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Link Wray Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD)

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“This Ace album has it all. If you only have to have one Link Wray album this is it.” Bobby... more

Link Wray: Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD)

“This Ace album has it all. If you only have to have one Link Wray album this is it.” Bobby Gillespie 

Listening to this record gives me the same feeling as Ritchie Valens’ brilliant instrumental ‘From Beyond’ – recorded in 1958, the same year ‘Rumble’ was released: the sense of electricity discovered and unchained. The electric guitar, once highlighted and harnessed to an unvarying, minimalist beat, turned into a sound of such melodic brutality that it appeared to embody all the existential threat of early rock’n’roll: the sound of the repressed – in these two cases Mexican Americans and Native Americans – seizing their moment and their place in the sun. 

That’s a lot to load onto a series of brief, catchy instrumentals but there is a power in these records that goes beyond the simple desire to have a hit or even have some product you can sell at gigs. The Valens track was a one-off – who knows whether or not he’d have pursued this route if he had lived – but Link Wray continued to make haunting, tough, lean and mean records until 1966 that at once moved with the times, ‘Batman Theme’ for one, but also stayed close to that founding sense of marginality and danger. 

“Early Recordings” was released in 1978, one of the earliest Chiswick LPs. Principally, it collected the singles Wray recorded for Swan between 1963 and 1966. You’ve only got to scan the titles on the back sleeve – ‘Ace of Spades’, ‘Jack The Ripper’, ‘I’m Branded’, ‘Cross Ties’, ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’, ‘Deuces Wild’. This is music from the wrong side of the tracks, an outsider mythology that goes with the hip, stripped sound of the 45s, that conjures up mental images of smoky saloons, juke joints, late night poker games, black leather motorcycle gangs, chicken runs at 120mph: what the American Wild West became after the frontier was finally closed. The records totally live up to this promise, or is it a threat? Or both? Who cares? Let’s go! 

In retrospect, 1978 was the perfect time to reissue these tracks, very few of which had been released in Britain. In their artistic minimalism and melodic fury, they signalled a straight line between first wave rock’n’roll, hard rock groups such as the 60s Who (Pete Townshend: “If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble’, I would have never picked up a guitar”) and the scalding, distorted electricity of the early punk groups – most notably the Cramps, who adapted ‘Jack The Ripper’ in their version of Dwight Pullen’s ‘Sunglasses After Dark’. As Poison Ivy said in a 2000 interview: “My favourite guitarist is Link Wray. I just like hearing a lot of strings splashing all at once. And just the austerity and the starkness of how he plays, you know? The drama that’s created by not overplaying.”

Article properties: Link Wray: Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD)

  • Interpret: Link Wray

  • Album titlle: Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD)

  • Genre Rock'n'Roll

  • Year of publication 2016
  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667074728

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Wray, Link - Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD) CD 1
01 Batman Theme
02 Ace Of Spades
03 Cross Ties
04 Jack The Ripper
05 Hidden Charms
06 I'm Branded
07 The Shadow Knows
08 Fat Back
09 Run Chicken Run
10 The Black Widow
11 Scatter
12 Turnpike USA
13 Mr Guitar
14 Rumble
15 Good Rockin' Tonight
16 Deuces Wild
17 Mustang
18 Heartbreak Hotel
19 Law Of The Jungle
20 Blueberry Hill
21 The Swag
22 Rumble
23 Run Boy Run
24 Honky Tonk
25 The Sweeper
26 Hound Dog
27 That'll Be The Day
28 Zip Code
29 Please Please Me
LINK WRAY La De Da recorded October 1970 at Wray's Shack Three Track, Accokeek,... more
"Link Wray"

LINK WRAY

La De Da

recorded October 1970 at Wray's Shack Three Track, Accokeek, Maryland; Producers: Steve Verroca and Ray Vernon in association with Bob Feldman

with Lincoln 'Link' Wray: vocal/guitars/Dobro/bass; Billy Hodges: piano/organ/ backing vocal; Bobbie Howard: mandolin/piano; Doug Wray: drums/backing vocal; Steve Verroca: percussion/backing vocal

Polydor 24-4064 (LP)

 

Link Wray played the most important D chord in history: it opened Rumble. Guitarists often remember where they were when they first heard it. Thirteen years later, Wray signed with the newly-launched American division of Polydor, and his back porch sound could almost have emanated from another Link Wray. The extended Wray family was living almost communally on the family farm near Accokeek, Maryland, an hour south of Washington. "Papa started building a chicken coop and a porch on the house," Link told Tom Zito in 1971. "Then he built a room onto the porch, and then another room onto that and pretty soon it was all connected. Ray moved his three-track recorder into one of the rooms and we converted the coop into a studio, but the two were never connected so we still have to yell back and forth, 'Is it running, Ray?' every time we want to start."

 One of Link's steady gigs was at the Two Thieves Club in suburban Maryland. There, he was heard by Steve Verocca, an Italian who'd come to the States in the wake of Volare, an Italian song he claimed to have produced in its original version by Domenico Modungo. "I was overwhelmed by [Link's] music," said Verroca. "Here was a man on-stage singing out his soul, so I asked him about recording an album and he told me about his past experiences, and I suggested we do it at the Shack. I believe the Shack has a soul. You can hear people burping on the record, and that's great. It's real."

When Verroca had no success placing the LP, it was handed to Bob Feldman, who'd been in the Strangeloves and had produced the Angels' My Boyfriend's Back. Feldman had known Link when they were touring together in the late '50s, and was both moved and intrigued by the new record. "Every so often, magic happens," he said. Given the rights for ninety days, he placed the LP with the new American division of Polydor Records. Lyrically, Wray's new songs weren't especially strong, but the funky, organic vibe was compelling. If Rick Nelson's reinvention was still in character; Wray's was a complete 180 degree turn.

Various - Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Vol.04, The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock 1971 (2-CD)


Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/various-truckers-kickers-cowboy-angels-vol.04-the-blissed-out-birth-of-country-rock-1971-2-cd.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

 

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Tracklist
Wray, Link - Early Recordings - Good Rockin' Tonight (CD) CD 1
01 Batman Theme
02 Ace Of Spades
03 Cross Ties
04 Jack The Ripper
05 Hidden Charms
06 I'm Branded
07 The Shadow Knows
08 Fat Back
09 Run Chicken Run
10 The Black Widow
11 Scatter
12 Turnpike USA
13 Mr Guitar
14 Rumble
15 Good Rockin' Tonight
16 Deuces Wild
17 Mustang
18 Heartbreak Hotel
19 Law Of The Jungle
20 Blueberry Hill
21 The Swag
22 Rumble
23 Run Boy Run
24 Honky Tonk
25 The Sweeper
26 Hound Dog
27 That'll Be The Day
28 Zip Code
29 Please Please Me