what about the great version of Please Please Me which shows what a Beatles record should sound like.

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