Jerry Lee's personal life has been eventful to say the least, but his brilliance as a singer and pianist has never been in question. As far as his music is concerned, there were two distinct phases to his recording career - the rock'n'roll music of the late fifties and early sixties (the subject of this compilation) and the country music of the late sixties and seventies (brilliant but often overlooked, best represented on Rhino's out of print Anthology).
Jerry Lee's later switch to country music should not have surprised anybody as his rock'n'roll recordings included a fair number of rocking covers of country songs. Indeed, his very first single was a cover of Crazy arms (originally a country song by Ray Price). However, it was Jerry Lee's second single, Whole lotta shaking going on, that gave him a major international hit. More classic hits followed (Great balls of fire, Breathless, High school confidential, Loving up a storm, Baby baby bye bye) but Jerry Lee soon became a controversial figure, which affected his popularity and (ultimately) record sales.
Jerry Lee managed a UK top ten with a cover of What'd I say (Ray Charles) in 1961, but that was his last major pop hit on either side of the Atlantic. He only had three further (minor) hits in the UK (Sweet little sixteen, Good golly miss Molly, Chantilly lace). Of these, Chantilly lace was a 1972 recording and is outside the scope of this compilation.
This compilation includes all of Jerry Lee's hits from the fifties and early sixties as well as his distinctive covers of various R+B, pop and country songs including You win again, Mean woman blues, I'll sail my ship alone, Cold cold heart and Save the last dance for me.
Every rock'n'roll fan needs a Jerry Lee compilation. This is as good as any you ewill find.