|Rockin' Thru The Years 1955-2002, Billy Adams
Sanctuary Records, 2002
Subtitled "Rock Pretty Mama", this new Sanctuary release contains a pretty cool Billy Adams retrospective, from his first single release "Rock, Pretty Mama" b/w "Don't Cramp My Style" on Quincy 932-B (recorded in 1955) to his latest 45 on Castle/Sanctuary in 2002. The latter is a re-release of "Rock, Pretty Mama" backed with a new 2002 recording of a song written by Billy Adams, titled "Hot Dog, I'm A Real Cool Cat". Neither of the B-sides of the afore mentioned 45s are included, by the way. There wouldn't have been any room anyway, because this CD is packed with 27 tracks. All but four were written by Billy himself, which proves that the man, besides a fabulous rockabilly originator, is also a great song writer. Just listen to his fabulous "You Gotta Have A Duck Tail", and you'll know what I mean. And after all these years, Billy is still a Real Cool Cat, still recording, and still performing.
Producer Clif Doyal, with assistance of Billy Adams himself, has collected Billy's great rocking recordings, including the original Quincy cut, plus an superb alternate version of the song. Also included are titles issued on Dot, Nau-Voo, Fern and Spider, together with two previously unissued demo recordings from 1959 and 1964, and a selection of tracks recorded at the Sun Studio, Memphis Tennessee (1998), and two live recordings from Billy Block's Western Beat radio show (2001). This release amply illustrates the talent of a man who was there at the beginning of rock 'n' roll, and who is still rocking today.
Besides the fantastic original music, remastered by Peter J. Reynolds, the CD is accompanied by a 16 page booklet, which contains Billy's story written by Stuart Coleman and Tony Wilkinson, lotsa pictures, label shots and Billy's complete discography with The Rock & Roll Boys, The Rock-A-Teers and many more. Even the photos are rare, digitally restored by Bo Berglind (American Music Magazine). I must say, this is an absolute killer release, a must have for all rockabilly fans and collectors, and a feast for your ears!
A note from Billy: "I would like to take this golden opportunity to say thanks to all of those who have made a contribution to this project. It has been a long time coming, and again, I say thanks. It could never have happened without you. Keep-A-Rockin'" -- Billy Adams --
Clif Doyal Agency
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002