Various Artists

Restless Doll

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This is a hot CD consisting of 30 songs by female rock & rollers, only one of whom -- Jackie DeShannon -- is going to leap out in terms of name recognition. Strangely enough, this disc is more consistent musically than a lot of Buffalo Bop's other releases. They held back on this until the label had 30 consistently solid songs to put together, and the result is a good-time, fast-paced rock & roll collection by the fairer -- but not a bit less lusty -- sex. Sheree Scott does a convincing and intimidating job on "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and Linda Glover's slightly cracking voice sparks a lively rendition of "Counting Sheep Over You," fronting a good rockabilly band whose only flaw is an ever-so-slightly, too-classy chorus behind her raspy enthusiasm. Mona Lunsford is a bluesy, slurring singer whose dissolute demeanor on "I'm Getting Restless" makes it one the most delightfully decadent pieces of hard-country style rockabilly ever heard from a woman. Judy Tolbert's "I'm Wise to You Now" is hard White country-blues, sung in a heavily accented rural style, while "Rockin' the Blues" by Peggi Griffin is high-energy distaff rockabilly. By contrast, Dixie Ann Barnes' "Whispering Wind" is sweetly melodic, with a lean, lively band backing a woman who could've been a female Ricky Nelson, to judge from the evidence here. Betty Johnson ("Honky Tonk Rock") and Debbie Stevens ("If You Can't Rock Me"), however, sing of a rough world of honky tonks and road-houses. The Jackie DeShannon cut ("Trouble" written by Leiber and Stoller) is an early one where she seems bent on trying to be the female Chuck Berry -- and it just about works, especially backed by a loud, rough road-house type band with some mean guitar and sax soloists. Anita Veal's "Daddy Let Me Go" sounds like a lost Brenda Lee cut -- loud almost pre-teen rock & roll with a startling sexual undertone and some smooth piano and electric guitar. Judy Harriet's "Goliath (Big Man)" is proof from back when that size did, indeed, matter -- the way she sings "Big Man," with a built-in Mae West-type leer, there's no doubt that she's got more than height in mind.

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