Various Artists

Honey Doll

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Wow -- this reviewer was left out of breath, and wanting to start right over again with this CD, which might well be the best single title in the ubiquitous Buffalo Bop catalog. In addition to being exclusively female, the libidinal energy content of this CD is so astonishingly high, that it's a must-own item despite the fact that most of us have never heard of the vast majority of the artists here. Sheila Gernon's "Money Honey" is imbued with the spirit of Wanda Jackson and carries the raunch a step further, while Betty Joe's "You'll Need My Help" sounds like a distaff Jerry Lee Lewis and "If You Won't Love Me" by Margie Madden and "Love Me The Way That I Love You" by Ginger & the Snaps are both midway between Del Shannon and Jo Ann Campbell. Now Dot Anderson sounds like she's been invaded by the spirit of Moon Mullican, complete with a rolling, rippling piano sound and a compellingly raspy singing style that anticipates Janis Joplin by several decades on "Jealous Hearted Woman." And then there's Gale Davis (no relation to the Western TV actress Gail Davis, despite her recordings for Doc Holiday Records), who sings like a female equivalent to Gene Vincent, and Linda Burnette, whose "Rattle Bones Rock" sounds like a sex-changed clone of early Carl Perkins. Even the unlikely named Melody Maids, doing "Harry Will You Marry Me," ooze lust at a level that would have made most country audiences blush, and the guitar player seems to have been possessed by the spirit of Gene Vincent's guitaristPaul Peek. Becky Durning's "Jimmy Boone" sounds in spirit (if not necessarily style) like a white female equivalent to any number of early Chuck Berry numbers and Ardis Wells comes off like a girl Texas rocker analogous to the likes of Jimmy Bowen and Buddy Knox. Some of the sounds are slightly more sophisticated, "Dream Date" by Terry Corin coming off more like first-rate teen pop of the late '50s and early '60s, and the early Jackie DeShannon number "So Warm" being just about the best sung, written, and produced track here. There are no notes, as is par for the course with this label, and even fewer photos than usual (evidently a lot of early female rock & rollers didn't leave behind press pictures). That's a pity, as one really longs to know what happened to a lot of the better talents here, such as Diana Leigh, whose "Let Love Do the Talking" comes close to Del Shannon's level of sophistication and allure. More than anything else, however, one should just luxuriate in the extraordinary hard rocking (and occasionally bluesy, as in "When the Band Plays the Blues" by Pamela Law) sounds that pour off this disc.

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