Carl Perkins

Turn Around

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The 16 songs here consist of demos that Carl Perkins recorded during early 1964, just before he went on tour in England with Chuck Berry, the Animals, and the Nashville Teens, augmented with some slightly later tracks from the following year. In any case, they show Perkins more animated and spirited than he'd been in several years on record, and a number of these songs, including "Help Me Find My Baby," later found their way to the public in finished versions as part of his brief stay with Decca and Brunswick Records. "Big Taxes" has an edgy sound that mixes rockabilly with a guitar style that's definitely early-'60s Brit-beat in nature, while "A Man Without a Home" has a more traditional country sound in just about every nuance, and "Big Bad Blues" has Perkins trying for a sound not too far removed from Chess Records' output of the period -- the latter song ought to be dragged down by the female chorus backing him, but his vocal performance and the punky playing just can't be derailed, and the girls add an element of camp that works. And somewhere in the midst of this, a live cut ("Turn Around") has found its way onto this CD. The sound on some of the songs is a bit uneven, as several appear to have come from something other than original master tapes, but it's generally decent, if a bit bass-heavy and slightly ragged.

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