Big Joe Turner

Rocks

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AllMusic Review by

There is no question that Big Joe Turner rocked. He rocked harder than any jump blues bandleader, his band hitting the downbeat with a vengeance matched only by Turner’s full-throated roar. This was big-band blues in sound but not in style; it was rock & roll before there was a name for it. Bear Family’s 2011 set Rocks concentrates on his hardest-swinging R&B, leaning hard on Turner’s classic sides for Atlantic: “Roll 'Em Pete”; “Honey Hush”; “Flip, Flop and Fly”; and “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” which Bill Haley sweetened up for the first crossover rock & roll single. There’s no saccharine sweetness here, just thundering R&B, with the tracks dipping into his latter career just enough to prove that Turner was no few-years dynamo -- he was a force of nature who could still deliver after his time passed. There are other collections that perhaps serve up the expected hits in a cleaner fashion, but this has the big, bold infectious swing of the man at his best.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:08
2 2:29
3 2:47
4 1:55
5 2:39
6 1:59
7 2:27
8 2:49
9 2:42
10 2:48
11 3:13
12 2:14
13 2:23
14 3:00
15 2:40
16 2:26
17 2:54
18 2:30
19 2:23
20 2:36
21 2:41
22 2:03
23 2:46
24 2:38
25 2:50
26 2:46
27 1:51
28 1:43
blue highlight denotes track pick