01. This Little Heart - Dennis Smith
02. You Drive Me Out Of My Mind - Buddy Larrisson
03. Run Rose - Billy Miranda
04. Lovinest Lovin' - Dub Dickerson
05. Mule Skinner Blues - Rocky Jones
06. Lovin' Honey - Gene Morris
07. Ruby Baby - Cody Brennon
08. My Baby Is Gone - Chuck Royal
09. Cuttin' Out - "Sandman" Howard
10. Little Miss Mary - Vilas Craig
01. She's Mine - Chuck Mills
02. I'm Nobody's Fool - Piano Red & Bertha Colbert
03. Gotta Girl - Jimmy Ford
04. My Boy, Sleepy Pete - The Tempo-Tones
05. New Hound Dog - Frank Motley
06. Love Letter - Del Swade
07. Silly Lilly - Les Tasher
08. Gonna Take My Guitar - Bobby Hodge
09. I Wanna Know - The Isley Brothers
10. Stompen' Rock - Tony March
Desperate Rock'N Roll (Zippy)
From the rock 'n' roll underground, from the forgotten netherworld of spaced out hillbillies, two-chord Elvis wannabees and R&B bawlers 'n' squallers, comes another of those mysterious compilations (see T-Bird Party!) seemingly put together from someone's box of obscure, or at least semi obscure, scratched ole 45's. It's sort of a vinyl equivalent of those columns in "Kicks" magazine where one or more Kicksters would sling a pile of platters on to the turntable and describe what they were hearing in a breathlessly rollicking, stream of consciousness hepcat word whirl, all backed up with a deep knowledge of the most obscure tiny record labels from the utmost back of beyond.
So you take a bunch of obscuros, and wrap 'em up in a sleeve featuring sleazy artwork from the cover of some 1950's crime novel or pulp magazine, and bang! you've got yourself the alternative alternative. A promise of sex, violence and pounding adults only rock and roll which should be irresistible to thrill seekers everywhere. Or perhaps it awakens lost memories of being hustled past the windows of dirty bookshops in Cowcaddens or maybe the lights of that shop round the corner from Partick Cross subway station packed with imported American comics and paperbacks and it's a dark, wet winter's Saturday afternoon in 1961, but I digress needlessly.
Does it work? Do the sounds live up to the hype? And hype it is, folks. Well yes, by and large it works for me. This assemblage of twangin' geetars, crashing drums, thick country accents, rasping saxes, rhythm 'n booze howling, and general lo-fi hi-jinks is fun! And in the end that's what counts. Suspend all critical faculties and succumb to the spirit of desperate rock 'n' roll!
Be Bop Wino regulars will be pleased by the presence of a track from the 1956 concert in Atlanta which made up one side of the "Piano Red In Concert" LP. "I'm Nobody's Fool" wasn't included in that LP, so here's a chance to catch up with another piece of Red's amiable schtick. And it's a fine track which fairly rocks along. Other R&B highlights on this collection include a frantic number on Derby by very obscure blues shouter Walter "Sandman" Howard, a frantic "Hound Dog" cash-in from Frank Motley, and a not quite so frantic early Isley Brothers rocker.
When this LP came out it was the only way you were going to hear a lot of this stuff unless you had a record collection to die for. The lack of info added to the mystique, but the internet has changed all that. Now you can find out all sorts of info on the background to these tracks. Moreover, you can listen to most of these tracks and countless other obscure 1950's / early 1960's sides on YouTube as a treasure trove of the rarest rock and roll has been uploaded there by enthusiasts. For instance while I was searching around for details on the Tony March side "Stompen Rock" I came across not only the version on Checker which is on this LP, but I also found the original very rare version which was self issued on a small label called Savoy (NOT the R&B / jazz label). The world has indeed changed since "Desperate Rock'N Roll" sleazed its way into the record shop browsers.
Fax on the Desperate Trax
When it comes to all things Rockabilly, Hillbilly Boogie, or general countrified rock 'n' roll, then the web site of choice has to be Rockin' Country Style. This is a massive searchable motherlode of info which served as an extremely handy aid for what follows below, especially as you can search by compilation title and go straight to "Desperate Rock'N Roll Volume 10." Original release details plus label shots of many of the tracks on this LP are there.
Information on the non-rockabilly tracks came from www.45cat.com, www.discogs.com, YouTube and Billboard.
01. This Little Heart - Dennis Smith - Lyndan 500 - date unknown
02. You Drive Me Out Of My Mind - Buddy Larrisson - Jabar 103 - April 1963
03. Run Rose - Billy Miranda - Checker 957 - July 1960
04. Lovinest Lovin' - Dub Dickerson - from the LP "Sad And Lonely - Country Ballads from The Heart" (Sims Records 102) - 1962
05. Mule Skinner Blues - Rocky Jones - Wasp WR 108 - August 1967
06. Lovin Honey - Gene Morris with the Pages - Edmoral 1012-45 - April 1957
07. Ruby Baby - Cody Brennon & the Temptations - Swan S4089 - November 1961
08. My Baby Is Gone - Chuck Royal and The Sharpsters - Bella 45-2210-58 - January 1959
09. Cuttin' Out - Walter "Sandman" Howard - Derby 45-762 - 1951
10. Little Miss Mary - Vilas Craig and the Vi Counts - International Artists J-2120 - September 1960
11. She's Mine - The Monarchs Featuring Chuck Mills - Band Box 221 - January 1959
12. I'm Nobody's Fool - Piano Red with Bertha Colbert - Groove 4G-0145 - April 1956
13. Gotta Girl - Jimmy Ford - Esther 101 - date unknown
14. My Boy, Sleepy Pete - The Tempo Tones - Acme 45-715 - 1957
15. New Hound Dog - Frank Motley (Dual Trumpeter) And His Crew - Big Town BT-116 - October 1954
16. Love Letter - Del Swade - Production ZTSC-63164 - 1960
17. Silly Lilly - Les Tasher And His Rebel Rocks - Canadian International INT-101 - date unknown
18. Gonna Take My Guitar - Bobby Hodge Accompanied By The Rainbow Rangers - Rebel 819 - 1958
19. I Wanna Know (Baby Will You Be Mine) - The Isley Brothers - Gone 5022 - January 1958
20. Stompen Rock - Tony March with Mike Roncone Orchestra - Checker 887 - March 1958
If this is your bag, then check out SURFADELIC for piles of surf, instro, garage, R&B, rockabilly and trash comps. Beware, your mind will never be the same again.