Tommy Bruce / Tommy Bruce & the Bruisers

That's Rock 'N' Roll

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A couple of dozen tracks from Bruce's 1960-1968 singles are on this anthology, along with his cover of "Shakin' All Over," which only came out on a 1961 EP. It has its place as a historical curiosity from (for the most part) the dark ages of pre-Beatles British rock & roll, but really this material isn't that strong, even if Bruce's deep-jiving voice bears some striking similarities to surface aspects of Howlin' Wolf's and Dr. John's. The pre-1964 singles -- which comprise the majority of the disc -- are kind of hokey and uneven collisions of holdover pre-rock British pop and the odd American standard with light trappings of rock & roll, often with novelty-oriented material (and some Big Bopper-like phrasing on the earliest sides). Things picked up for Bruce on his 1964-1965 singles, with the near-Merseybeat of "Let It Be Me," the respectable bulldozing pop/rock of "Over Suzanne" (penned by Pete Dello), and covers of "Boom Boom" and "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog" that aren't too far from the likes of Chris Farlowe in production. Still, Bruce's voice just had too much old-school theatrics to slot in comfortably in the new era, which ended for him with the 1966 horror novelty single "Monster Gonzales" and the 1968 bossa nova-like orchestrated pop of "Where the Colour of the Soil Is Different." As is customary for RPM, lengthy and informed liner notes fill in the details on Bruce's career, which will be obscure to American listeners in particular.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:09
2
02:37
3 02:05
4
02:07
5
02:57
6 01:53
7 02:18
8
01:52
9 01:59
10
02:06
11
02:16
12
02:15
13
feat: Bob Brozman
02:34
14
feat: Bob Brozman
02:17
15 02:18
16
02:14
17 02:12
18 02:18
19
02:06
20 01:51
21 02:13
22 02:43
23 02:21
24
02:55
25
02:29
blue highlight denotes track pick