Jerry Lee Lewis

Rockin' the Blues: 25 Great Sun Recordings

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These 25 tracks focus on the blues-slanted side of Jerry Lee Lewis' large Sun discography, running from 1957 to 1963. Certainly it's not a recommended first or second choice for people looking for the best of Lewis' Sun output, and Jerry Lee fanatics might well already have all of these on box set reissues of Lewis on Sun. Actually, though, it's not a bad buy for those who want to hear more of Jerry Lee than a greatest-hits set, but whose budget, time, and interest prohibit investment in Bear Family's Classic box set. There aren't any really well-known Lewis hits here, though "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" is represented by an alternate take, and his cover of "What'd I Say" by a 1960 recording that precedes the one used on the 1961 hit version. There are few Lewis originals on a disc that testifies to his broad repertoire of blues and R&B covers, including such standards as "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," "Matchbox," "Hound Dog," "Mean Woman Blues," "C.C. Rider," "Good Rockin' Tonight," and "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (though some would quibble whether that Gene Vincent hit is "blues"). A dozen of these were never issued on Sun (indeed, eight of them make their first U.S. appearance here), and many of the others didn't first surface until the late '50s and early '60s, so there's little danger of coming across overexposed material. And while it's not the first Jerry Lee Lewis you'll slap in the spinner, it's pretty consistently good stuff, containing some of the more overlooked highlights of his early work. There's the percolating "Mean Woman Blues," for example, and the obscure 1963 single "Teenage Letter," which adds some uncharacteristic elements to the arrangement (an organ and a yakety sax) without diminishing the quality of the result.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:36
2 2:28
3 2:46
4 1:50
5 2:07
6 2:57
7 2:05
8 1:44
9 2:44
10 1:59
11 2:26
12 1:27
13 2:33
14 3:25
15 2:15
16 2:46
17 2:18
18 3:23
19 2:53
20 3:16
21 1:47
22 2:21
23 2:44
24 2:27
25 2:20
blue highlight denotes track pick