Big Joe Turner

Rocks

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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 Stream
1 Big Joe Turner feat: Howard Biggs Orchestra 02:08 Amazon
2 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:29 Amazon
3 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:47 Amazon
4 Big Joe Turner feat: Choker Campbell's Orchestra 01:55 Amazon
5 Big Joe Turner feat: Pluma Davis Orchestra 02:39 Amazon
6 Big Joe Turner feat: Choker Campbell's Orchestra 01:59 Amazon
7 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His All-Stars 02:27 Amazon
8 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:49 Amazon
9 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:42 Amazon
10 Big Joe Turner 02:48 Amazon
11 Big Joe Turner feat: Bill Moore Lucky Seven Band 03:13 Amazon
12 Big Joe Turner 02:14 Amazon
13 Big Joe Turner feat: Dave Bartholomew & His Orchestra 02:23 Amazon
14 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 03:00 Amazon
15 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings / Van "Piano Man" Walls and His Orchestra 02:40 Amazon
16 Big Joe Turner feat: Jesse Stone Orchestra 02:26 Amazon
17 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His All-Stars 02:54 Amazon
18 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:30 Amazon
19 Big Joe Turner feat: Van "Piano Man" Walls and His Orchestra 02:23 Amazon
20 Big Joe Turner feat: Pluma Davis Orchestra 02:36 Amazon
21 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:41 Amazon
22 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His All-Stars 02:03 Amazon
23 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings 02:46 Amazon
24 Big Joe Turner feat: Joe Turner & His Blues Kings / Van "Piano Man" Walls and His Orchestra 02:38 Amazon
25 Big Joe Turner 02:50 Amazon
26 Big Joe Turner feat: Pete Johnson Trio 02:46 Amazon
27 Big Joe Turner 01:51 Amazon
28 Big Joe Turner 01:43 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick