Brenda Lee

Rock the Bop

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A 30-track CD of mysterious origin. The name of the label (Radio Archives) implies that these might be illicitly issued radio broadcasts, but in fact these are all legitimate early Decca recordings, presented in fine fidelity. For the most part, this is Lee at her most rockabilly influenced, spanning 1956 to 1960. There are a few early hits ("Sweet Nothin's," "Emotions," "I Want to Be Wanted"), but most of these cuts, which include supremely tough rockabilly like "Bigelow 6-2000" and "Little Jonah," didn't get much national exposure. It's a good survey of her earliest work, but not the most sensible option for the serious Lee fan, given its hefty price and the fact that the material is available on the far more thorough Bear Family box set.