Is this the ultimate Bobby Day compilation? With 28 songs from the late '50s and early '60s, including half a dozen that he did as part of Bob & Earl and detailed track by track liner notes, you would think so. Even admitting that he was a fine early rock & roll singer, 28 songs by Day might be too much, though. The fact is that a good number of the singles collected here sounded similar to each other, and sometimes seemed like strained attempts to make derivative knockoffs of his best-known hits, the great "Rockin' Robin," "Over and Over," and the original version of "Little Bitty Pretty One" (which are the first three cuts on the CD). Still, it has its interest as a document of five years or so in the career of a guy who was not so much an R&B performer adapting to trends, as many in the early Los Angeles rock scene were, as someone who made records that were rock & roll, not R&B in the transition to rock & roll. For standouts in the track lineup, you might want to hear Bob & Earl's original 1958 version of the ballad "Gee Whiz," which would be a Top Thirty hit in 1961 for the Innocents. There are a few other ballads throughout the set, but Day's forte was actually up-tempo rock & roll, even though his likable, oh so slightly raw-edged vocals were more interesting than the (save for the three hits) often generic material. The 1962 obscurity "Oop-I-Du-Pers-Ball" has to rate as one of the more eccentric twist records of the early '60s, Day's all-out raucous vocals transcending to some degree the trivial novelty that the song actually was. Three of the songs are previously unissued alternate takes.
Share this page