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The Gift of Music | CDs | 50s & 60s | Rock Around the Clock
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Rock Around the ClockRock'n'Roll Hits of the 50sThe sounds which defined a generation and a whole new world of pop: in a fine and original selection of some of the most famous rock and roll tracks of all time. Exciting, rhythmic and dynamic music from Elvis, Duane Eddy, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and more, from 'Heartbreak Hotel' to Great Balls of Fire'!1 Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley2 Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley3 Hound Dog Elvis Presley4 All Shook Up Elvis Presley5 Rebel Rouser Duane Eddy++6 Rip it Up Little Richard7 Lucille Little Richard8 Tutti Frutti Little Richard9 Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins10 School Day Chuck Berry11 Maybelline Chuck Berry12 Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry13 Rock & Roll Music Chuck Berry14 Rock Around The Clock Bill Haley & His Comets15 See You Later Alligator Bill Haley & His Comets16 Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis17 Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On Jerry Lee Lewis18 Be Bop A Lulla Gene Vincent19 That'll Be The Day Buddy Holly & The Crickets20 Blue Jean Bop Gene Vincent21 Rockin' Through The Rye Bill Haley and his Comets++re-recordingCCL CDG1197Cover image: Still Life (in Rock n' Roll) 2001 Nick Cudworth (b.1947) Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art LibraryRecordings licensed from Marathon Music InternationalThis compilation P & C 2008 Classical Communications LtdMade in Great BritainDespite its self-evident modernity, and its liberating affect on the youth of the 1950s, the roots of rock and roll owe a surprising amount to the past. Elements of the sounds and textures of rock and roll pop up in country or blues music from as far back as the 1920s and 30s. It is surprising how much the first few tracks on this album, for example, come from a sound-world not so far removed from that of Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and the 'stride' piano. However, rock and roll's real break with the music of previous generations lies not so much in its musical structures or underlying conventionality but in the rawness of its sound. It was the dawn of the electric guitar as the lead instrument of a band rather than the piano or conventional strings, coupled with a singing style more declamatory than melodic, which marked out rock and roll as radical. Many of the tracks on this album have a hard, almost deliberately crude edge to them which would have been anathema to the sophisticated bands and crooners of the war years and the decade thereafter. Little Richard's screams in 'Lucille' (track 7) sent shock waves through the musical establishment of popular music. They, and the sounds like them created by Elvis, Duane Eddy and Jerry Lee Lewis, generated such excitement and commercial success that they marked the end of the dominance of the radio waves of even such classy, but more conventional singers, as Perry Como and Eddie Fisher. The influential disc jockey Alan Freed is frequently credited with inventing the term 'rock and roll', although the words had been around for a while before that, appearing in song titles as early as the 1920s or 1930s, and they were even used in advertising copy for films and film scores. Often there was a sexual overtone to many of these earlier titles, but when Freed started using the term in 1951 he was describing the new rhythm and blues music which he played on his radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, and which he promoted through a succession of famous live concerts. Three years later Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' (track 14) was the first rock and roll song to top the influential Billboard charts, and the floodgates were open for the new genre which over a period of ten years produced some of the most famous songs of the century, slowing up and gradually fading away only when the Beatles stormed the world with their own special sound.
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