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 Stream
1 The Monotones 02:21 Amazon
2 Dale Hawkins 02:19 Amazon
3 Chuck Willis 02:29 Amazon
4 The Emotions 02:26 Amazon
5 Ritchie Valens 02:03 Amazon
6 Ernie K-Doe 02:35 Amazon
7 The Five Keys 02:09 Amazon
8 Frankie Ford 02:46 Amazon
9 Jimmy Clanton 02:32 Amazon
10 The Strangers 02:19 Amazon
11 The Pentagons 02:28 Amazon
12 The Addrisi Brothers 02:30 Amazon
13 Vito & the Salutations 02:02 Amazon
14 Eugene Church 02:59 Amazon
15 Sonny Knight 02:35 Amazon
16 Bobby Parker 02:46 Amazon
17 The Viscounts 02:25 Amazon
18 Chris Kenner 01:55 Amazon
19 The Flares 02:18 Amazon
20 Barrett Strong 02:37 Amazon
21 Lee Andrews & the Hearts 02:24 Amazon
22 The Bobbettes 02:14 Amazon
23 The Cascades 02:33 Amazon
24 Barry & the Tamerlanes 01:53 Amazon
25 The Mystics 02:34 Amazon
26 The Beau Marks 02:03 Amazon
27 Cleveland Crochet 02:34 Amazon
28 The Miracles 02:51 Amazon
29 The Blenders 02:10 Amazon
The Kendall Sisters 02:27 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick