‘Great British Rock N Roll & Rockabilly Reunion’
When The Great British Rock n Roll and Rockabilly album was released in 1980 closely followed by Volume 2 they were a revelation to young kids just getting into the music. Matchbox had hit the charts with ‘Rockabilly Rebel’ at the end of 1979 introducing a whole new generation to the genre. These compilations featured them, and Shakin’ Stevens but in earlier incarnations, it also introduced them to the altogether more dangerous Crazy Cavan n The Rhythm Rockers. As it suggests, this album is a reunion featuring original artists, Cavan are still going strong, new talent like The Jive Aces and revisit some of the original tracks from the likes of Lord Sutch and the Deltas 20 tracks in all illustrating the longevity and depth of the UK rocking scene.
‘The Year 1957’
Eddie Cochran only released one album in his tragically short life, dead at the age of 21. That album was ‘Singing To My Baby’ and this compilation is based around it but with additional material, alternative cuts and interviews all recording in that year 1957. There are alternative takes of the classic tracks ‘Completely Sweet’ and ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, an undubbed version of ‘Ah, Pretty Girl’ and live cut of ‘Whole Lotta Of Shakin Goin’ On’, a track he never recorded in the studio. The interviews also make fascinating listening. As always with Bear Family the sound quality and packaging is superb available in two formats, either CD or 10” vinyl double album in gatefold sleeve, an amazing wealth of talent from a legend of the era when still only a teenager.
‘Psycho, Psycho, Sweet 16’
Belfast psychobilly outfit Madhouse have been quite prolific releasing a brace of albums and a mini-album, they also appear to have gone through some personnel changes in that time with three guitarists and two drummers credited, Billy Riot on vocals and Peter Lavery on bass the constants. 16 tracks that are spilt between self-penned and well-selected covers including possibly surprisingly Boomtown Rats ‘She’s So Modern’ given the psychobilly treatment which works well. This album is out and out psychobilly with a consistent double bass, the album is rough around the edges in places but that is part of its charm, there’s a real early 1980’s feel to it, with definite nods to the originators both lyrically and musically. If Madhouse have gone under your radar here’s a way to put that right.
Hailing from Italy The Ghiblis rose from the ashes of surf band Diabolico Coupe are a near perfect cocktail of Las Vegas Grind and 60’s Garage Surf all dressed up in tuxedos. They certainly have managed to capture a certain ambience all their own, something that is no mean feat for an extremely well-represented 50-year-old genre. Trying to pin down exactly what it is not so easy. All the essential ingredients are there, surf guitars (obviously), subtle sax and complimentary rhythm section. After several listens, it’s the crystal-clear sound even on a distorted track like ‘Novembre Mood’ but it’s on the title track, it really sounds like surfing a six foot and glassy turquoise wave under clear blue sky off a golden beach. Surely for any band of this genre that’s mission accomplished.