Various Artists

Blowin' Through Yokohama!

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This vinyl collection collects up 16 tracks of high voltage, extremely rare and obscure rhythm and blues singles from the mid-1950s into the early 1960s. These are sides mirroring the wild and freakish side of the genre, short on subtleties (and in 20/20 hindsight, political correctness in a number of cases) and long on hard rocking. Kicking off with the two-part title cut from the Medallions and continuing to serve up oddball rhythmic blasts like "Mama Ubangi Bangi" by the Four Sounds, "Stick Out Your Can" by Roscoe Holland, "She's Jailbait" by Roosevelt Sykes, and "Put The Pot On Mary" by Poontang Perkins, this is the side of R&B that seldom gets anthologized. The high-energy quotient in these sides is palpable, making even cover tunes like Little Julian Herrera and the Tigers' take on Little Richard's "True Fine Mama" shine with an energy all their own. Fans of the musically parenthentical and oddball will be heartened to see the inclusion of "Hot Skillet Mama" and "Muck Muck" by Yochanon (Space Age Vocalist), a single released on Saturn Records, a microscopic label owned and operated by jazz musician Sun Ra, whose piano and combo provides the backing on both sides. If you're willing to drop some preconceived notions of just what constitutes great early rhythm and blues, there's a load of great and wild music to sample on this disc.