Britain Learns To Rock!

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 1 Disc
Release date: 16 Mar 2009


4/5  UNCUT

"An excellent compilation"  MUSIC WEEK

CAT No: FVCD005UPC TEXT: 5055311000053

Full details

As Bob Stanley observes in his sleeve notes, “British rock’n’roll was quite distinct from its US counterpart. In its infancy almost all of it was made up of novelty, embarrassment and red-faced politeness, as if Will Hay and Peter Glaze were running the show.” Across 27 personally-picked tracks, Stanley chronicles the evolution of British rock’n’roll during the Fifties, from awkward early attempts by dance bands, jazz musicians and popular vocalists, through the skiffle boom popularised by Lonnie Donegan, to the emergence of genuinely talented rock’n’roll performers like Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard, culminating in the fully-fledged sound of “Move It” in 1958.

The selection complements the films which Stanley has chosen for the Barbican’s Britain Learns To Rock! season, from Fan Fever’s depiction of the teen hysteria which greeted early pop stars like Alma Cogan, to Calling All Cats, a feature length version of Jack Good’s pioneering TV pop show, and dramas starring Adam Faith, David McCallum and Cliff Richard.

Stanley’s sleeve notes explore Teddy boy culture, the significance of the coffee bar scene (including Soho’s fabled 2 I’s) and the role of the early pop music entrepreneurs. CD housed in slipcase depicting legendary 2 I’s venue, while cover of booklet sports iconic bikers.



  1. The Creep (Ken Mackintosh, His Saxophone & His Orchestra)
  2. Tweedle Dee (The Kirchin Band)
  3. Rock Island Line (The Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group)
  4. Chain Gang (Jimmy Young)
  5. Bad Penny Blues (Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band)
  6. Sugaree (Dennis Lotis)
  7. I'm In Love Again (Alma Cogan)
  8. That's Right (The Deep River Boys)
  9. Elevator Rock (Tommy Steele & The Steelmen)
  10. Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O (The Vipers Skiffle Group)
  11. Gamblin' Man (Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group)
  12. Last Train To San Fernando (Johnny Duncan & The Blue Grass Boys)
  13. Freight Train (Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group featuring Nancy Whiskey)
  14. Shiralee (Tommy Steele & The Steelmen)
  15. Baby She's Gone (Terry Dene)
  16. Sizzlin' Hot (Jimmy Miller & The Barbecues)
  17. Teenage Love (Five Chesternuts)
  18. Rock Baby Rock (Bertice Reading)
  19. Slim Jim Tie (Terry Wayne)
  20. Yea Yea (Vince Eager)
  21. Hoots Mon! (Lord Rockingham's X1)
  22. Pretty Little Pearly (Terry Dene)
  23. High School Confidential (Adam Faith)
  24. Mercy Mercy Percy (Neville Taylor)
  25. Endless Sleep (Marty Wilde & The Wild Cats)
  26. Right Behind You Baby (Vince Taylor)
  27. Move It (Cliff Richard & The Drifters)