Various Artists

Teen Town

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    9
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The cover art says it all, a bunch of delinquents on an urban street, admiring a pair of girls walking past who return the favor, like some lost scene from City Across the River. Jimmy Lee Ballard ("Say You'll Be Mine"), Howard Perkins ("Lovin' Baby"), and Billy J. Killen represent some of the better rock & roll and rockabilly on this 30-song excursion into true obscuriana (Jules Blattner had a pretty cool sound, but did he really think he was going places with that name?). The stuff here tends to be a little -- just a little -- poppier than the raw rockabilly on Campus Cutie and some of the other volumes, but it still rocks, just with more ambitious arrangements and smoother, more sophisticated backing vocals. Some of these guys aren't quite as unknown as usual, either, in terms of their connections -- Joe Popiel had a hook-up with Norman Petty, to the point of sharing songwriting credit on "I'm Crying Again." That song and Wayne Cochran's "Cindy Mary" could place numbers two and one in the Buddy Holly-successor sweepstakes.

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