The third volume in Charly's Sun Rock 'n' Roll series unearths additional Sun and Phillips International rarities the compilers classify as rock rather than rockabilly. Only a few of the recordings were actually issued by Sun or Phillips International -- the rest are unreleased masters, unfinished underdubs, or demos, some of which have surfaced on earlier compilations. Despite the obscurity of most of the cuts, only three are previously unreleased. Collectors of Sun rockabilly will recognize many of the artists here, from semi-legendary Elvis Presley sound-alike Johnny Powers to Jerry Lee Lewis' cousin Carl McVoy, but others will be unknown even to those who make a point of accumulating Sun compilations. Sam Phillips originally chose not to release the majority of this material for reasons that are often readily apparent. For instance, Tony Austin's strange lounge version of "Blue Suede Shoes" is simply artistically unsuccessful, while other songs are roughly recorded and played. Anyone who routinely buys this sort of anthology knows what to expect, so the important thing is that there be a lot of tracks, detailed liner notes, and good sound quality. Sun Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 3 delivers on all three counts.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams