Jerry Lee Lewis

The Complete Palomino Club Recordings

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In the late '80s, Tomato released several CDs focusing on Jerry Lee Lewis' performances at the Palomino in L.A.'s suburban San Fernando Valley. First, Tomato released Rockin' My Life Away, Rocket 88, and the country-oriented Heartbreak. Then, in 1989, Tomato combined the contents of those three CDs on the double-CD The Complete Palomino Club Recordings and added ten bonus tracks. Though Live at the Star Club remains the Killer's most essential live album, the performances on this collection (which spans 1979-1985) find him in generally excellent form as both a honky tonker and a rock & roller. If one were asked whether Lewis was more convincing as a country singer or a rocker, it would be an impossible choice to make because the fact is that he's equally convincing in both areas. Rockabilly fans will savor his performances of hits like "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," but he's no less captivating when he turns his attention to several Hank Williams gems (including "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Cold Cold Heart," "Hey Good Lookin'," and "You Win Again") as well as Dottie West's "Careless Hands," Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You," and his own country smash "What Made Milwaukee Famous." The ten bonus tracks, meanwhile, range from "You Are My Sunshine" and "High School Confidential" to the country gospel favorite "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," which is an interesting choice for the Killer given his reputation for decadence. Boasting a total of 42 selections, this is a collection that Lewis' devotees will find to be a musical feast.

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