Eddie Bo

I Love to Rock 'N' Roll

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There is no sessionography, no discography, no indication of when the 29 tracks on Famous Groove's Eddie Bo compilation I Love to Rock 'N' Roll were recorded, but it's clear that these are all from the early and mid-'50s, prior to his stint at RIC in 1959. Most of them come from his time with Apollo, along with singles earlier and later. It would have been nice to have more detail in the notes, but this provides a thorough overview of his pre-hit years, while serving up some raw, stinging R&B and blues, as well as some sweet ballads. Though there are a couple of cuts that fall flat over the course of the collection, much of this is top-drawer New Orleans R&B, whether it's rocking or swinging (witness "I'm Wise," an easy swinger that Little Richard turned into the hard-charging "Slippin' and Slidin'"). There's a heavier blues element here than a lot of New Orleans R&B, which helps give it some depth, and the surprising variety in the material -- ballads, mambos, rockers, swing, and shuffles -- will make up for the low fidelity and slightly uneven material. All of this makes I Love to Rock 'N' Roll a good choice for those serious about their New Orleans R&B, even if it doesn't have the hits of "Check Mr. Popeye" or 1969's "Hook and Sling."

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