Various Artists

The Rock 'N' Roll Era: 1958 - Still Rockin'

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While rock & roll hadn't gone away in 1958, it had pretty much gone through its first stage. This meant that the wild energy of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others was either dissipating or being replaced/subdued by more sociably acceptable performers. By the end of 1958, in fact, folk music, the rock instrumental, and other genres and subgenres began to challenge rock's hegemony. Have said all this, 1958 still produced lots of good music by folks like Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, while the Platters and Chuck Berry were still in fine form. One of the fascinating aspects of early rock & roll was the combination of songs that really rocked ("High School Confidential") and doo wop ("Twilight Time") that gently swayed. These two ends of the spectrum are represented here, with a few odds and ends like the Chordettes' "Lollipop" thrown in for good measure. There are also fine selections by Fats Domino, Dion & the Belmonts, and Danny & the Juniors, and the fun novelty of "Western Movies" by the Olympics. From the 22 selections offered here, 1958 wasn't a bad year at all, and when one compares it to 1961 or 1963, it was positively wonderful. For those who still believe that the only rock is early rock & roll, 1958: Still Rockin' is a rocking collection.

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