General rock'n'roll compilations and collections are ten-a-penny, but this one's a bit special. Not only does it include tried and bona fide 50s classics such as Good Golly Miss Molly, Rockin' Robin, Long Tall Sally and Wake Up Little Susie, it also serves to introduce the newer fan, or perhaps the occasional buyer, to the delights of less well-known, but equally deserving belters like Hit Git And Split by Young Jessie, Dirty Robber from the Wailers, Have Mercy Miss Percy by Marvin & Johnny and Yama Yama Pretty Mama courtesy of Richard Berry (writer of the perennial Louie Louie.
Compiled from a host of independent rock'n'roll labels such as Specialty, Del-Fi, Cadence and Modern, this is the real deal. Gems like Jerry Byrne's frantic Lights Out, Big Al Downing's pounding Down On The Farm and Roy Montrell's magical (Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone have been big favourites on the European rock'n'roll scene for years. Now they're given even wider exposure via Baby, That Is Rock'n'Roll.
There's a fair smattering of stunning original versions too. The Swinging Blue Jeans pale in comparison to Chan Romero with his self-penned Hippy Hippy Shake-.-The Righteous Brothers were never as wild as Don & Dewey on Justine-.-Michael Jackson's attempt at Rockin' Robin was virtually a straight copy of Bobby Day's 1958 rendition (though nowhere near as good!)-.-and the Beatles were never able to fully capture the raw abandon of Larry Williams' Slow Down and Dizzy Miss Lizzy or Little Richard's Long Tall Sally.
Rock'n'roll is all about fun, freedom of expression and having a good time. That's exactly what you get with Baby, That Is Rock'n'Roll - a clinker-free collection of 18 vintage performances that sound as fresh today as they did the day they were recorded. Timeless bop.
Miss Molly sure loved to ball and who can blame her. Grab it and dance!
By Trevor Cajiao
(Editor of UK's #1 rock'n'roll fanzine, Now Dig This!)