Volume two of this series runs the label's output, both A- and B-sides, from Sun 229 ("Daydreams Come True" by Maggie Sue Wimberly) to 278 (Tommy Blake's rockabilly howler "Lordy Hoody"). At our starting point with this box, Elvis had moved on to RCA Victor and worldwide stardom, and the first million-seller for the label -- Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" -- was looming on the horizon. By the end of it, we're in the midst of the original rockabilly revolution. This is truly Sun's golden age.
Volume one in the series showed how Sun evolved from a blues label to the first recordings by Elvis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, which firmly moved it into country territory, for this is how all three artists were originally marketed. Disc One picks up the thread nicely with the Carl Perkins spin of "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Honey Don't." Disc two hits paydirt in a big way with Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" and "Get Rhythm," Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby," "Go! Go! Go!," "Rockhouse," and "You're My Baby" (featuring Roy at his rockabilly guitar-picking best), Carl Perkins' "Boppin' the Blues," "Dixie Fried," and "All Mama's Children," Billy Riley's debut disc "Trouble Bound" and "Rock With Me Baby," and the twin-spin coolness of Warren Smith's "Ubangi Stomp" and "Black Jack David," two of the best sides ever cut at 706 Union Avenue. More Johnny Cash is aboard Disc Three, with "Train of Love" and "There You Go," and right after that is the debut disc from the Ferriday Fireball himself, Jerry Lee Lewis, with "Crazy Arms" and "End of the Road" both amply demostrating how fully formed his style was when he entered Sam's studio. Right after that is one of the best Sun records ever, Billy Riley's "Flying Saucer Rock & Roll," featuring the Killer on backup piano and guitarist Roland Janes whipping the tremolo bar on his Strat into a frenzy on the intro. Our final disc keeps the rockin' banner flying high with Jerry Lee's epochal "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On" and its flip, "It'll Be Me," a number taken at a wild-ass breakneck tempo with a piano solo that ranks as one of his best. Special mention should also be made about the massive bound booklet that comes with this four-disc set; it is the epitome of cool, featuring photos that'll make your eyes get as big as 78s, while Hank Davis' notes are as spot on the money as anybody could ask for. Not just throwing together some photos you've seen a zillion times together with a scant recycled text, this book actually enhances the Sun Records experience.