Various Artists

Rock & Roll Memories

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If you are a fan of the music of the '50s and '60s, your first impression of Rock & Roll Memories track list may be "hey, that's a lot of good oldies!." In fact there are loads of great artists and great songs on offer here, everything from Johnny & the Hurricanes' "Red River Rock," Jimmy Gilmer's "Sugar Shack" and the Marcels' "Blue Moon to Lou Christie's "Lightning Strikes," Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up" and the Buckinghams' "Kind of a Drag." Unfortunately the set lives up to the titles of the Buckinghams' song since it substitutes re-recorded versions of the original song in too many cases here. Especially annoying are the Peter Noone-less Herman's Hermits ("Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter") and the tremendously awful hack job Bobby Pickett does on "Monster Mash." You have to be careful when buying bargain collections of oldies, especially when Direct Source is the label. It helps to think of them as a kind of Good Housekeeping seal of approval in reverse.