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Eight Classic Albums Plus Bonus Singles

Elvis Presley

Real Gone

Free of any pretence, Real Gone has put together a mammoth box set covering eight classic albums of Elvis Presley spanning from 1956 – 1960 with additional singles included for good measure over four CDs. With minor gripes being a lack of any detailed information regarding the recording sessions  during these years or about the man himself let alone a series of photographs to give the listener some inclination of the King’s inner sanctum, the sound quality and of course the rockin’ tracks more than compensate for any such grievances.

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The Complete 50s Masters

Elvis Presley


A nicely packaged and comprehensive examination of Elvis Presley’s Sun Records phase which takes the listener into the RCA sessions until the latter end of the 1950s. The compact set consists of five CDs and a reasonably detailed booklet detailing all of the recording sessions with added extras. If you are a fan of early period Elvis, then ‘The Complete ‘50s Masters’ is definitely a wise acquisition even if the songs contained within are more than familiar to even the most hardened Presley aficionados.

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Great Rockabilly Vol. 6

Various Artists

Smith & Co

Still going strong, the ‘Great Rockabilly’ series has now reached Volume 6 and there is still plenty to offer here from not only the usual suspects of Cochran, Burnette, Vincent et al but also some lesser-known cuts from the likes of Bobby Lollar, Leon and Carlos, Red Sovine, and John Hampton. Pick of the bunch however, is the wild and frantic ‘Love Me’ by The Phantom, which predates the raw intensity of punk music by some considerable years.

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The Slingshots

Raucous Records

There is an authentic rockin’ rockabilly sound and it’s coming like a steamin’ freight train straight outta Sheffield in the shape of ‘Misfits’, the second long player from The Slingshots. Leading the line, but failing to conform, is nearly title track ‘Misfit’ with lyrics Morrissey would certainly identify with, and been proud of, had he pursued the rockabilly route. As it stands, leading man Steve Russell is doing an admiral job of rustling up an astute lyric or two with the acerbic in yer face abruptness of, ‘I Quit’ with its all chugging bass and guitars steering the song to its inevitable conclusion. Elsewhere the band offer tearjerker ‘Couldn’t Get Along’ and blues-influenced ‘If You Left Me’ reflecting the paranoid state of the central protagonist to great effect with a backdrop of howling harmonica and slightly distorted vocal.

As the album draws to a close with a sweeping back the years ‘Butterball Boogie’, full of country strings and foot tapping beat, and a double Western inspired outing via ‘Lonesome Trail’ and ‘Green-Eyed Monster’, The Slingshots have made a comeback of staggering proportions. Long live these Sheffield misfits.

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Don’t Touch My Greasy Hair!

The Wise Guyz

El Toro

A bit late this one but FLW feels that this rockin’ stomper from Ukrainian boppers The Wise Guyz has been unfairly overlooked. From the opening drumroll of ‘Don’t Touch My Greasy Hair’ kicking off proceedings, to the frenzied sounds of ‘I’m a Fool’ and nearly blasting into orbit ‘Really Rocket’,  it is clear that the Wise Guyz know a thing or two about creating an authentic rockabilly and rock’n’roll sound.

With a steady side order of humour added to this authentic recipe, these cool cats simply can’t fail as ‘Don’t Touch My Greasy Hair’ also holds a slight variation in sound with the Hawaiian sway of ‘I’ve Kissed You, Baby’, and the late-night smooch of ‘Let’s Fly To The Stars’ displaying that it’s not all foot-to-the-floor stompers. But it remains that the echoes of the Johnny Burnette sounding, ‘Hey, Hey Little Chick’ and pacey ‘Jukebox Jumpin’, together with the aforementioned title track, that really ignites this album.

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