Just as Doo Wop and the Girl Group sound made their contribution to the story of Rock’n’Roll’s, so too did the Pop Instrumental, bringing with it a new dimension and diversity to the charts. From the mid-1950s until the British Invasion, arguably Instrumentals were to spawn more one-hit wonders than any other genre, largely because so many were recorded by “faceless” session players, as opposed to bona fide Pop artistes who came to prominence via TV shows such as American Bandstand.
Often used by radio programmers as a convenient means by which to segue seamlessly into the news, some “anonymous” instro might become part of a station’s playlist if enough listeners enquired after it and many did… in droves. Dyed-in-the-wool Jazzers, seasoned Bluesmen, Country gentlemen and proto-Punks peppered the US Pop and R&B charts with numbers both perky and menacing, their sax-honkin’, piano-plinkin’, bongo-stompin’, Fender-twangin’, finger-clickin’ sounds leaving an indelible print on Pop music.
Covering the period 1956-9, this carefully compiled, hit-laden 50-track set draws together chart-toppers (Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, Santo & Johnny, The Champs, etc.), lesser-heard gems (Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, The Frantics, Cozy Cole) and cult classics (The Spacemen, Link Wray, Martin Denny). Essential listening for all instro devotees.
Available on Fantastic Voyage. Original 45rpm sleeves courtesy of Jim Hilmar.
A Jim Dandy compilation of Rock’n’Roll instrumentals, of which at least a couple of dozen would surely be considered classics of the genre by aficionados… an ideal place to begin your investigation of the much loved instrumental. Eric Dunsdon • Now Dig This
The joy of sax, guitar and drum… collectors will welcome the rarities spread over this double disc set, including The Cyclones’ Bullwhip Rock, The Frantics’ Fog Cutter and The Strangers’ Caterpillar Crawl. 4/5 Kingsley Abbott • Record Collector
Also check out companion volume Coolsville!
… a very nice set and presentation (with good booklet and liner notes) and a fine follow-up to the label’s Instroville. 4/5 • New Gandy Dancer
Fantastic Voyage always does a good job of mixing in classics with more obscure tracks, and this set doesn’t disappoint. • Icon Fetch