This 22-track CD doesn't have all of Rosco Gordon's Sun recordings, or, as should be more properly stated, all of the recordings he did under the auspices of Sun Records chief Sam Phillips. The 1958 B-side "Torro," for some reason, doesn't appear, and nor do some sides he cut with Phillips in the early '50s that were leased to RPM and Chess. Still, this does have seven of the eight songs that showed up on Gordon's four Sun singles, as well as no less than 15 tracks spanning 1951-1957 that lay unreleased at the time. As such, it's a bountiful survey of his Sun (or Sam Phillips-allied) output, establishing him as a second-tier but admirable talent combining blues, boogie, R&B, and a little bit of rock & roll and rockabilly. Gordon had an above-average sense of fun and humor for such a performer, qualities that help him make the somewhat average R&B material better than it would have been with many other performers, almost comically so on "Weeping Blues," with some of the most over the top bawling to be heard on any popular music recording. When he let a little rockabilly into the mix, as on "Love for You Baby," "I'm Gonna Shake It," and particularly his final Sun single, "Sally Jo," the results were most interesting, distinguishing it from much of the other R&B-blues that bled into early rock & roll during the period. It's a good anthology, but note that it's not synonymous with a Rosco Gordon best-of, not representing the numerous sides he cut for other labels, and missing his biggest hit, the 1960 number two R&B smash "Just a Little Bit."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger