Compilation producers: John Broven, Trevor Churchill, Rob Finnis.
Includes liner notes by David Burke & Allen Taylor.
Digitally remastered by Duncan Cowell (Sound Mastering Ltd).
The fifth and final installment of Ace's series of early rock instrumental compilations is one of the best Teen Beat volumes, in large part because about half of these are acknowledged classic hits. Booker T. & the MG's' "Green Onions," Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums," the Pyramids' "Penetration," Link Wray's "Raw-Hide," the Routers' "Let's Go (Pony)," Jack Nitzsche's "The Lonely Surfer," Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk," the Mar-Keys' "Last Night," Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Like Long Hair": they're all dynamite tunes, and even if they might not be that hard to find on other reissues, it's good to have them all in one place. The 30-track disc is filled out by lesser hits that haven't made it into oldies radio formats, although all but a couple at least entered the charts. Some of them, frankly, are highly derivative and forgettable, even if they actually did quite well. What, then, are the relative rarities here to keep an eye on? There's "Week End" by the Kingsmen, not the "Louie Louie" folks but an entire different outfit comprised of Bill Haley's Comets playing under a different name. New Orleans pianist legend James Booker almost made the Top Forty in 1960 with the highly atypical (for him) "Gonzo," with its organ and flute. Ray Bryant Combo's big band-cum-rock "The Madison Time (Part 1)" was used in the soundtrack of John Waters' Hairspray. Phil Spector did the rare , non-charting Duane Eddy-like tune "Bumbershoot" in 1959, under the pseudonym Phil Harvey. There's even a leap back to the pre-rock era with Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie," a 1948 hit that pointed the way to the hillbilly-boogie fusion that would lay a major foundation for rock'n'roll, and was redone as a fully rock'n'roll hit in 1959 by the Virtues (as "Guitar Boogie Shuffle"). ~ Richie Unterberger