Bill Haley

On Screen

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On Screen is a murky sounding collection of music from Bill Haley's 1950s film and television appearances. The 19 tracks include a number of duplicate songs: three versions of "Rock Around the Clock," and two versions each of "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy," "The Saints Rock and Roll," and "Rudy's Rock." The movie tracks are taken from the films Roundup of Rhythm, Rock Around the Clock, Don't Knock the Rock, and the German film Hier Bin Ich Hier Bleib Ich. The latter features Haley's duet with Caterina Valente on "Vive le Rock 'n' Roll," a rewrite of "Frére Jacques" with rock lyrics. A few of the television recordings are taken from rare German shows. The collection has its moments despite the muffled sound. For example, "Straight Jacket" (from Roundup of Rhythm) begins as a hillbilly boogie before exploding into a wild sax solo that blurs the line between rock and jazz. The fidelity isn't nearly as good as the commercial releases of the same songs, but the thick booklet and archival nature of the collection will hold some appeal for serious Haley buffs.

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