Various Artists - Records, Records, Records [Righteous/Cherry Red - 2020]Records, Records, Records is the next in the series of cool, often camp, and rare 45’s compilation from Righteous. This two-disc CD set takes in fifty-two tracks from around the 50’s & the ’60s; & it’s a great dose of quirky sonic Americana.
The two-CD set is presented in a slimline clear double jewel case- this fitting the compilation's title is covered in 45 labels. The release comes with a colourful eight-page booklet, this features a five-page write-up about the collection from Dave Henderson of Mojo Magazine- who has curated all of the compilations in the series. Also in the booklet is, of course, full track listings- though oddly no publication dates for any of the tracks- all you get is track title, artists, and publisher- which for collectors is a little frustrating.
The first disc slides in at spot on the sixty-three-minute mark- offering up twenty-six tracks. And kicking things off in fine style we scrawling & rough instrumental rock ‘n’ roll of Johnny Moore & His New Blazers- "Bullfrog" with bulbous –yet- bound bass line, scorching through-harmonic sax & bounding keys. As we move on we come to murky noir fired soul Johnnie Morisette’s “Death Powder, Cold Steel”, through to the cool talk meets jazz piano & sassy horn groove of Dr. Horse’s “Jack, That Cat was Clean”. At the first disc midway point we have the jaunting & jive organ ‘n’ bass throb of The Sherwood’s “Monkey See, Monkey Do”. And just as we ease towards the end of the first disc we have the clicking lighter percussion, waltz glitzy piano, and rising harmonizing voices of Dick Katz “Dreamride”- a really classy-yet- cheese slice of 50’s easy listening.
Moving onto the second disc in the set- and this takes in another twenty-six tracks and spot-on sixty-five minutes of music. And once again it’s an enjoyable varied ride we go from the snapping & bounding "Roundabout" by The Jaguars, that has some of the original Batman theme tune vibe to it's chugging bassline. Moving on we have tacky jungle drums, bird calls, and mischievous jazz flute playful-ness of Sabu’s “Sorcery”, or there’s the sing-song to soaring gospel meets swooning horn pop of Miss D’s “People Will walk Over You”. Nine tracks from the end we have the off-kilter blend of twang/ jingling guitar rock & waving weedy horn spouting of The Shardells- “Black Crack”- which features a great organ breakdown & guys sudden shouting black crack. Towards the end of the disc, we have moody & upbeat piano and shouty male vocals of Bob Lee’s “Wanted For Questioning”, and things are topped off with the wonderful wacky "Space Mice" by Walter Brenan- with its sped-up chipmunk vocalizing and old man talking story schlock.
More often than not with series of compilations the inspiration & quality of material drops with each new release- but that’s certainly not the case with this series. All in all Records, Records, Records, is another great collection of obscure-yet-wonderful 45’s.Roger Batty