Sequels to hit songs by the artists who made them famous.
Along with the answer disc, the sequel record played a small but entertaining role as teen-focused pop gained an ever-more assured foothold throughout the 1960s. No genre was immune to the lure of revisiting tried and tested territory, especially if that territory had previously yielded a hit, with labels and artists both major and minor seemingly prepared to give it a shot. Carefully mined from a wide cross section of US labels, this 24-track set serves up a second helping of songs by the artists who made them famous the first time around. To tempt even the most jaded of palates, “Second Helpings” includes many hard-to-find follow-ups, some making their first legitimate CD release.
This eclectic smorgasbord runs the gamut of pop, R&B and country and features a peppering of album tracks by story-song supremo Marty Robbins, rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson and country legend George Jones. Surf’s golden boys Jan & Dean and doo wop doyens Shep & the Limelites provide the seasoning, while chart-toppers the Angels, Booker T & the MGs and Jimmy Dean add some bite.
Recorded between 1958 and 1966, featured here are lesser-heard gems by Lenny Miles, Jennell Hawkins, Robin Ward, the Crests, Jay & the Americans and, by way of a bonus, a later waxing by the Safaris featuring Jimmy Stephens. While not all were granted a second bite of the chart cherry, hit-makers the Marvelettes, Tex-Mex turbanites Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs and the prolific Paul Anka certainly were.
But can you have too much of a good thing? Not if it’s a platter of tasty sequels cherry-picked from pop’s golden era. If many of these recordings sound familiar, maybe it’s because the originals which inspired them were massive hits: eight topped the US charts, a further eight made the Top 5, and six were Top 30 entries.
The sequel is a fascinating sub-genre to explore, often providing the back story to the original, updating the listener as to what has since befallen, or just retreading old ground for no other reason than because, to quote Amber Von Tussle in John Waters’ Hairspray, “it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it!”. We know you have room for more, and with two dozen tracks to choose from, the only question is – can you spot the original?