Various Artists

Rock Instrumental Classics, Vol. 1: The Fifties

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Rhino begins yet another concept line with 18 tasty instrumentals from the rock era. It's the first of a five-volume set devoted to this genre, and they certainly picked the right era to launch it. From Duane Eddy's shuddering guitar riffs and Link Wray's rumbling licks to Lee Allen's honking sax lines and bleating phrases, Dave "Baby" Cortez's distorted organ, and Ernie Fields' swing/boogie, this anthology shows how early rock & roll emerged through the union of seemingly disparate musical elements. Besides big-band jazz and shouting blues, there were also bits of rockabilly, pop, novelty tunes, and country, reworked and presented in short, captivating ditties.

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