Various Artists

Rock & Roll Legends [Columbia River]

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Columbia River's Rock & Roll Legends is a three-disc set containing ten tracks each by Gene Vincent, Bobby Darin, and Jerry Lee Lewis. As is the case with most releases on Columbia River, these are not the original hit versions of these songs but latter-day re-recordings. More often than not, budget-line labels are known for putting out cheap discs containing shoddy performances, nonexistent fidelity, and horrible graphics. This collection, however, is a rare exception. The majority of Bobby Darin and Jerry Lee Lewis tunes didn't lose any of the initial spark associated with them. On the contrary, these reworked tracks, like "High School Confidential," "What'd I Say," "Splish Splash," and "Queen of the Hop," are taken from live dates and are full of energy. Unfortunately, the exact opposite can be said for the Gene Vincent material, which sounds like the last gasp of a tired '50s rocker desperately attempting to embrace a hipper '60s sound.

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