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Monday, January 14, 2013

ROCK 'N' ROLL MUSIC - sides one and two

Many fans are dismissive of the compilations from the late 70's, but I must admit that I really enjoy some of them, including this collection.  I challenge anyone to listen to side one (program it on your CD player, iPod, iTunes or whatever format you have) and tell me you weren't blissfully carried away to rock and roll Nirvana.

EMI released this two-record set on the 10th of June, 1976.  As the name implies, it highlights many of the group's straight-ahead rock and roll tracks not included on the Red and Blue albums, and while some of them are well-known, quite a few are hidden gems, outside the knowledge of the casual fan.  The compilation tends to dwell on the early years (everything except Bad Boy on sides one and two was recorded in 1963 and '64), with a good deal of material from their pre-fame stage act. 


Twist and Shout - The roof-raising finale from the album Please Please Me is the perfect way to kick off the proceedings.

I Saw Her Standing There - The song that opened that first album is also the group's first great rock and roll original.

You Can't Do That - This searing rocker was written for, but cut from, A Hard Day's Night.  It did wind up on the album, as well as serving as the B-side to Can't Buy Me Love.

I Wanna Be Your Man - This song was given to both the Rolling Stones for a single and to Ringo for his vocal outing on With the Beatles.

I Call Your Name - John wrote this song for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas as a B-side, but decided to record it with the Beatles almost a year later for the EP Long Tall Sally.

Boys - Ringo covers this Shirelles number on the album Please Please Me.

Long Tall Sally - The classic Little Richard screamer closes out the explosive side one.


Rock and Roll Music - The title song of this collection is the Chuck Berry classic, recorded by the Beatles for their fourth album, Beatles For Sale.

Slow Down - This screaming rocker from Larry Williams appeared on the EP Long Tall Sally.

Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey - This arrangement by Little Richard, combining a Lieber and Stoller number with a piece of his own into a medley, was recorded by the Fab Four for Beatles For Sale.

Money (That's What I Want) - One of the grittiest recordings the group ever made closed out the album With the Beatles.

Bad Boy - Another Larry Williams number, recorded specifically for the American album Beatles VI in May of 1965.  It did not appear in the UK until A Collection of Beatles Oldies in late 1966.

Matchbox - The fourth and final selection from the Long Tall Sally EP was Ringo's treatment of this Carl Perkins rockabilly number.

Roll Over Beethoven - George's first lead vocal on this collection is this Chuck Berry classic recorded for With the Beatles.

Note that every song on side two is a cover version, displaying the group's vast knowledge and love of the rock and roll pioneers they grew up listening to and emulating.

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