Various Artists

Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years - 25 Top 10 Hits from the Mid 60s

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Varese Vintage's Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years - 25 Top 10 Hits From the Mid 60s is a better-than-average '50s rock collection, offering enough well-known hits and slightly more obscure singles to make it worthwhile for casual and avid fans of the decade's music. Oft-played classics like Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill," and Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops" are juxtaposed with less-exposed songs such as Miss Toni Fisher's elegantly spacy "The Big Hurt" and the Bill Haley & His Comets-esque rave-up of "Seventeen" by Boyd Bennett & His Rockets. The collection also does a pretty good job of reflecting most of the styles within '50s rock, spanning instrumental rock, rockabilly, teen idol pop, and novelty rock, as exemplified by Bill Justis' "Raunchy," Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," Frankie Avalon's "Venus," and Billy & Lillie's "La De Da." While the collection might include too much novelty pop and teen idol pop and not enough great R&B and rock singles like Huey "Piano" Smith's "Don't You Just Know It" and Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk, Pt. 2" for serious collectors, it's still an entertaining collection with a lot to choose from within its 26 tracks.