Bill Haley


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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

Bill Haley & His Comets came very close to a comeback of sorts on this album, after the dubious Rockin' Around the World LP. Chicks was what passed for a concept album in 1958, built on songs named for women. It was the first LP by Haley to be issued in stereo, and it started life in a very promising fashion, growing out of the number 22 placement for the single "Skinny Minnie" early in 1958. Not quite enough of what Haley and his band came up with was worthy of an album release, but there's some good dance music here and some not-bad rock & roll in spots. Even on the failed tracks they try hard, Rudy Pompilli honking away on numbers like "Whoa Mabel!" and chestnuts like "Dinah" and totally inappropriate songs like "Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider" to little avail in terms of first-rate music. Pompilli, Haley, and lead guitarist Frannie Beecher do succeed with "Corrine, Corrina," and come surprisingly close to turning Irving Berlin's "Marie" (which had been a number one hit for Tommy Dorsey 23 years earlier) into a rock & roll number -- almost, but not quite -- even deliberately echoing "Rock Around the Clock" at one moment. "B.B. Betty," featuring Billy Williamson on lead vocals, is also a solid number and kind of catchy, and their version of "Sweet Sue, Just You" isn't embarrassing, even if it's not groundbreaking rock & roll.