Various Artists

Let the Boogie Woogie Rock'n Roll

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AllMusic Review by

Atlantic was one of the most important labels in the slide from R&B to rock & roll, and this anthology presents 25 tracks, most of them rare and little-known, illustrating the process. A few cuts here and there will be well known to '50s rock fans, like Ray Charles' "Mess Around," the Clovers' "Your Cash Ain't Nothin' but Trash," and Clyde McPhatter's "Let the Boogie Woogie Roll." For the most part, however, even those with a bunch of Atlantic single-artist and multi-artist collections will be missing a bunch of these sides. Atlantic paid more attention to tight arrangements and song quality than even its bigger indie label competitors, insuring that rarity comps such as this sound better than ones documenting '50s R&B from other companies. Still, some hunger for variety will be aroused after getting through all of this in one sitting, with a certain predictability to the boogie-fat-backbeat base of the arrangements. There's considerable wit and swing to tracks like Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson & the 4 Gators' "Wine-o-Wine" and Odelle Turner's "Alarm Clock Boogie," though. Tommy Ridgley departs from the formula on "I'm Gonna Cross That River," a 1953 side that recalls early Fats Domino, and the late-'40s tracks by Joe Morris and Frank Culley reflect the jazzier roots of R&B. You also get to hear some little-peeked-into corners of some famous figures' work. LaVern Baker's "Hey Memphis" was an answer record to Elvis Presley's "Little Sister"; Pretty Boy's Little Richard-like "Bip Bop Bip" was actually a young Don Covay under a pseudonym; Young Jessie's "Shuffle in the Gravel" is an obscure Leiber & Stoller production; and "Shooty Booty" is one of Ivory Joe Hunter's shots at the teen rock & roll market. [This U.K. import is not available for sale in North America.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:42
2 2:46
3 2:34
4 2:45
5 2:58
6 2:41
7 2:40
8 2:31
9
2:55
10 2:39
11 2:23
12 2:51
13
3:04
14 3:18
15 2:45
16
2:56
17 2:34
18 2:17
19 2:17
20 2:42
21 2:31
22 2:29
23 2:03
24 1:56
25 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick