Various Artists

Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 8

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This is a decent if inconsistent blend of rock & roll oldies from the 1950s and early 1960s. There are a lot of big hits on the 30-song disc, many of them best heard in the context of a compilation, since they're by artists that didn't have much else in the way of classics: the Fiestas' "So Fine," the Impalas' "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)," Ernie Maresca's wildly energetic pour-on-the-cliches "Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)," the Cadillacs' "Speedoo," the Dell-Vikings' "Whispering Bells," the Heartbeats' "A Thousand Miles Away," the Crows' "Gee," and Thomas Wayne's "Tragedy." There are also a bunch of mid-to-low-charting rarities that are so much less impressive and memorable (though sometimes zestily delivered) than the big hits that one wonders if payola was involved in getting them to the lowly rankings they attained. A few worthwhile obscurities do sneak through, like R&B star Nappy Brown's surprise 1955 pop hit "Don't Be Angry," with its stuttering vocal hook; Larry Bright's hard rocking adaptation of "I Got My Mojo Workin'" into "Mojo Workout"; the Furys' infectious cover of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart"; Johnny Bond's country-rockabilly hit "Hot Rod Lincoln"; and Jimmy Norman's hard rockin' New Orleans-styled "I Don't Love You No More (I Don't Care About You)," an answer record to Barbara George's "I Know" that never quite sustains the momentum of its opening spoken phone call.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:11
2 2:28
3 2:48
4
2:40
5 2:34
6 2:21
7 2:17
8 2:52
9 2:10
10 2:24
11
2:13
12 2:24
13 2:14
14 2:12
15 2:42
16
2:04
17 2:17
18 2:06
19
2:20
20 2:54
21 2:46
22 2:20
23
2:34
24 2:38
25 2:15
26 2:27
27 2:45
28 2:42
29 2:31
30 2:45
blue highlight denotes track pick