Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2005, Volume 12, #4
Written by John Metzger
Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection is hardly a definitive package of the genre that was named by Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed in 1952. After all, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry are represented by a mere two tracks a piece, though each penned many more songs that correctly are considered essential. Add to that the puzzling inclusion of novelty hits like Sheb Wooley’s The Purple People Eater, The Royal Teens’ Short Shorts, and Bill Haley’s See You Later Alligator — big sellers or not — at the expense of Haley’s more vital single Shake, Rattle, & Roll or anything by Elvis Presley, and one is left wondering just what the package’s producers were thinking. Even so, it’s hard to quibble with the fact that 27 of its 34 tracks were Top 10 hits or that over half of its 30 artists have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Indeed, the collection includes such notable songs as Little Richard’s manic Tutti Frutti, Carl Perkins’ rockabilly gem Blue Suede Shoes, Eddie Cochran’s masterpiece Summertime Blues, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ incendiary Great Balls of Fire while also featuring influential tunes from Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Dion & the Belmonts, Gene Vincent, The Big Bopper, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, and Sonny James. In other words, for those on a limited budget, Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection is a bargain.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box