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The Best Of Bill Haley & His Comets: 20th Century Masters-(Millennium Collection)
Bill Haley & Comets
The Best Of Bill Haley & His Comets: 20th Century Masters-(Millennium Collection)
Genres: Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Bill Haley died convinced that his role in shaping and popularizing rock & roll was largely undervalued. If he was around today you'd have to agree with him, because his recorded legacy has been relegated on the one hand t...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Bill Haley & Comets
Title: The Best Of Bill Haley & His Comets: 20th Century Masters-(Millennium Collection)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Original Release Date: 4/20/1999
Release Date: 4/20/1999
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 008811195724

Synopsis

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Bill Haley died convinced that his role in shaping and popularizing rock & roll was largely undervalued. If he was around today you'd have to agree with him, because his recorded legacy has been relegated on the one hand to bargain-basement hits collections and, on the other, to prohibitively expensive box sets that most folk will never hear. Haley's 20th Century Masters set is yet another too-slight selection of his groundbreaking work, though it does contain all the basics: "Rock Around the Clock," "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "See You Later, Alligator," and nine others. Haley is generally thought of as tame and conservative compared to, say, Elvis, which is probably true. But consider this unbelievably randy double-entendre from "Shake, Rattle and Roll": "I'm like a one-eyed cat / Peepin' in a seafood store." Yikes. If they'd chosen that as the theme to Happy Days, instead of "Rock Around the Clock" America would be a different nation today. --Daniel Durchholz

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CD Reviews

The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll
Carl Savich | Detroit, MI, USA | 11/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 20th Century Masters series is an excellent anthology series. The sound quality of the remastered CD is excellent. I would recommend this CD just on the remarkable sound quality. You can hear the instruments and studio sounds that were not available on the poor quality phonograph records. The musicianship of Bill Haley, who played a Gibson hollow-body electric, and Fran Beecher, the lead guitarist, is remarkable. Bill Haley the vocalist also shines on this remastered CD. You can hear that Haley was an excellent vocalist.
The songs selected to represent Haley's 1950s musical output is adequate. There could have been more selections but the series is one where only a small representative sample is chosen. FROM THE MASTER TAPES album is also excellent but that CD leaves off a Haley classic, "Skinny Minnie" (1958), Haley's last top 40 hit in the 1950s. So this CD is worth it just for the new remastered sound and the addition of "Skinny Minnie".
As noted in the liner notes, the term "rock and roll" was coined by Bill Haley in his songs "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie", which is included on the CD, and "Two Hound Dogs", not included on this CD. Alan Freed always said that he got the term "rock and roll" from Bill Haley. "Rock Around the Clock" (1954) was the first no.1 rock and roll record. Billboard bases its charts on that event. The Rock and Roll Era began when Haley hit no.1. People forget about all this today. But more than anyone else, Bill Haley is actually the man who invented rock and roll, before Elvis Presley, before Little Richard, before Jerry Lee Lewis, before Chuck Berry, before Buddy Holly. Haley was doing it YEARS before any of them. In fact, Bill Haley had an earlier rock and roll career not even covered on this CD! In April, 1953, Bill Haley had the first rock and roll hit on the national and Billboard charts, "Crazy, man, crazy" which had all the rock and roll elements, the "go go go go" chorus, youth rebellion, going to a party, the appeal to the "younger generation", the lead guitar break, drums, all of it! The song was the first REAL rock and roll record. Haley was the first rock and roll star. He had many rock records on Holiday/Essex records before Decca. The point to remember is this: Bill Haley did not stumble into rock and roll by accident or chance or by "stealing" his stuff from others. Haley planned it all out, he had an artistic vision. In every Haley song, there is a guitar solo, sometimes a drum solo, and sax soloing. This is not by accident. With regard to Elvis Presley, the King was a close friend of Haley and was in fact an opening act for Haley. Elvis respected Haley as an innovator and pioneer, as did his other friends and associates Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. Unfortunately, the rock critics and music fans have not been as appreciative. This is because not everything on this CD stands up well. Haley was a songwriter but he did COVERS that tended to destroy his reputation as an innovator. He didn't have a hit making machine like Little Richard at Specialty who had Bump Blackwell and John Marascalco to write songs for him. So not everything on the CD stands the test of time.
This music should be judged by its own criteria and standards. Bill Haley had a style that was different from the usual combo set up. Haley had a sax and a dance style orientation for his band. Judging his style with Elvis or Little Richard is like judging apples and oranges. Haley had his own style which was unique and remarkable. He had stuff that Elvis did not. This is therefore a unique listening experience.
This is the man who really invented rock and roll. The Rock Era began when "Rock Around the Clock" became the no.1. record for 8 weeks in 1955. Critics falsify these facts and engage in historical revision when it comes to Haley. But Haley got the last laugh. His vision endures. Rock and roll, a music idiom he invented, is still what we listen to, is still what we consider the greatest musical achievement of the 20th century. Buy this CD. You will enjoy the experience. And while only a very tiny selection of Haley's output, it gives the listener enough to appreciate the achievement of Bill Haley. Haley sang: "You gotta jump, you gotta jive, you gotta dance, to stay alive...rock...rock...rock...rock...everybody...go....go...go....go." It ain't Shakespeare, but it is rock and roll, man!"
R-O-C-K
David Bradley | Sterling, VA USA | 04/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Nobody will ever mistake Bill Haley for Elvis Presley. In the 1950s, Presley was about 20 years younger and 50 pounds lighter than Haley, for starters.But "Rock Around The Clock" is easily one of the greatest records ever made. Period. End of argument.What's interesting to me is the way Haley mixed a big band sound with early rock sounds. The drums, bass and horns on this LP are straight out of Glen Miller. The deciding factor, in labeling "Rock Around The Clock" and "Shake Rattle & Roll" are Haley's throaty vocals and some hot electric guitar.Some of the lesser known tunes here, especially "Thirteen Women" and the great "Burn That Candle," make this LP a fun listen from start to finish.The production here is fantastic. An awful lot of these oldies repackagings are second, third and fourth generation re-recordings of the original tapes, or bad reproductions re-recorded in the mid-1970s--I have spent too much money trying to find a CD version of Chubby Checker's original "Let's Twist Again" to ever be tempted by that one again--but this is crystal clear and heavy duty hi fidelity.Sounds just like it did when you used to spin the 45 on your Mickey Mouse Close-n-Play, sans scratches and skips."
12 songs? You must be kidding!
Stefan Lind | 07/10/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Bill's music is great. He will always be remembered as the man who started it all, the "father of Rock'n'Roll". But to drag out only 12 songs from the archives to put on this CD is a joke. That's about 30 minutes of music. Ridiculous! 20 or 24 of his best recordings could have fitted on one CD. So don't buy this one, there are better compilations around (i.e. "From The Original Master Tapes")."