Rama Lama Plus 4 Bonus Tracks Rocky Sharpe

£7.43

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Doo Wop
Label:
Chiswick
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDWIKM 240

This product is also available in these versions:
Rama Lama Plus 4 Bonus Tracks (MP3), MP3 (£7.99)

The first Rocky Sharpe LP which featured their hits Rama Lama Ding Dong, Imagination and Love Will Make You Fail In School plus B-sides that have never been released on CD before and one previously unissued title.

by JAN PODSIADLY

It's 25 years since Rama Lama Ding Dong hit the UK charts and launched the recording career of Rocky Sharpe and the Replays. While drawing on a wide catalogue of doo wop and rock'n'roll Rocky, Johnny, Helen and Eric found a sound that was modern and individual enough to gain chart success yet authentic enough to share an 80s billing with Del Shannon, Jess Conrad, Karl Denver and Screamin' Lord Sutch and not seem out of place. With covers of the Earls, the Moonglows, the Skyliners, the Velvets, the Stereos, the Orlons and more it seems hardly surprising.

Rama Lama Ding Dong was the song that underpinned the commercial success that allowed the Replays to revive some of the classiest 50s/60s doo wop that lay buried in record company and collectors' vaults. It sold more than a quarter of a million records and, although a modest #17 in the tough and competitive UK chart, was Top 5 in Spain and a highly respectable #1 in Bavaria, Catalunia and the Canary Islands, ensuring frequent visits by the band to Madrid, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin for TV appearances.

Rocky and the Replays found fun in the music. Who could name their girlfriend Rama Lama Ding Dong? Who could put shoes on their hands to record stamping? Who could fill their album sleeve with backing lyrics? But joining in the fun was a register of class musicians spearheaded by the irrepressible Pete Wingfield and defined by the searing saxophone of Steve Gregory. Turn the volume up loud and pick out some virtuoso performances captured forever in the backing to some timeless classics alongside some unique, less accessible, tracks.

Although the emphasis was on doo wop covers there are a large number of self-penned tracks from the Replays, primarily B-sides and an occasional album track. The Dance Craze Ooop Doop Doop (Pts 1&2) is great example, where the Replays sing a verse each. This track enjoyed considerable radio play in Austria where everyone Oop Dooped Dooped. Three early B-sides are included on this CD with the first, When The Chips Are Down, an offering from Pete Wingfield and Mike Vernon that partnered Rama Lama Ding Dong.

It's worth pointing out here that producer Mike Vernon also doubled as bass vocalist Eric Rondo. Mike's musical pedigree, with deep affection for the blues and R&B witnessed through his Blue Horizon record label and his success with Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack, found great resonance with the Replays doo wop selection.

Rocky's voice and performance were made for doo wop. His tonsils walk a high wire, soaring into falsetto without the aid of a safety net. Listen to Rocky sing Never. It has a harder edge than the Earls' smooth original yet bounces as high if not higher. Check out the final night" in Tonight (Could Be The Night) where the sky is the only place to go and Rocky goes interstellar.

Accolades also go to Olympic Runner De Lisle Harper, who not only played bass on Rama Lama Ding Dong but arranged and directed all the orchestral parts on the album-.-and darlin' parts they are too.

Helen Highwater [Blizard] features in the duets Devil Or Angel and I Knew From The Start as well as lead on Don't Hang Up and Love Will Make You Fail In School. The latter enjoys a listing in the Guinness Book of Hit Singles but clearly did not prevent Helen succeeding out of school as you'll see if you scrutinise the scriptwriting credits at the end of EastEnders-.-she often appears there now.

And me, Johnny Stud? Master of gibberish backing lyrics, Buzzcocks' mystery guest and reviewer of forthcoming Replays' CD. Well, I was there when it all happened. All I can say is play the CD loud and sing along. There's a part in it for you.

The Replays split at the end of 1984 but not before producing three albums of doo wop par excellence on the Chiswick label. (A fourth album exists on Polydor but is not part of this series.) The other two LPs "Rock It To Mars" and "Let's Go" (retitled "Shout Shout") will be released later this year, also featuring bonus tracks."

Track listing

Side 1

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012