The Legendary Story of Sun Records [Metro]

Various Artists

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The Legendary Story of Sun Records [Metro] Review

by Heather Phares

Metro's double-disc The Legendary Story of Sun Records is a decent general retrospective of the seminal label's output, offering a good sampling of its blues, country, and rockabilly material. Little Junior's Blue Flames' "Mystery Train," Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," and Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" provide definitive examples of all of these styles, and while it's true that this collection reprises many of the highlights found frequently on other Sun compilations -- particularly Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby," Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire," and Bill Justis' "Raunchy" -- it does dig a little deeper into the label's catalog. The Million Dollar Quartet's "Peace in the Valley" and "Down by the Riverside" aren't frequently heard on this kind of collection, so they make a nice counterpart to the better-known "Paralyzed." Likewise, Barbara Pittman's "I Need a Man," the Prisonaires' "Just Walking in the Rain," Howlin' Wolf's "Color and Kind (Look-A Here Baby)," and Malcolm Yelvington's "It's Me Baby" give the collection a little more depth than might be anticipated. Tracks by Carl Mann, Rosco Gordon, Sonny Burgess, and Little Milton round out this compilation, which may not be definitive but does manage to be better than average in terms of quantity and quality.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Little Junior's Blue Flames 02:24 Amazon
2 Carl Perkins 02:15 Amazon
3 Jerry Lee Lewis 02:54 Amazon
4 Rufus Thomas 02:49 Amazon
5 Johnny Cash / Tennessee Riders 02:49 Amazon
6 Howlin' Wolf 03:11 Amazon
7 Billy Lee Riley 02:05 Amazon
8 The Miller Sisters 02:21 Amazon
9 Roy Orbison 02:22 Amazon
10 Cliff Gleaves 02:31 Amazon
11 The Prisonaires 02:42 Amazon
12 Earl Hooker 03:06 Amazon
13
Frank Ballard 02:20 Amazon
14 Ray Smith 02:10 Amazon
15 Warren Smith 02:51 Amazon
16 Carl McVoy 02:23 Amazon
17 Charlie Rich 02:06 Amazon
18 Barbara Pittman 02:53 Amazon
19 Carl Mann 02:14 Amazon
20 Sonny Burgess 02:26 Amazon
21
Wade Cagle 02:28 Amazon
22
Ken Cook 02:00 Amazon
23 Roy Orbison 02:09 Amazon
24
Kirby Sisters 02:21 Amazon
25 D.A. Hunt 02:37 Amazon
26 Charlie Feathers 02:22 Amazon
27 Jerry Lee Lewis 02:02 Amazon
28 The Million Dollar Quartet 01:38 Amazon
29 The Million Dollar Quartet 02:12 Amazon
30 Charlie Rich 02:23 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Jerry Lee Lewis 01:54 Amazon
2 Carl Perkins 02:10 Amazon
3 Little Junior's Blue Flames 02:55 Amazon
4 Carl Mann 02:24 Amazon
5 Roy Orbison 02:14 Amazon
6 Johnny Cash / Tennessee Riders 01:48 Amazon
7 Narvel Felts 01:52 Amazon
8 Malcolm Yelvington 02:26 Amazon
9 The Million Dollar Quartet 02:39 Amazon
10
Anita Wood 03:02 Amazon
11 Little Milton 02:55 Amazon
12 Ray Smith 02:08 Amazon
13 Billy Lee Riley 02:38 Amazon
14 Billy "The Kid" Emerson 02:26 Amazon
15 Warren Smith 02:03 Amazon
16 Bill Justis 02:22 Amazon
17 The Miller Sisters 02:26 Amazon
18 Harold Jenkins / Conway Twitty 02:48 Amazon
19 Carl Mann 02:26 Amazon
20 Sonny Burgess 02:07 Amazon
21 Rosco Gordon 02:43 Amazon
22 Warren Smith 02:11 Amazon
23 Ernie Chaffin 02:35 Amazon
24 Charlie Rich 02:36 Amazon
25 Barbara Pittman 02:25 Amazon
26 Maggie Sue Wimberly 02:46 Amazon
27 Mack Self 02:23 Amazon
28 Eddie Bond 01:59 Amazon
29 Brad Suggs 02:22 Amazon
30 Johnny Cash 02:40 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick