This classic solo debut aptly captures the feeling of a loner retreating from the noisy tension of life with others and finding solace in musical solitude. It was, in fact, recorded alone on a four-track in a basement, and there's a restless unhappiness in his fragmented stories of alienated urbanites. After that description, a reference to the definitive folk loner, Nick Drake, is inevitable -- Smith's whispery vocals, haunting melodies, and able fingerpicking deserve the comparison.
One of early rock's great talents, Eddie Cochran managed quite a bit of work before his untimely death in 1960 at the age of 21. From his start with the Cochran Brothers to major solo hits like "Summertime Blues" and "C'mon Everybody," he epitomized 1950s rock and roll teen rebellion while flashing serious multi-instrumental chops as heard on this excellent 1998 compilation from Razor & Tie.