Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Doxy label over in Dagoland's been releasing a wide variety of historically/kulturally important fifties-era jazz/rock & roll platters, and on old-timey vinyl as well. Not only that, but they've been doing it complete with the addition of a bonus Compact Disque of the entire affair included within the shrinkwrap so's you can hear the music on your car stereo as well as your console! Of course that might seem redundant to the average horse-blindered consumer out there but personally I think the concept of issuing two configurations of the same item in one package is a boffo one for you motorists who are tired of having to burn vinyl to disque for your Sunday afternoon rides. As for me, I thought that my collection could use at least two of this label's more recent output, and considering how I'm always on the go for "broadening" my perspectives and like Chuck Eddy believe in giving a listen to items that might not fall into my own sense of standard Amerigan 1964-1976 punk rock atty-tood maybe my choice of snatching up the first Little Richard and second Buddy Holly albums was a rather astute one on my part.

Well, it's sure a helluva lot better'n back when Eddy would be championing all of that utter drek and trying to find worth and value in old copies of TALES FROM THE TOPOGRAPHIC OCEAN in order to gross out us definitely on-top-of-it high energy rock & roll maniacs.

Yes, I still get grief for my rather curt comment regarding Little Richard that I made in a 1984 review of a BACK FROM THE GRAVE volume in some by-now ancient issue of OP(TION). Deservedly so I might add, and of course I do have an excuse (weak at that) because at the time I was more engrossed with the Link Wray (definite KING of fifties rock!) swing of things and after watching Mr. Penniman schmoozing up to Phil Donahue on tee-vee how could I have nothing but revulsion for what the man had become in the lackluster eighties? Well I told you it would be a lame excuse but anyhow in order to once again contradict myself I gotta say that I found his (never before heard by me in its entirety!) debut platter to be a dooz. This slab of excitement personified not only features a good hunkin' portion of Richard's 1956 chart-toppers but pumps more'n enough energy to keep a jaded one such as myself all hopped up and excited over two sides of early rock/roll mania that (to be cliched about it) helped kick start everybody from the Wailers and Sonics to Beatles and Kinks for a good decade or so after this '57 debut. Richard cranks out the music full force while his backup band drives a hard deal to the point where even the oldsters who've been around the block with this a good half-decade-plus'll still tap toe and let it soak in just like they did the day they first came in contact with the big thrust of it all. As for the rest of us well..can't judge for you but I think it runs rings around most of the competition all hollow, especially when stacked up against the real washouts of the day like Pat Boone and of course those all-time snorers the Platters!

The flat-yet-vivid sound quality naturally does add to the sway (imagine 1959 living room console being played full blast when the folks aren't home) and the entire shebang's entertaining enough that even if you aren't some brainy college cube doing a dissertation on "The Early Production and Execution of Rock & Roll Recordings" (imagine Margaret from DENNIS THE MENACE age 21 and enamored with Antony and the Johnsons yet wanting to expand her horizons a little further) you can still become bowled over. Well, I gotta say that this 55-year-old spin's a whole lot more meaningful to me as a suburban-dwelling indentured servant as the music of 55-years-back was when I was the mere age of ten!

Never did hear Holly's debut CHIRPING CRICKETS even though I did pass up on a copy of it (for a dime) at a flea market during my youth because it looked a little too scuffed up, but I'm sure it's a wowzer like this interesting collection featuring LP #2 on side one and some early '56 demos on the flip. Of course I can't compare these two slabs which were actually released while Holly was still alive and not yet the idol of necromancing goombahs worldwide, but judging from this album I can rest assured that the debut is just as late-fifties in-tune as this followup. Sure it doesn't have the knotty-pine basement/UHF-TV feel of a Johnny and the Hurricanes or Trashmen but it's sure digestible in its own Tex Mex rockabilly way.

'n yeah, it's more'n obvious how this platter has infested just about everyone from Bobby Fuller to Roky Erickson and even people OUTSIDE of Texas. Heck, even elpee opener "I'm a gonna love-a ya too" was later redone (and improved on, I might add) by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators on their infamous bogus live album but it sure is good to know that Holly did influence more'n just a buncha late-seventies poolside coke snorters like Linda Ronstadt or else I might never have picked this longplayer up in the first place! The entire album does ooze the correct amt. of fifties strength and pre-fiz energy (remember, this was before Holly was pointing at the shape of MOR things to come with such gloppy string-laden releases as "True Love Ways" which were so goopy even Peter and Gordon felt obliged to cover 'em!) and hey, while listening to the more countrified '56 demos on side two I was reminded of none other'n Marc Bolan as the youthful Holly warbled on which might have been the real key to what made rock-era superstardom so obtainable in days gone by!

FORGET all of the sappy Holly memorializing and horrid homages that the guy has supposedly "earned" over the years (lest they're by Joe Meek of course!). And while you're at it, forget that tale about the time Buddy walked in on Little Richard while galpal Angel was sucking Richard's nipple as Richard flibbened the jib with Holly making it a threesome (with the entire saga "coming" to a dramatic "climax" just as Holly was due to hit the stage making him, as Richard said, one rock & roller who definitely "came before he went"). Just give a listen to the unadulterated stuff the way it came out and was meant to be heard without any of the added gush and goo slopped all over it. This might not exactly be your cup of hotcha up-to-date latest flash in a genre that's probably overworn its stay, but it's down-to-earth raw, exciting and hey, more attuned to my own personal sense of purpose than most of the new upheaval that really is too little too late. I'd even call both of these discs the musical equivalent of old TWILIGHT ZONE reruns but I don't want to alienate any of you readers even more than I already have!


mowrey said...

What's up w/ "Dagoland"? Is that supposed to be funny? Grow up, man. There still may be time.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Does Richard Meltzer ever get any asinine comments along the lines of yours? Better stay with the Huffington Post where you belong.