It's not so easy to tell from the cover, but most of the tracks on this 30-song compilation were recorded for the small Crest label between the mid-'50s and early '60s. Like many anthologies that assemble a wealth of material from a small indie label, it's a collection of highly variable stabs at success in a number of subgenres that enjoyed popularity during the era. There's one big name in Eddie Cochran (albeit represented by tracks on which he plays guitar or is half of a duo), and Glen Campbell is the guy behind the Cee Gees' instrumental "Buzz Saw," but otherwise it's filled with fellows you're very unlikely to have heard of. And like most such things, it's on the generic side, but reasonably, enjoyably so, even if it's not the kind of thing you're likely to pull out often even if you're an early rock & roll hound. Early reasonable-quality rockabilly is represented more than any other style, but there's also R&B/jive by Boogaloo-Gallant Crew; decent early instrumental rock (including the aforementioned "Buzz Saw," which has some snappy guitar string-bending from Glen Campbell); rock & roll-influenced western swing (Tom Wilson's "Can You Bop?"); and the obligatory Elvis Presley imitation (Eddie Daniels' "I Wanna Know"). For no apparent reason, the final ten tracks are live recordings from a 1957 Australian tour by Jerry Mercer, Narvel Felts, Freddie Bell, and, more notably, Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, the Platters, and Bill Haley. Though their presence here isn't entirely logical, it's welcome, as actually they're of surprisingly high fidelity for the era. Mercer and Felts play decent rockabilly, but the main attractions are Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," Gene Vincent's "Lotta Lovin'," and Haley's "Rock Around the Clock," all of which find those early pioneers in fine form.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger