Various Artists

The Legendary Story of Sun Records [Metro]

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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
1 2:24
2 2:15
3 2:54
4 2:49
5 2:49
6 3:11
7 2:05
8 2:21
9 2:22
10 2:31
11 2:42
12 3:06
13
2:20
14 2:10
15 2:51
16 2:23
17 2:06
18 2:53
19 2:14
20 2:26
21
2:28
22
2:00
23 2:09
24
2:21
25 2:37
26 2:22
27 2:02
28 1:38
29 2:12
30 2:23

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:54
2 2:10
3 2:55
4 2:24
5 2:14
6 1:48
7 1:52
8 2:26
9 2:39
10
3:02
11 2:55
12 2:08
13 2:38
14 2:26
15 2:03
16 2:22
17 2:26
18 2:48
19 2:26
20 2:07
21 2:43
22 2:11
23 2:35
24 2:36
25 2:25
26 2:46
27 2:23
28 1:59
29 2:22
30 2:40
blue highlight denotes track pick