Various Artists

Fabulous Flips, Vol. 3

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It's true that sometimes in rock's early days, songs originally designated as the B-side turned out to be the hits -- some quite memorable, at that. That doesn't necessarily mean that the B-sides were as a rule competitive with the plug sides. Here we have 26 B-sides to hits from the late '50s and early '60s, including tracks by Dion & the Belmonts, Fats Domino, Johnny Burnette, Larry Williams, and one-shots like the Shields and the Silhouettes. Besides Benny Spellman's "Fortune Teller" and maybe the Showmen's "Country Fool" (supposedly adapted by High Numbers, later to become the Who, for the B-side of their only single, although the similarity is casual), you'd be hard pressed to call much of this first-rate stuff. The selections by Ray Sharpe, Eugene Church, and a few others aren't bad, but it's more like a nearly random journey through generic early rock & roll than an exhumation of lost treasures.

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