In the '50s, all the parents in America were terrified that their kids were turning into juvenile delinquents, while the kids all knew that the JDs may have been trouble, but they were a lot cooler than the good kids in school who were being held up as role models. There's a reason why Fonzie had more fans than Richie Cunningham, and anyone who wanted to be a Wild One rather than Dobie Gillis will get a kick out of this compilation of classic JD rock & roll from the '50s. Teenage Rebels features 13 songs (a commercial for the movie Reform School Girl is included to provide a break in the action) that deal with bad kids riding motorcycles, getting in fights, wearing leather jackets, making out, and generally enjoying themselves in a socially unacceptable fashion. While a few of these tracks are well known among rockabilly collectors (particularly Ronnie Allen's "Juvenile Delinquent" and Gene Maltais' "Gangwar"), most are fairly obscure, especially Ron & Joe Crew's cover of the Robins' "Riot in Cell Block No. 9," Joy Russel's bad girl anthem "Woman," and the Creep transforming "Betty Lou's Got a New Pair of Shoes" into "Betty Lou's Got a New Tattoo." Considering the wealth of great first-era rock & roll singles about teenagers run amok, it seems a lost opportunity that Teenage Rebels features just 13 tunes and wraps up in less than half an hour, but what's here is good greasy fun, and whether you're reliving your glory days as a bad boy or trying to add some class to your next teenage rumble, this disc will do the trick.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming