Collectors reissue label JASMINE RECORDS currently have some strong releases that are sure to please soul and pop collectors.
First up there’s 25 tracks of vintage ISLEY BROTHERS material….’Just One More Time’. The collection brings together all their A and B sides released between 1960 and 1962 and also includes the whole ‘Twist And Shout’ LP. The ‘Twist And shout’ track is clearly the focus as it’s the one that was such a massive influence on the Beatles and John Lennon in particular. It’s worth remembering though that the actual original version of the song was by the Top Notes. In essence, the Isleys’ classic reading is a cover too! The ‘Twist And Shout’ LP offers all kinds of intriguing versions of the twist… ‘Twistin’ With Linda’, ‘Spanish Twist’ and a version ‘Let’s Twist Again’ which is mainly instrumental! It’s the Atlantic, RCA and Wand singles that provide the real interest here as they show the three young brothers working to find a signature sound over which to float Ronnie’s unique voice.
Someone who did have a unique sound and style was the iconic BO DIDDLEY. He’s the focus of Jasmine’s ‘Say Man Back Again’ – a roundup of all his Chess A and B side between 1959 and 1962. There are of course plenty of classics like ‘I Can Tell’, ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ and ‘Roadrunner’ – songs that every decent 60s beat band had in their repertoires. The 28 tracker though is stuffed with all manner of treasures … like ‘Gun Slinger’, ‘Cheyenne’ (a tribute to a TV cowboy!) and ‘Bo’s Vacation’ – all delivered with humour, conviction and that distinct and relentless rhythm. In an age when adjectives like “icon” and “genius” are doled out to plenty of second rate wannabees, Bo Diddley shows what those epithets really stand for. Every home should have a Bo Diddley collection this one’s an excellent starter!
Though he would never claim be “iconic”, Texan BRUCE CHANNEL did record one song that does enjoy “iconic status” – the 1962 smash ‘Hey Baby’. That tune forms the focus to Jasmine’s 1959-1962 round up of the singer’s work… mainly country pop. The album is, of course, named for ‘Hey Baby’… and back to those fab Beatles; the quartet featured the song in their latter Cavern shows while John Lennon always said that ‘Love Me Do’ was written as a pastiche of ‘Hey Baby’… so, yes, “iconic”!