Our London American series continues to win praise from all corners, particularly from UK residents whose record collecting habits sprang from the purchase of one or more of the London label’s many fantastic 78s or tri-centre 45s.
We’ve reached 1957 later than planned due to having to replace a track at the very last minute, but we expect to deliver three volumes in 2012 – those who are collecting the series will be glad to know that 1956 and 1964 are well under way.
1957 was a truly vintage year for youth-aimed American music, and its best overall representation in the UK came via London. A great number of the 178 singles the label issued that year are already available somewhere in the Ace catalogue, but the overview presented here is highly formidable and really does show all facets of their release schedule. Only a couple of the 28 tracks here are currently available on other Ace CDs, and I make no apology for including one of them: my all-time favourite record, Little Richard’s ‘Keep A Knockin’’ (a compiler’s perk that surely nobody will deny me).
As ever, we have been lucky enough to have many of the original London production masters at our disposal, and more than 70% of the music you’ll hear here comes from those very same tapes.
The music speaks for itself. What’s not to love about a CD that brings you tried and trusted classics such as ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, ‘Your True Love’, ‘I Walk The Line’ and – in its UK single version, of course – ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, alongside seldom reissued hits such as ‘White Silver Sands’, curios of the calibre of the UK-only overdubbed version of ‘A Rose And A Baby Ruth’ and the usual selection of “What made them issue that? But let’s be glad they did”s, a category that would have to include Merle Kilgore’s ‘Ernie’, Dean Beard’s ‘Rakin’ And Scrapin’’ and Ernie Chaffin’s ‘Feelin’ Low’. Along the way you’ll also find sisters Patience & Prudence stating the obvious in ‘We Can’t Sing Rhythm & Blues’, the deranged Nervous Norvus instructing the world how to do ‘The Bullfrog Hop’ and all manner of other musical delights, lovingly sequenced in much the same way they might have appeared in the London American catalogue.
By Tony Rounce