Album Chart of 1962

<1961 1963>

  • This chart features albums released in 1962 and is limited to all of the albums in my collection which have “A-list” status.
  • The Top 30 albums are profiled, and the full chart (Top 31) is summarised, in sortable table form, on the Albums released in 1962 page, which shows the full range of albums in this sites' database, including the “B-list” records.
1962-a-howlin-wolf.jpg

RESPECT

Hey hey Woody Guthrie I wrote you a song, ‘bout a funny old world that's a-coming along, seems sick and it's hungry, it's tired and it's torn, and it looks like it's a-dying and it's hardly been born

Hey Woody Guthrie but I know that you know, all the things that I'm a-saying and a many a-times more, I'm a-singing you this song but I can't sing enough, 'cause there's not many men have done the things that you've done

Here's to Cisco and Sonny and Lead Belly too, and to all the good people that travelled with you, here's to the hearts and the hands of the men, that come with the dust and are gone with the wind

Bob Dylan launched his recording career in 1962 by telling you where he was coming from, not where he was going to. He was a young man wise beyond his years. He took the punk baton from here - the left-of-centre world of music was in good hands.

Bob's set was almost my album of the year but, unfortunately for him, the Howlin’ Wolf was on his A-Game and who can compete with that?

The Jukebox Rebel
12-Dec-2015

revised 16-Feb-2016

TJR says:

8.40 “Excellent”

Howlin’ Wolf is now in his early 50s, but he’s in his prime with this characterful offering. Rough, tough and sexy – this was one of the greatest blues albums ever committed to vinyl. The long-awaited second LP from the artist was delivered in January ’62 – almost three years on from his first full-length. Once again, the set was a compilation, with all 12 selections having featured on 45s from the preceding two years, as well as both sides of the brand spanking new single, “You’ll Be Mine” / “Goin’ Down Slow”, recorded just a few weeks earlier and released simultaneously with the LP. Since the turn of the 60s, producer Willie Dixon has assumed a greater role in Wolf’s crew, on a par with the great man in all but the billing. Where he was only responsible for “Evil” on the first LP, Willie’s pen is now engaged for 9 of the 12 songs here, albeit leaning knowingly on motifs from decades past. The classics seemed to be flowing easy at this time; the Wolf is masterful vocally and with slide guitar on the slithering “Little Red Rooster”; “You’ll Be Mine” is a joyous Rock n Roll romp; “Spoonful” walks like a panther; “Down in the Bottom” has choppy licks to die for, with more supreme slide guitar action from the Wolf, and “Back Door Man” is pure sex, with Howlin’ Wolf driving it home like a perfectly bred stud. Ironically, despite such a slew of riches, the album’s supreme moment is a cover version, as the crew exhume, dissect and reinvigorate St. Louis Jimmy Oden’s 1941 piece “Goin’ Down Slow”. Death bed rumination is the play, with both bassist Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf taking turns to portray the mind-set of the protagonist. Willie Dixon: “Man, you know I don' enjoy things that kings and queens will never have, in fact things kings and queens can never get, and they don't even know about. And good times, mmmmm”. The Wolf continues to reminisce philosophically: “I have had my fun, if I never get well no more… Oh my health is fading, oh yes I'm goin’ down slow” This is the story of a man who has lived fast. Willie Dixon pipes up again: “Now looky here, I did not SAY I was a millionaire, but I said I have spent more MONEY than a millionaire. 'Coz if I had a kept all the money that I had already spent, I would've been a millionaire a long time ago. And women? Great googily moogily!” It lands with the Wolf to deliver the killer twist, as an air of regret takes over: “Please write my momma, tell her the shape I'm in… Tell her to pray for her son, forgive me for my sins.” All of a sudden we are suddenly faced with the possibility that this is almost delivered autobiographically. Wolf’s momma, Gertrude, seems like a cruel one. She evicted her son, barely a cub, from the home farm, citing charges of “laziness”. During the peak of his success, he returned from Chicago to see his old mother in his home town and was driven to tears when she rebuffed him. A religious freak, she refused to take money offered by him, saying it was from his playing of the “devil's music”. The song fades mournfully, with Hubert Sumlin’s guitar and Henry Gray’s piano framing the dying man’s lament to perfection. It genuinely stands as one of the greatest recordings ever laid down, a real drama-laden spine-tingler, with sheer excellence from the entire cast. I put it to you old Gertrude had no soul.

The Jukebox Rebel
09-Feb-2016


TJR says:

8.32 “Excellent”

Woody Guthrie’s 20 year old disciple steps into the spotlight with a whole load of folk traditionals – and a new way of spitting ‘em out. Just listen to how he messes with “Pretty Peggy-O”. Who is this gallus young pretender? The album’s a complete tease. It’s immediately obvious that the guy is brilliant, but there’s only two which are self-written. With the brilliance and the sparsity of the Dylan originals, Bob left everyone crying out for an encore. Both of them, “Song to Woody” and “Talkin’ New York”, are instant classics. “Song To Woody” echoes with the tune of Guthrie’s “1913 Massacre” as Bob pays his dues in the best possible way – with a classic that lies immortal. The line “that come with the dust and are gone with the wind” directly stems from “we come with the dust and we go with the wind” in Guthrie’s song “Pastures of Plenty”. “Talkin’ New York” similarly echoes stylistically with Guthrie’s “Talking Dust Bowl Blues”, as Bob folk-raps in accordance with his personal issues of the day. The lyrics express the difficulty he had in finding gigs when he arrived in New York as a result of his “unique” sound: “You sound like a hillbilly, we want folk singers here” (who was that goon? what a schmuckbag!) With his love and respect for the genre, his ace harmonica, his restless strumming, and his punk drawl laced with clever witticisms, Bob Dylan was the best darned thing that ever did happen to folk music. And this LP served as an excellent debut for starters…

The Jukebox Rebel
25-Jun-2007


TJR says:

7.31 “Really good”

Jimmy’s pal, ace guitarist Eddie Taylor, is absent on this set and, if truth be told, he’s not missed much – there’s plenty enough talent and feeling with this line up: Jimmy (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Lefty Bates (guitar), Phil Upchurch (bass) and Al Duncan (drums). It turns into a bit of a family affair at times; his loyal wife, Mary, steps up to the mike for backing vocals on “Take It Slow” and Jimmy Reed Jr., by now a live regular with his Dad, joins in for a few tracks. “I’ll Change My Style” makes for an attention grabbing starter as Jimmy, quite literally, abandons his traditional roots-based guitar blues for a Rock n Roll Ballad drenched in phat organ drones. It’s a wow in many ways – and a great track, ultimately. It proves to be a one-off though, which seems a bit of a shame. The hottest action is to be found on the first side – “Too Much”, with its classic slow-drag rhythm and lazy vocal drawl, is vintage Jimmy. The second half of the record is not quite so strong, but that’s a relative complaint. The inclusion of the between-song studio trials and tribulations are a bit off-putting – had the banter been any good it might have been a different story. However, small gripes aside, this is yet another really good Jimmy Reed LP. He’s as cool as they come – and never even needs to move out of third gear to get there.

The Jukebox Rebel
23-Jul-2015


TJR says:

6.94 “Good”

Dick Dale’s debut was a bit of an unbefitting mutation, recorded live in 1961 at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach, California, and later enhanced with studio overdubs. His appearances at the Rendezvous drew capacity crowds of over 4,000 screaming, dancing fans every weekend. They were thirsty for an LP – it was eventually released in November 1962 and sold over 88,000 copies locally. “Surf Beat” gets thing off to a flyer with Dick’s groundbreaking staccato playing accompanied by some neat saxophone sweeps and excited yelps. It’s immediately followed by a version of “Sloop John B” – as much as the producers desperately try to save it with studio strings, it’s a lame duck. Such is the problem with this ill-conceived concept. “Take It Off” gets things back on track right away, with Dick’s dynamic guitar abilities at the forefront – at least, as well as they can be, given the limited nature of the recording source. The cover of Buster Brown’s “Fannie Mae” reveals the Del-Tones as fine R n B players, whilst the album version of “Miserlou” (retitled as “Misirlou Twist”) was a fair bit different, with added Greek strings, but was always just a shade less dynamic than the single. Still an all-time classic mind. As good as it undoubtedly is, Dick Dale’s debut could’ve, and should’ve, been an excellent 8 – he had the power. Pity about the hash-bash package…

The Jukebox Rebel
01-Mar-2012


TJR says:

6.83 “Good”

The big problem with producing magnificent works such as the preceding “Lonely and Blue” is that they need to be followed up. Unfortunately, “Crying” is just not in the same class. Same team, same players, but they’ve lost a certain je ne sais quoi, with an inclination towards the middle-of-the-road being especially apparent in the up-tempo “variety pop” which is prevalent on side 2. Still, that’s not to say this is a bad album, far from it. At least half of the set has strong material, and it has “Running Scared” – a grandiose finale which is worth the admission price on its’ own.

The Jukebox Rebel
10-Jul-2007


TJR says:

6.68 “Good”

The Stax house band, led by the seventeen-year-old keyboardist Booker T. Jones, set their stall out nice and early with this one, an all-instrumental LP of soulful R n B, released late in 1962. Somewhat fittingly, it was also the first LP proper on Stax (S-701). The title-track had been a smash hit just a couple of months earlier, and the album introduced a ’sequel’ in the shape of “Mo’ Onions”. These two and “Behave Yourself” were the three compositions by the group themselves – and they were the three really worthwhile moments on the record. Elsewhere, there are 9 cover versions (with mixed results), all sourced from the 1954-1961 period. All in all, a neat debut from the original 2-Tone 4-piece…

The Jukebox Rebel
02-Jan-2010


TJR says:

6.66 “Good”

Released in September, this was his second album of new material in 1962, although 2 oldies from 1956 LPs are getting a makeover – “La La” (originally on “This Is Fats Domino”) and “Goin’ Home” (originally on “Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino”). “Nothing New (Same Old Thing)” is a knockout – blues with brass that hangs coolly. The only cover on the album is a good ‘un – the bluesy crooner “Wishing Ring”, which was originally sung by Andy Russell in the film “Breakfast in Hollywood” in 1946. Another good set from the unsinkable Fats Domino…

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Jan-2012


TJR says:

6.63 “Good”

Patsy’s third album was recorded in Nashville by producer Owen Bradley (for the third time in a row) between August 1961 and February 1962, and was issued in August 1962 – the last album to be released in her lifetime. In January 1962, “She’s Got You” had been the perfect follow up to “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy”; it immediately went to No. 1 on the Hot C&W Sides country chart and to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also gave the singer her first UK chart entry. At this time, she was simply on the form of her life. The lyrics and song presentation are pure, perfect, country heartbreak: “I’ve got the records that we used to share, and they still sound the same as when you were here, the only thing different, the only thing new, I’ve got the records, she’s got you”. It’s Hank Cochran who delivers the killer song-writing goods – just as he did with “I Fall to Pieces”. Shouldn’t these two have just got together for a complete album? Out of the twelve songs on “Sentimentally Yours”, only two were new compositions; “She’s Got You” and its flip side, “Strange”. The ten remaining tracks were cover versions of standards, including Jo Stafford’s “You Belong to Me”, Rosemary Clooney’s “Half as Much”, and Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” – one of three Hank Williams covers to make the LP. This girl could easily have made a stone classic LP – the pop safety play was a hindrance not only to the hard-core country fans, but to progressive music fans in general. Whatever, one thing’s for sure; we would sure miss her when she was gone…

The Jukebox Rebel
22-Jul-2008


TJR says:

6.58 “Good”

Leads off with the smash-hit title-track which is perhaps a tad cheesy on the rhythm, but has terrific vocal harmonies and features more action for the “Telstar” organ; “set it to the max” says Luther! “Things I Want to Hear (Pretty Words)” reverts back to that lovely strings-laden pop formula that we’ve come to associate with Scepter’s Shirelles. “Big John (Ain’t You Gonna Marry Me)” steps it up with a tasty R n B groove. Album highlight “Voice of Experience” also appears on Side 1 – the politics of teen romance are what a Shirelles record is all about: “Now, don't you kiss him on your very first date (Listen to the voice of experience), Girl, now, don't you kiss him till you make him wait (Listen to the voice of experience)” And if those licks and tricks do not have their square roots in Barbara George’s “I Know” then I’m a freeform Jazz lover. Side 2 opener, “Soldier Boy”, is another winner, despite being built on a slightly cheesy dum-de-dum beat. Such are the mystical powers of the fabulous Shirelles vocals. It strikes me when “Twenty One” is playing that there have been more straight-ahead R n B rhythms on this Shirelles LP than any other; it’s a very refreshing album as it veers from style to style. That said, I could have done without the girls jumping on the Rock n Roll twist craze cliché via “Twisting in the USA”. This low-point is immediately put to rights with the final track, “Putty in Your Hands”, a sexy little R n B groover which, ironically, makes for a much better twist. It’s a fantastic end to yet another good Shirelles album; their most varied yet.

The Jukebox Rebel
28-Dec-2008


TJR says:

6.40 “Decent enough”

Recorded in Nashville in June 1962, and first issued in September of that year. “Gospel Time” is really quite a remarkable change of direction from those bawdy 50s sides; let there be no doubt that Miss Rhythm’s got soul too. This is a controlled and passionate vocal performance – and the band offer a stylish backdrop, equally adept at rocking it up (“Satisfied”) as they are sympathetic with a southern soul tear jerker (“Just a Walk with Thee”). Everything appeals in a contemporary fashion – from the lightly honky-tonking in the pianos, to the warmth of the organ swirls, to the wonderful backing choirs. Ruth’s the star though – this is a feel-good album made out of love and she’s shining brightly…

The Jukebox Rebel
07-Apr-2012


TJR says:

6.40 “Decent enough”

Another solid set from the cool bluesman, this time backed all the way with a full complement of players: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar), Hank Cosby (tenor sax), Andrew Terry (baritone sax), Joe Hunter (piano), Larry Veeder (guitar), James Jamerson (bass) and Benny Benjamin (drums). Yep, that’s right, TWO saxophonists. And not a wooden pallet to be seen nor heard. John Lee’s a complete dude; you simply can’t go wrong with any of his proper early LPs.

The Jukebox Rebel
16-Jun-2012


TJR says:

6.39 “Decent enough”

Released in February, this was the first of two new Fats albums in 1962, and he’s not shy in becoming yet another to apply the latest “Twist” cliché to the title. To be fair, I’d twist away quite happily to “Wait and See” and “Twistin’ the Stomp” so there can be no consumer complaints really. There are 3 covers on this one – “I Know” (Barbara George, 1961), “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” (Louis Armstrong with Billie Holiday, 1947) and “South of The Border” (Gene Autry, 1939). His ever consistent album run continues…

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Jan-2012


TJR says:

6.36 “Decent enough”

After playing for 25 years as Piano Red, the 50-year-old William Lee Perryman decided to try and give his career some fresh impetus in 1962. After signing with Okeh Records in 1961, he began using the name Dr. Feelgood and the Interns, releasing several hit sides beginning with “Dr. Feelgood” b/w “Mister Moonlight” in early 1962. The persona was one he had initially adopted on his radio shows; during the mid-1950s, Perryman had worked as a disc jockey on radio stations WGST and WAOK in Atlanta, broadcasting directly from a small shack in his back yard. ’The Piano Red Show’ later became ’The Dr. Feelgood Show’. Trivia hounds should note that a young James Brown made an appearance on his show in the late 1950s. The album, although thoroughly decent, would prove to be Perryman’s last in any guise, as public tastes moved away from Rock n Roll and Boogie Woogie. His name would live on through the Canvey Island pub-rockers who assumed it 9 years later…

The Jukebox Rebel
14-Nov-2009


TJR says:

6.05 “Decent enough”

Murry Wilson was father to Dennis (17, drums, backing vocals), Carl (15, lead guitar, vocals), Brian (20, bass, organ, vocals) and Uncle to Mike Love (21, vocals). With the combination of his managerial drive and the ability of his boys, it was no great surprise that things were really starting to happen for the Californian 5-piece, David Marks (13, rhythm guitar, vocals) being the family-friend who completed the exceptionally young line-up for the debut LP. With both “Surfin’ Safari” and “409” having become hits (the former reaching US number 14), Capitol Records sanctioned a full album. It’s a bit of a bash ’em out affair and that probably works in its favour; clearly it’s not designed to be microscopically analyzed by the beatnik fraternity. This is the soundtrack for the Surfer boys and the party chicks. The band showcases its’ love for doo-wop and Rock n Roll, and wrap it up in the all-new “surf rock” sound of the day. Their irreverence is to the fore, with much aping of the ba-ba-dip-dirip-dirip, plenty of cuckoo-clucking and much hound-howling. They’ve yet to perfect it like Dick Dale… but they’re getting there… and it’s a decent start…

The Jukebox Rebel
01-Jan-2013


TJR says:

5.97 “Average”

Things look promising from the off; Johnny’s looking kinda mean, all in black, on the front cover. Opening salvo “A burnin’ hot sun a cryin’ for water, black wings circle the sky, stumblin’ and fallin’ somebody’s callin’ you’re lost on the desert to die” continues the promise lyrically. Unfortunately, it’s a bit anti-climactic from there, as your typical “boom-chicka-boom” Cash record reveals itself; nothing bad, but nothing special.

The Jukebox Rebel
07-Jun-2007


TJR says:

5.60 “Average”

Atlantic quickly “counter-attacked” the preceding, opportunistic Apollo compilation LP release, by labelling Solomon’s debut album proper as a “Greatest Hits” set, hoping to win the battle for the dollar. Burke recorded thirty-two singles with Atlantic, most of which hit both the pop and R&B charts, so they had plenty to choose from. His second single for the label was the country offering, “Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)”, which became his first charting single, reaching #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at #7 on the R&B charts. The song also became Burke’s first million-seller. His next hit came with “Cry to Me”, which reached #5 on the R&B chart in 1962 and was described as being one of the first songs to mix country, R&B and gospel. After the release of “Cry to Me”, Burke was among one of the first of his peers to be referred to as a “soul artist”, a term which appeased him as he was never comfortable with the “dance with the devil” R n B tag nor the “god-fearing” gospel singer label.

The Jukebox Rebel
24-Apr-2012


TJR says:

5.51 “Average”

Shirelles in R n B roots territory with the ace saxophonist of “Yakety Yak” fame and occasional singer; it’s a brassy and soulful set but it’s more playful than gripping. The Shirelles only actually appear on 6 of the 11 tracks, with 2 outright King Curtis tracks and 3 instrumentals. “Welcome Home Baby” is the top track, despite the schmaltz of the lyric.

The Jukebox Rebel
28-Dec-2008


TJR says:

5.46 “Below average”

Following on from the success of her “Right or Wrong” single from last year, Wanda’s inclination was back towards the country; and this genre takes up 5 of the 6 tracks on side 1. Her cover of Warner Mack’s “Is It Wrong” steals the side and comes complete with playful borrowings from the big Everly’s hit of last year, “Walk Right Back”, which puts a smile on the face. She’s not quite ready to give up the “two sides” tag though; side B comes packed with a slew of pop tunes, occasionally peppered with R n B shadings. The strings-laden “I Don’t Wanta Go” is seriously classy; verging on the “James Bond soundtrack” levels of cool. Towards the end of the set, “You Don’t Know Baby” emerges as the killer highlight. Here, Wanda proves she was also no mean blues chanteuse, in amongst all of her other attributes. The song was originally done by BB King in 1957, but it’s probably safe to say that Wanda is coming from the Peggy Lee version of 1958, which appeared on the flip to “Fever”. Wonderful Wanda? That's often very true.

The Jukebox Rebel
09-Aug-2015


TJR says:

5.15 “Below average”

Undaunted by the commercial failure of the preceding LP, the Everly Brothers pressed ahead with a repeat dose of pop standards and selections from Broadway and film musicals, only occasionally tinged with a hint of the teen spirit of ’58. The split from manager Wesley Rose continued to have implications and, with this in mind, the brothers used a pseudonym, Jimmy Howard, for their one new song, “Step It Up And Go” – notably a return to their Rock n Roll style. Dad (Ike Everly) seemed to become adept in “the art of rewriting traditionals” which was certainly quite handy at this time. One track really stands out for me – the cover of “Trouble In Mind” (originally done as “Trouble In Mind Blues” by Thelma La Vizzo in 1924) is an inspired choice, and keeps the boys with at least a foot in the “hip cred” camp. For the first time though, some of the material starts to wear a little thin. Album closer “When It’s Night Time In Italy It’s Wednesday Over Here” is a bit of skiffle kitsch which is unbecoming. We’re deep in Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine territory with that one. The boys were just about to serve for Uncle Sam, opting for a joint stint together in the Marine Corps. Seems to me like it was a good time for a break…

The Jukebox Rebel
31-Jul-2008


TJR says:

4.94 “Poor”

Released in April, 1962 and widely regarded as a landmark release in Ray’s story. Here are the highlights from Wikipedia’s “war and peace” entry: “When Charles announced that he wanted to work on an album of country music in 1961, during a period of racial segregation and tension in the United States, he received generally negative commentary and feedback from his peers, including fellow R&B musicians and ABC-Paramount executives. The country album concept, however, meant more to Charles as a test of his record label’s faith and respect to his artistic freedom rather than a test of social tolerance among listeners amid racial distinctions of country and R&B. While Modern Sounds features mostly covers of country and western music standards, its sound and musical style are marked by the heavy rhythm and blues influence of Charles’s playing. A considerable amount of the material’s melancholy lyrics and words are backed by piano and orchestral arrangements that are rooted in jazz, as well as West Coast and Charles’s style of piano blues. Following the album’s release, Charles quickly earned an influx of white listeners and audiences at concert venues, without experiencing any fall-out from his predominantly black audience. It’s widely acknowledged that the musical integration of soul and country into popular format by Charles changed and revolutionized racial boundaries and restraints in music, and contributed to the historical Civil Rights Movement.” Ok, fair enough. Well done Ray. Respect is due. Putting America’s long standing racism aside for a moment – is it any good? There are 11 country covers from the likes of The Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold and Hank Williams plus Ray’s own “Careless Love”, ensuring a slice of the royalty action. I submit to the emotive resonance of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (Don Gibson, 1957), “Worried Mind” (Ted Daffan’s Texans, 1940) is a decent, if lesser, cut from the same cloth, and the stylish swagger of “Half As Much” (Curley Williams and The Georgia Peach Pickers, 1951) is deserving of pass marks. Taken as a whole, “Modern Sounds In Country And Western” is boring, could be challenged in court for a breach of trade descriptions, and is typical period middle-of-the-road fare for the ever-tasteless American middle class…

The Jukebox Rebel
26-Jul-2008


TJR says:

4.73 “Poor”

If any rockers were still hanging in with Elvis in 1962 they would undoubtedly be approaching each new LP with a sense of trepidation. “Pot Luck” makes a decent fist of it, before its rebel rating collapses with an extremely lame run at the end of the set. Inclusions from the trusty pens of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman certainly help; four of the best five tracks are theirs. The rollicking “Gonna Get Back Home Somehow” is an early highlight; great sax, rolling rhythms; nice guitar licks. It’s a great shame that team members like Scotty Moore (guitar), Boots Randolph (sax) and Floyd Cramer (piano) weren’t allowed to be free and loose with Elvis more often. “Steppin’ Out Of Line” is another hip-swivelling lip-snarling winner on Side 1. The latino-pop flavour of “Suspicion” is best on the album – delivered with a sultry and classy performance from the front man. Strangely, “Fountain of Love” tries the same tricks but falls flat on its face. Should’ve just given the whole album over to Doc and Mort for writing…

The Jukebox Rebel
15-Aug-2008


TJR says:

4.66 “Poor”

Recorded in the fall of 1961 at Spanish Castle Ballroom, located midway between Seattle and Tacoma on old Highway 99. It’s the second LP from the North West punkers, who seem to be aiming ambitiously for some kinda Ike-Turner style soul-revue, with their 5 piece augmented from the inner circle with 2 guest vocals each from “Rockin” Robin Roberts and “Little” Gail Harris. The album is a bit of a disappointment; the expectations after their antics in ’59 have not been met here – the playing sounds hesitant and unexciting; any skilled nuances that they may have to offer are lost out-with the confines of a well-appointed studio. Also, considering they’re playing in their prime in their heartlands, the low-key, polite reaction from the crowd is somewhat surprising. Seems the premier teen night club in the Seattle area was a segregated venue. I’m seeing a load of sulky white kids hanging ‘round looking bored. All in all, six of the 14 cuts have vocals. Kent drawls his “Dirty Robber” as normal (the only track which repeats from their debut LP) and further chips in with the amazingly dull “You've Had Your Chance”; this could be any non-descript bar band in any town. Mid-set, co-label owner “Rockin’” Robin Roberts steps up for “Rosalie” and “Since You Been Gone”. More ho-hum ordinariness. “Little” Gail Harris (only 15) takes the mic for “All I Could Do Was Cry” and “I Idolize You”. She’s the best of the three vocalists even if she perhaps tries a bit too hard at times with her Etta James routine. Full credit to them for the considerable achievement (by 1962 standards) of producing their own LP on their own label – local sales of some 40,000 copies suggest they had something going for them business wise and otherwise…

The Jukebox Rebel
03-Mar-2012


TJR says:

4.48 “Lame”

Eleven songs, all originally composed and recorded by Duke Ellington, undoubtedly a pleasing prospect for all of Nina’s jazz fans. There’s a finger-clicking sharpness to the upbeat opener “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me” – but I’m unmoved. If it ain’t your bag, it ain’t your bag. Normal moody character is immediately restored on “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” – I remain unmoved. On “Hey, Buddy Bolden”, Nina pays tribute to the African-American cornetist, regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of rag-time music, or Jass, which later came to be known as jazz. I get where she’s comin’ from but still, I remain unmoved. I’m reminded, when the jaunty novelty “Merry Mending” kicks in, that there is an incredible variety in Nina Simone’s works – she’s awfully difficult to categorize. It’s one of her great artistic strengths – even if often alienates me. “I Like the Sunrise”, my favourite track on the LP, is typical of Nina’s unpredictability. Her classical roots are on show in this choral singing extravaganza. All three of my favourite tracks appear on Side 2; “The Gal from Joe’s” is a snappy little Fever-esque number and album closer “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is delivered with a biff-bang-pow which finishes the set on a happy note.

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Aug-2009


TJR says:

4.45 “Lame”

A second album of “pop gospel” from Johnny Cash, which is all very tame and comes complete with those ridiculous “Ovaltineys” studio backing singers. I often wonder why he didn’t just get a bona-fide gospel choir on-board for these sessions…

The Jukebox Rebel
07-Jun-2007


TJR says:

4.43 “Lame”

Recorded live in April 1961 at the Village Gate, New York. As Nina warms up in the opening bars of “Just in Time”, it strikes me that she really was a slightly mad ol’ bird. She’s in a world of her own with all that grunting and moaning. Alternatively, it might just be that she was actually hyper-intelligent. It was a sure-fire way to get everyone to shut up, sit up straight, and PAY ATTENTION. It’s quite a common trick in her live sets – and it seems to work. I always wonder if the inevitable first round of enthusiastic applause is based on respect or terror. Best on Side 1 is an extremely moody reading of “House Of The Rising Sun” which goes down well with both the audience and myself. Alas, it’s followed by a somewhat hellish hard-bop rendition of “Bye Bye Blackbird”. Such are the trials and tribulations of a Nina Simone album for an anti-jassist. Opening up Side 2, the piano-vocal piece “Brown Baby” is right-on but amazingly boring. Be better off with a pamphlet in my opinion. MUCH better is “Zungo” as Nina directly revels in her African roots; I’m crying out for more this level of exotica but I know I’m not going to get it. “Children Go Where I Send You”, which got its first outing in 1959 on “The Amazing Nina Simone”, gets a reworking to close the LP, as Nina tries to whip ‘em up into a frenzied state. “You ever been to revival meetings? I bet you don’t even know what I’m talking about.” she mocks. “Well, you’re in one right now” Nina’s behaviour and patter is always a mini-highlight in its own right : – ) Overall, this set is pretty good in places, but it leaves me cold more often than not…

The Jukebox Rebel
25-Aug-2009


TJR says:

3.81 “Terrible”

Although issued as the second Stevie Wonder album in October 1962, this was the first to be recorded – when the kid was only 11 (Icons of R&B and Soul, Bob Gulla, 2008). Musically the set is strong (Stevie doesn’t play) and his voice is impressive but, ultimately, it’s kinda weird listening to a school kid and it’s difficult to take it too seriously; lyrically it’s a bit of a disaster zone at times. Billie Jean Brown’s liner notes: “One of the greatest tributes that can be paid an artist is for another to admire him enough to record his material. Little Stevie Wonder, Tamla’s 11 year old musical genius, is blind, a similarity he shares with a famed musician and vocalist of today. This man is an idol of Stevie, and it was Stevie’s wish to record some of Ray Charles’ tunes. This album then, is a tribute to Uncle Ray. In this album, Stevie forgoes his playing of the harmonica, piano, organ, drums and bongos in favor of his vocal abilities. He displays soulfulness that few adults and fewer still 11 year olds will ever attain. Though it has been said, and is admittedly true, that no one can sing these tunes like Ray Charles, it must be concluded here that Stevie does one whale of a job. As an added tribute, Stevie does some originals in the style of his idol. This then, is “A Tribute to Uncle Ray”.”

The Jukebox Rebel
15-Sep-2009


TJR says:

3.75 “Terrible”

A shed-load of Bacharach & David schmaltz, with only occasional smatterings of cool to relieve the boredom. Best track for me is “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance”, which was written for, but not ultimately used in, the film of the same name. The title track gave Pitney his biggest hit in the US. In an ironic twist, it was kept off the #1 spot by a song that he himself had written; the awesome “He's A Rebel” which was a hit for The Crystals.

The Jukebox Rebel
01-Jan-2009


TJR says:

3.70 “Terrible”

Despite the almost unimaginable awfulness of being blind from birth, the young Stevland began to learn the piano at the age of seven, and had also mastered drums and harmonica by the age of nine. On top of this, he sang in a church choir, giving him a balance between the sacred and his beloved musical heroes, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. In 1961, he was discovered by Ronnie White of the Miracles, who arranged an audition at Motown Records. Berry Gordy immediately signed the young lad to the label. Stevie was placed in the care of writer / producer Clarence Paul, who supervised his early recordings. His debut LP, all recently recorded, was issued in September 1962 and was designed to showcase the twelve-year-old's talents as a songwriter and instrumentalist. This would prove to be the only studio album in which he does not sing; he is featured on bongos, harmonica, drums, organ and piano. Mentors Clarence Paul and Henry Cosby wrote and produced the material, with young Wonder himself also co-writing two of the compositions, including the album’s finest offering, “Wondering” – listen to him GO on that organ! The original studio version of “Fingertips” is also included on the set; a live version would give him his first hit single the following year. Gotta hand to the kid – he’s an achiever; and an exceptional human.

The Jukebox Rebel
15-Sep-2009


TJR says:

3.63 “Terrible”

Easy listening Jazz with a light mambo sway. What’s to like?

The Jukebox Rebel
08-Nov-2015


TJR says:

3.33 “Terrible”

The second of three films Presley shot on location in Hawaii, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” was a bit of a light-hearted musical comedy, starring Elvis as a penniless fisherman who loves his life on the sea, and dreams of owning his own boat. The soundtrack LP is notable for the inclusion of the peppy “Return to Sender”, which stands out on its own as the only decent track on-board.

The Jukebox Rebel
16-Aug-2008

chart first published 12 Dec 2015; last edited 16 Feb 2016

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

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