With Halloween at the end of October, there is no better time to release Dead Good: Eternal Classics From The Grim Reaper’s Jukebox. Compiled by Lucky Parker, the 30-track selection is devoted to teen tragedy, graveyard grooves and crypt-kickin’ classics from the rock ’n’ roll era, all wrapped up in a suitably trashy horror sleeve. “A Halloween treat” says Vintage Rock, “a perfect soundtrack for a bit of apple bobbing”, while Record Collector reckons there’s “camp and kitsch appeal aplenty”.
Back in June we released Youths Boogie: Jamaican R&B And The Birth Of Ska to an enthusiastic reception, so we asked Mike Atherton to delve deeper into his record collection for further nuggets, and he has come up trumps with Mash It! More Jamaican R&B And The Birth Of Ska. Many of the titles are making their CD debut on this set, which spotlights the productions of WIRL Records (Eddie Seaga) and Beverley’s (Leslie Kong) as well as their rivals on the nascent ska scene. With five Higgs & Wilson recordings and four Rico instrumentals among the 50 tracks, there is plenty to be excited about. As with its predecessor, there is a limited edition 32-track 2LP vinyl format.
Not only a top-notch electric guitarist, but also an accomplished singer and songwriter, Lowell Fulson ticks all the boxes for blues aficionados. Trouble, Trouble: The Definitive Early Years Collection has been compiled and annotated by Neil Slaven. The 3CD set packs in 75 tracks, from Fulson’s 1946 debut for Big Town to his 50s and 60s sessions for Checker, via half a dozen other labels and no less than nine R&B hits including Three O’Clock Blues, Everyday I Have The Blues and Reconsider Baby. And the 20pp booklet has lots of lovely label shots. Emphatically the definitive survey of an influential figure, only rivalled by T-Bone Walker on the West Coast blues scene.
Compiled by Lois Wilson (Mojo, Record Collector) For This I Thank You: Motown R&B, Popcorn And Rock ‘n’ Roll constitutes a thorough survey of the first few years of the Motown family of labels, when they released some of the most raucous R&B, rollicking rock & roll, heart-wrenching early soul and delicious popcorn sides you’ll ever hear. In a 4-star review, Record Collector declared “what this set does really well is guide us through the embryonic Motown Sound…an intelligent mix of known hits and real obscurities.” In other words, this whopping 89-track 3CD set is a must for disciples of R&B, soul and mod.