It was always going to be a hard act to follow. The first volume of ROCKIN' FROM COAST TO COAST received some of the highest accolades bestowed upon a 50s rock compilation. Trevor Cajiao, Editor of Now Dig This magazine, called it "possibly the best ever rock'n'roll CD", while Mark Lamarr described it in similar terms in Mojo magazine.
When Elvis and the new gospel of rock'n'roll transformed the landscape of popular music in the mid-50s, new recording centres began sprouting up in the unlikeliest of places as record producers like Sam Phillips in Memphis, Norman Petty in Clovis and Lee Hazlewood in Phoenix began challenging Tin Pan Alley's domination of the pop market. A hit record was just as likely to emerge from a converted garage in a suburb of Milwaukee or a late-hours session in some rural radio station, as from a state-of-the-art recording studio in Manhattan.
With ROCKIN' FROM COAST TO COAST, we set out to capture this mood of upheaval as the record business turned into a playground for would-be Elvises, Little Richards and Jerry Lee Lewises all determinedly making their bids for rock'n'roll glory. Volume Two adheres to the same formula and we believe it's even better than its predecessor.
It's not for the faint-hearted. Don't expect any ballads or cabaret turns. Or any hits-.-there is only one - Let's Have A Party by Wanda Jackson. This is rock'n'roll from the wild side of life, a nether world of excitable drummers, crazed pianists, maniacal guitarists and delirious vocalists.
There are 12 titles never before released on CD and a booklet extravagantly filled with ephemera and the stories behind the sounds in this second breathtaking roller-coaster ride across the musical landscape of 50s America.
By Rob Finnis