Smith & Co - New Releases
If Charles Edward Anderson Berry hadn’t taken his pen to paper, his guitar to the studio and his showmanship to the stage, any concise history of rock ‘n’ roll would be a couple of chapters short of a best-seller and the repertoires of innumerable 60s R&B groups would have been bereft of beef.
Chuck drew from eclectic influences. His first hit Maybellene was a supercharged rewrite of an old bit of country hokum, Ida Red, given broader exposure than might have been the case in those segregated times because many radio stations assumed Chuck was white. Thereafter he artfully created original songs that combined musically resonant reference to his roots with lyrically sharp attention to the newly emergent generation of white bobbysoxers; humour invariably a signature ingredient of his writing and stage/screen performances.
The "Just about as good as it gets! " series received 4 and 5 star reviews and has been selling consistently since the day it was released. These lovingly mastered recordings on a series of double collections are bringing us lots of goodies that were consistently charting in the fourties and fifties as well as some diamonds that never reached this side of the Atlantic. On this page you'll find an overview of the "Just about as good as it gets! " Rock 'n Roll series divided in Skiffle, Rockabilly and British Rock 'n Roll. You'll find the 'Just about as good as it gets!' jazz series here.
Now an internationally venerated and still sometimes audience-baffling 72 year old, Bob Dylan started to be increasingly broadly recognised as a significant songwriter and maverick entertainer between 1963 and 1965, depending on your local media coverage. For a couple of years before that he had been the new kid on the block within NYC’s Greenwich Village community of rootsy troubadours. This 45 track 2CD set reveals his developing confidence and individuality during that formative period.
There have been other budget compilations of early Ray Charles recordings, comprised mainly of his historically interesting but, for the most part, musically derivative search for identity before he hit his stride. While including a few pertinent examples from that formative period, our 55-track tribute is essentially prime time.
Here we concentrate on the years 1954-1962 during which Brother Ray revolutionised rhythm ’n’ blues (and a lil’ bit country) roots with a hot dose of gospel spirit, some jazz licks and an incidental exchange with the concurrent emergence of rock ’n’ roll to create the most individualistic and influential R&B-rattling-the-Pop-chart hits of the era.
Does the world need another retrospective of The King? It's all been out there somewhere in expensive box sets and compendiums of old albums. Ardent Elvis fans have probably got it all in triplicate. But for the newly curious, those asking "What was it about this man that set the world on fire?", our potent selection of key tracks highlights the vital burst of internationally impacting recordings between Elvis's rural rockabilly beginnings (not immediately recognised outside of the southern USA) and his demobbed decline into a glamour boy fronting a series of second-rate movies in the sixties. There was a period of about six years when Elvis really was the King Of Rock 'n' Roll around the globe, with a voice, the looks, the moves and an overload of oomph that sent the kittens crazy and the old cats wild. This is it.
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