Album Reviews

Retro Dee Reviews: All The Best – Eddie Cochran

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In this section I will be reviewing music albums. I hope this will help other retro fans who are looking to add to their CD collection. (Yes, there are still people who buy CDs) So maybe this review will reveal that an album is just what you’re looking for. Or maybe it will show you that it’s just not your cup o’ tea.

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Disclaimer: These reviews are my personal, independent opinions. I do not get paid or compensated in any way to endorse anything.

Retro Dee Reviews: “All The Best: Eddie Cochran”

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CD Cover of “All The Best: Eddie Cochran” by EMI Records

 

Eddie Cochran is one of those artists that had a few enormously popular chart-topping hits, but you won’t discover the scope of his true talent until you listen to more of his work. He was another Pioneer of Rock n Roll with an incredible gift who was taken from the world far too soon.

I chose this particular CD set because it was complete with his biggest hits, and included the song “Three Stars” which I will get to later in this review. This set is distributed by EMI Records and is copyrighted 2012. It consists of 2 CDs and has a total of 40 songs. The cover (above) is clean and white with a nice, legible font placed vertically and a beautiful photo of Eddie playing his Gretch 6120. The inside has a booklet with lots of photos of Eddie because he was good looking and loved posing for photos. The 2 CDs are on a fold-out tray and the back cover lists all the songs in gray font on a brown background which is a tad difficult to read.

 

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Inside of Eddie Cochran CD compilation by EMI Records

Okay enough with descriptions, let’s rock!

CD 1

1.”Summertime Blues” (1958) This collection smartly starts off with Eddie’s most well-known hit. 2. “Three Steps to Heaven” (1960) I’ve gotten to really like this song, with its distinctive guitar and Eddie’s smooth vocals. This song was released after his death.   3. “Somethin’ Else” (1959) This song was famously penned by Eddie’s fiancee, Sharon Sheeley. It’s a great upbeat song similar to “Summertime Blues”, about a gal who’s “somethin’ else”. As in “Summertime Blues”, Eddie speaks part of the lyrics.   4. “Cut Across Shorty” (1960) A real Rockabilly tune. Eddie kills it with his husky voice and fantastic energy.  5. “Twenty Flight Rock” (1957) Eddie performed this song in the movie The Girl Can’t Help It. In this and other songs, Eddie’s vocal style is very similar to that of Elvis Presley’s.

6. “Sittin’ In The Balcony” (1957) This hit made it to number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was performed by Eddie in the movie Go Johnny, Go. It’s also done in the style of Elvis with prominent back-up vocals and a good guitar solo.  7. “Drive-In Show” (1957) Just a mellow song about having a good evening at the Drive-In Show.   8. “Three Stars” (1959) This song (written by Tommy Dee) is a tribute to Eddie’s close friends: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (aka The Big Bopper) To say it’s sad is an understatement. The melancholy tune’s lyrics say there are three new stars in the sky (since the tragedy of February 3rd, 1959). The spoken part is simply heartbreaking. Eddie addresses each of his friends, noticeably choking up when he speaks Buddy Holly’s name. This song would be sad enough, without the horrible irony of Eddie Cochran’s own tragic fate, just one year later.  9. “Skinny Jim” (1956) The speed and mood picks up dramatically with this next song. It’s a Rockin’, raucous jam about some fella named Skinny Jim. With lots of piano and a great solo, it’s Rockabilly at its finest.  10. “Sweetie Pie” (1960) This is a fun, upbeat song with a great guitar solo and Eddie humming part of the melody. Lyric-wise we have: “She’s my sweetie pie and I love her so.” Simple, but the music itself makes up for that.

11. “Completely Sweet” In keeping with the same simple, sweet theme, we have this next song, also similar to something Elvis might do.  12. “Pretty Girl” (1958) If you keep in mind what era this song is from, the lyrics are pretty risqué! “Let’s make love ’til the broad day light…” Not sure how this one got past the censor in those days, though to us it seems pretty tame.   13. “Tell Me Why” Not to be confused with the Norman Fox and The Rob Roys’ song of the same name, this is a slow, Elvis-style ballad. The spoken part is kind of humorous, as he talks about how God made her like He made the sun.   14. “I’m Ready” NOT the Fats Domino song (kind of wish it were). It’s about a guy who’s excited to get married. A fast, upbeat tune and he repeats the word “ready” an awful lot.   15. “Blue Suede Shoes” YES it’s a cover of the Carl Perkins song. It’s a bit less energetic than Perkins and Elvis, but Eddie does a fine job.

16. “Little Lou” Good, fast Rockabilly tune.   17. “Teresa” (1958) This next song is a mellow ballad about a gal named – you guessed it – Teresa. It’s a good example of what a great singer Eddie was.   18. “I Remember” (1959) I like the romantic, quintessential 1950’s sound of this song.   19.  “Weekend” (1961) Another with the same premise of “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody”.   20. “That’s My Desire” This one is also like an Elvis song, but more like the later Elvis, in Vegas.

CD 2

1. “C’mon Everybody” (1958) After hearing this classic a few times, I said: “Damn, I love this song!” It’s one of the first in teen rebellious tunes, about a fella throwing a party while his folks are out of town. But that’s not why I like it. I love the way he sings the title in the chorus followed up by the guitar riff. It’s a great Rock n Roll song without the “heavyness” that came later.   2. “Teenage Heaven” (1959) Not one of my favorites, it has a melody reminiscent of “Home On The Range”.   3. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” (1959) Has elements of Big Band that segways into a Rock N Roll solo.   4. “Long Tall Sally” Eddie’s cover of this hit has lower energy than Little Richard’s, but still good.   5. “Nervous Breakdown” (1960) I joke that this is a song about me, because that’s what I feel like I’m having sometimes. But jokes aside, this has a similar construction to “Summertime Blues” in vocals, beat and guitar. It was released posthumously.

6. “Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie” (1958) That’s three “Jeanie’s”. She’s so great he’s gotta say it thrice. Is “thrice” a word? Yes, according to Rose on The Golden Girls.   7. “Lonely” (1960) Very 50’s sounding. The vocals are something between Elvis and Eddie’s own style.  8. “Am I Blue” (1957) The titles on the back are written close together so at first I read it as “AMIBLUE” and I was struggling to make sense of it… Then I realized it was not all one word.  9. “Heart Breakin’ Mama” This song has elements of Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox” and even a little bit of “Blue Suede Shoes”.   10. “Rock N Roll Blues” The first of a string of songs that carries “Blues” in the title. This song has that 50’s sound and a memorable melody. One of my favorites.

11. “Cherished Memories” It has a marching beat to it with a 50’s sound, then kind of goes into a Dean Martin thing.   12. “Eddie’s Blues” An instrumental that will ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! It’s Rock, Rhythm & Blues at its finest. This song was way ahead of its time.  13. “My Way” (Take 4) NOT the Frank Sinatra song. Blues and Rock genre. A great example of Eddie’s talent and versatility. His voice grinds in a raspy kind of growl– a true Rock Star!    14. “Pink Peg Slacks”  We’re still in the Blues genre, with more great guitar.    15. “Milk Cow Blues” (Take 3) As the name suggests, this song is about cows. Kidding. It’s another blues song, with the classic blues formula. Another great example of what Eddie could do in this genre.

16. “Boll Weevil Song” (1959) A tad more on the country side, this old song has many versions as far back as 1929 and as recent as 2015.   17. “Little Angel” (1959) Not one of my favorites. I don’t care for the gospel style back-up singing, but Eddie’s voice is amazing.   18. “Mean When I’m Mad” (1957) Despite the title, this song is surprisingly mellow.  19. “Dark Lonely Street” (1957) In this slow ballad, Eddie’s voice is the deepest ever; also a bit like Elvis’ later years.

and finally,

20. “Think of Me” (Stop Version) This has a beautiful melody and is such a sad and sentimental way to end the set. “Think of me and miss me/ As I’ll be missing you”. This is so heartbreaking to listen to in light of Eddie’s tragic, untimely passing. It says that time cannot erase their love and to dream of him when they’re apart… words which likely comforted his Sharon Sheeley, after Eddie left this world.

The audio quality on this set is good, although I’ve noticed a slight difference in songs. If you want an Eddie Cochran compilation for your music collection (and who doesn’t?) this album is a fantastic choice.

Retro Dee Unofficial Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2 out of 5 Stars

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