Desperate Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 5

Various Artists

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Desperate Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 5 Review

by Stephen Cook

Another enjoyable and generous package of obscure, early rock & roll singles from the Flame label. The material has been transferred direct from collector's 45s, but the quality throughout is very good, with minimal surface noise coming through. Multiple rock & roll styles are represented over the 30 tracks, including jump blues (Dave Bartholomew's "Can't Take It No More"), honky tonk (RoyWayne's "Honey Won't You Listen"), and rockabilly (Billy Barton's "Crazy Lover"). As expected, the influence of Elvis, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry is evident throughout, albeit in strange, yet appealing ways (the Racketts' pair Richard's sound with some rockabilly on "Ooh My Soul"). Along with rough-hewn and bizarre cuts like Dick Robinson's "Boppin' Martian" and Trice Garner's manic, hillbilly ditty "Lover's Hill," there's also some slicker, pop material like Slim Watt's "Tu-Da-Lou" and Kirby St. Romain's incredible "Oh Baby Doll." Save for Junior Wells, the acts here are truly obscure and practically unknown; the music, though, is consistently enjoyable and even ingenious at times. A great collection that brings the fertile, wide-ranging sounds from the fringes of early rock & roll back to life.

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