Album Chart of 1955

<1954 1956>

  • This chart features albums released in 1955 and is limited to all of the albums in my collection which have “A-list” status.
  • Elsewhere, the Albums released in 1955 page shows the full range of albums in this sites' database, including the “B-list” records.


Ken Nordine’s disorientating tale of an unbelievable friendship takes top spot in this sparsely populated chart, but the headline story is provided by the band who, in July, 1955, broke new ground by taking a Rock n Roll song – “Rock Around the Clock” – all the way to No.1 in the pop charts.

Due to an accident in an operation when he was a kid, Bill Haley was blind in his left eye. In his version of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” he had the moral authority to take the line of the decade into the Pop Top 10 in 1954. wink

These two mega-hits were included on his first album for Decca. For the second year running, he’s the only cat delivering a Rock n Roll album.

In no time at all, they came out of their alley’s in droves.

From hereon, the rest of the 50s would be a full-on Saturday night fish fry for the wild cats…

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

6.95 “Good”

Ken Nordine reads, in the first-person, an almost faithful interpretation of Honoré de Balzac’s short-story, “Une passion dans le désert”, originally written away back in 1830. The story is set in Egypt during Napoleon's campaign (1798-1801). Ken’s expressive spoken word is accompanied by pianist Dick Marks and bassist Johnny Frigo. As an album, it’s good for at least two or three listens – preferably with no distractions.

Synopsis: At the beginning of the story, the French soldier has already been captured by the Maugrabins, but he manages to escape from them, only to become lost in the Egyptian desert. After riding his horse to death, he sets off on foot in the immense sands until he finds a small oasis with date palms (an unsurprisingly standard representation of the desert in Egypt), and settles in to wait for passing French troops. However the soldier soon discovers that he must share his oasis with a female panther. He manages to tame the panther by petting her, and they live quite well together until they have a misunderstanding…

Fear, hope and cynicism collide in this weird and disorientating tale, brilliantly delivered in Ken’s inimitable style. Throughout, there are between-the-lines smiles as well as up-front despair, but the uneasy tension is never broken until the dramatic, murderous finale…

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

6.10 “Decent enough”

Big sound, great production on Bill’s first album for Decca, although the material beyond the mega-hits is a bit patchy (I’m looking at you “A. B. C. Boogie” and “Happy Baby”). The album compiles fully the group’s first 4 singles for Decca, and opens with their major Top 10 Pop Hit “Shake, Rattle and Roll”. Bill’s gang had raided the R n B charts for inspiration in the springtime of ’54 and found Joe Turner’s single to be ripe for the plucking. Johnny Grande (piano), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Marshall Lytle (bass), Joey Ambrose (saxophone) and Danny Cedrone (guitar) were the guys who helped Bill to make the magic happen. Tragically, just ten days after recording this, Cedrone died of a broken neck after falling down a staircase in June, 1954. The guitarist’s solo on “Rock Around the Clock”, the other main highlight on this set, was a thing of legend-making proportion, although the guitarist himself died unaware of the impact that his work would have. When it was first issued in the spring of 1954 as a B-side to “Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)” it was considered a commercial disappointment. It was not until 1955, when “Rock Around the Clock” was used under the opening credits of the film “Blackboard Jungle”, that the song truly took off, becoming the first ever Rock n Roll song to make #1 in the mainstream pop charts, a feat it repeated on charts around the world. The song stayed at this place for eight weeks. It also hit number three on the R&B charts – a clear acceptance of the group’s credibility out-with the pop field. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1955. Go Danny Go! You too, Bill ; - )

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

3.87 “Terrible”

Having lost his star performer to RCA earlier in the year, Fabor Robison decided upon one last hurrah, rounding up Jim’s single sides from 1953 to 1954 therefore beating RCA to the punch with the debut Jim Reeves album. “Sings” was issued in November and featured all the hits which had established him in the country market in the past couple of years, including “Mexican Joe”, “Drinking Tequila”, “Penny Candy” and “The Wilder Your Heart Beats”. A sharp operator, Fabor relicensed his Jim Reeves recordings to RCA who repackaged them again with the “Bimbo” compilation LP in the autumn of 1956.

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

3.61 “Terrible”

His lonely and blue concept album, with a mood and performance drawn from a deep pool of his own messy relationship experiences. Things starts off nicely with the elegant title track which strikes a universal chord – who hasn’t missed their lover in the wee small hours of the morning? [Steady]. By the end, however, I’m completely drained by the whole weary, dreary affair. Very few hooks, no interesting lyrics, just a monotonous bore wallowing in self-pity for 50 minutes. The album was a huge success both critically and commercially. I’ll never be down with the conservative croonsters…

The Jukebox Rebel

TJR says:

1.76 “An embarrassment”

Proto-George-Benson fretwork frolics from the critically acclaimed jazz guitarist. Some added character comes from the bongo work of Mike Pacheco. I find the whole set detestable.

The Jukebox Rebel

chart first published 25 Oct 2015; last edited 6 Dec 2015

Album Charts

by year…

1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016