Audio Remasterer: Bob Fisher .
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Recording information: 02/1956-09/1965.
The aptly titled Rock, Rhythm and Doo Wop, Vol. 2: More of the
Great Songs From Early Rock 'n' Roll is a limited-edition
three-disc box set initially offered as a premium during the
Festival 2001/2002 pledge drive for the Public Broadcasting Service
(PBS). As with volume one, this collection offers a well-informed
primer in the seminal sounds of the burgeoning rock & roll
genre. There are notable distinctions between the two collections,
however. This set delves deeper into and at times beyond the
standard Top 40 hits, revealing some truly long-lost favorites.
While there is no stated continuity to the selections on this
compilation, one interesting motif running throughout includes a
batch of classic tracks subsequently and notably covered by other
artists. Always acknowledged as an early rock & roll nugget,
the party anthem "Shout, Part 1" perhaps gained its largest
audience nearly two decades after the Isley Brothers' original hit
the charts. The call-and-response interaction became the perfect
vehicle for Otis Day & the Knights in the film Animal House.
The version heard here, however, was a Top Ten hit for Joey Dee
& the Starliters in March of 1962. This original reading of
"Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes" was Bobby Freeman's follow-up
to the smash "Do You Wanna Dance." It was covered to great effect
in 1983 by none other than Neil Young backed by the Shocking Pinks.
While stylistically somewhat left-of-field for Young, the album
Everybody's Rockin' is regarded as his peon to the halcyon days of
rock & roll. Others include "Iko Iko," which has been sonically
sculpted to fit everyone from Dr. John to the Grateful Dead, whose
regular performance repertoire featured lengthy and jammed-out
versions lasting upwards of ten minutes. "Sally Go 'Round the
Roses" was likewise covered as a psychedelic raga by Grace Slick's
merry band of pranksters, the Great Society, prior to her
indoctrination into Jefferson Airplane. The three discs in Rock,
Rhythm and Doo Wop, Vol. 2: More of the Great Songs From Early Rock
'n' Roll are individually housed in separate jewel boxes and
accompanied by a 48-page liner note booklet crammed with vintage
photos as well as an informative essay from musicologist Bill Dahl.
This collection is limited to an edition of 3,000 and is available
exclusively via the Rhino HandMade online music salon. Further
information can be located at http://www.rhinohandmade.com/RHIP/7805/index.html
~ Lindsay Planer