Various Artists

The Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 9

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Another high-class mixture of all sorts of rock & roll from the music's first decade, blending not just styles but varying levels of familiarity. You got some pretty well-known classics here, like Little Willie John's "Fever," Dion & the Belmonts' "I Wonder Why," Shep and the Limelites' "Daddy's Home," Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy," and Charlie Rich's "Lonely Weekends." What makes this more enticing for listeners with any aspirations whatsover to put music about as good, but not as well known, into their collection is the presence of numerous fine lower-charting hits. Wanda Jackson's "Let's Have a Party" could be the finest female rockabilly performance of all time, and Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae" is one of the bluesiest items ever to make the Top Forty. There's also Jessie Hill's inane New Orleans R&B chant "Ooh Poo Pah Doo"; the Chanters' infectious doo wop hit "No, No, No"; the Cellos' profoundly silly doo wop standard "Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am the Japanese Sandman)"; Ronnie Self's fantastic slice of rockabilly lunacy "Bop-A-Lena"; and Dr. Feelgood's original version of "Doctor Feel-Good," which became a much covered R&B staple, despite making only number 66 in 1962. Right there you've got more nuggets than most oldies collections offer, and although some of the forgotten semi-hits here are indeed unmemorable, it's an anthology that's both quite good and quite diverse. Here's some trivia you probably won't read in any other review of this CD: The Majors' late doo wop hit "A Wonderful Dream," which nearly made the Top Twenty in 1962, was covered by the great French star Francoise Hardy soon afterward as "Je Pense a Lui."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:22
2 1:54
3 2:38
4 2:25
5 2:10
6 2:59
7 1:56
8 2:18
9 2:16
10 2:07
11 2:51
12 2:05
13 2:02
14 2:35
15 2:24
16 2:12
17 2:12
18 2:58
19 2:46
20 2:42
21 2:26
22 2:26
23 2:09
24 2:08
25 2:20
26 2:16
27 2:13
28 2:36
29 2:17
30 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick