Various Artists

Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 7

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Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 7 zig-zags inconsistently between classic oldies that are not hard to find on reissues (the Monotones' "Book of Love," the Miracles' "Shop Around," Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise"), mid-level hits (Lee Andrews' "Tear Drops," the Flares' "Foot Stomping," the Mystics' "Hushabye," Barrett Strong's "Money"), and forgotten singles that only struggled up to the middle of the Top 100. Still, like the rest of the series, it's a worthwhile compilation of the gamut of rock sounds from rock's first decade, with a number of rarities, or even fairly big hits that don't get anthologized too often, like Barry & the Tamerlanes' "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" and the Five Keys' 1954 doo wop lark "Ling, Ting, Tong," one of the first rock songs to crossover into the pop Top 30. The ace rarity is Bobby Parker's 1961 single "Watch Your Step," a must-hear for anyone interested in the birth of soul, with a brash guitar and exuberant vocal that pointed the way out of R&B and into a more assertive style, sounding two or three years ahead of its time. It was covered by the Spencer Davis Group during the British Invasion, and its dynamite riff was part of the inspiration for the guitar licks used by the Beatles in "I Feel Fine."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:21
2 2:19
3 2:29
4 2:26
5 2:03
6 2:35
7 2:09
8 2:46
9 2:32
10 2:19
11 2:28
12 2:30
13 2:02
14 2:59
15 2:35
16 2:46
17 2:25
18 1:55
19 2:18
20 2:37
21 2:24
22 2:14
23 2:33
24 1:53
25 2:34
26 2:03
27 2:34
28 2:51
29 2:10
30
2:27
blue highlight denotes track pick