August 2013

One of Fantastic Voyage’s best selling compilations has been It’s Saturday Night!, three CDs or glorious, mostly rare rockabilly drawn from the Starday and Dixie labels. Compiler Dave Penny hinted that he might return to the source, and now he has done so in fine style with the 3CD Teenage Blues. Sifting through the mass of custom pressings emanating from Starday between 1955 and 1962, he delivers 101 nuggets of primitive rockabilly and hillbilly bop. These are some of the most sought-after and expensive singles of all time, so track for track Teenage Blues is probably the most valuable set of recordings you will ever own.

Talking of rarities, it must have taken Mike Murphy considerable time and expense to accumulate the original Jamaican 78s from which we have sourced most of Mento, Not Calypso! Before the locals embraced shuffle blues and pioneered ska, mento was Jamaica’s most popular indigenous pop music and it  had a profound influence on the development of reggae. With 51 carefully-chosen tracks and accompanying notes by Phil Etgart, the 2CD Mento, Not Calypso! is unquestionably the best collection of mento yet to see issue, not to mention the perfect soundtrack to Carnival or a barbeque!

August also brings The Forgotten 45s 1957-1959, showcasing 90 singles that could reasonably have been expected to make the UK charts, but didn’t. Packed with singles by hit-makers of the calibre of Gene Vincent, Alma Cogan, Frankie Lymon, Lonnie Donegan, Brenda Lee and Dion, each disc in this 3CD set spotlights 30 misses from a particular year from 1957 to 1959. With a sequel due this autumn, covering the years 1960-1962, The Forgotten 45s offers a fascinating parallel narrative to the British Hit Parade series, as well as being a pleasurable and diverse listening experience in its own right.

Finally, it’s back to rockabilly for our vinyl release, Good Rockin’ Tonight. Cherry-picking 32 titles from our immensely popular 3CD set of the same name, and featuring Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson, Jack Scott, Janis Martin, Johnny Burnette, and Brenda Lee among its performers, this limited edition 2LP vinyl pressing offers an embarrassment of rockin’ riches.