Good Old Rock 'n Roll


Various, Good Old Rock ’n Roll (Coral: COPS-6219)

A 1972 German double-album. Each side features Bill Haley, Johnny Burnette, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and Carl Perkins, and that order is fixed across all four sides. Now that’s what I call the art of curation. Audio is a particularly bad example of reprocessed stereo. But then I didn’t buy this for the music but for its cover art . . .

In the same way UK rock ’n’ roll revival compilations always betray their county of origin, like the ton up boys on the front of Johnnie Burnette’s Tear It Up, Continental comps also say something about their version of America’s 1950s into Europe’s 1970s. The figure in the portrait looks Gallic to me, and the way his hair is piled up on top is rather unique. I like too the hint of a moustache, the ruby and emerald rings, the extra long cig and the gentle way he holds the oversized transistor radio. He looks to me like an aesthete dreaming of Rimbaud channeled through Gene Vincent, or Jim Jarmusch before the colour drained from his hair