Thursday, March 31, 2011

Goodness Gracious!

Jerry Lee Lewis- 18 Original Sun Greatest Hits

Album Review:
"This 18-song CD contains Jerry Lee Lewis' best rock & roll sides from the 240 or so tracks that he recorded for Sun Records. If that sounds like the very tiny tip of a very large iceberg -- it is. But this 1984 compilation remains 40 of rock & roll's hottest minutes, revealing as much about Jerry Lee Lewis as it's possible to learn from watching the movie Great Balls of Fire! The hit singles and best B-sides are assembled around the core of his 1957 Sun album -- a great, and instructive, musical decision. Lewis' rocking version of "Jambalaya" and his ivory-based rendition of "Matchbox," "Big Blon' Baby," "Big Legged Woman," and "It'll Be Me," are all prime examples of his fiercely sexual personality, pounding away on those keys and whooping and hollering like a white version of Piano Red. Equally important, "Crazy Arms" held what would prove to be the key to his professional salvation: a distinct way with a country song that didn't blow the song right apart and also didn't lose the rock 'n roll audience. A big hunk of this stuff is available on the Sun debut album, which should be heard at least once (assuming one can't afford the Bear Family label's Classic box with his whole Sun output), but this is the place to start. The mid-'80s digital transfer still sounds good; its quality proves that Rhino always gave good value to its customers. The guitars on "Put Me Down" and "Wild One" -- yes, there is guitar on a lot of these sides -- are nice and crunchy, even though they're buried under the piano. If there's a flaw here, it's the absence of any liner notes (not that much needs to be said about music like this)."

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1 comment:

DJNYC said...

definitely solid from end to end, Jerry Lee reminds us of the days when rock n roll and original songwriting went hand in hand. Thank you for sharing.
dj ny