Search - Ronnie Hawkins :: Best of

Best of
Ronnie Hawkins
Best of
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Ronnie Hawkins had to strain a bit to find the edge that came naturally for the likes of Gene Vincent and, for the most part, worked outside the U.S. star-making circuit for most his career. Hence, he became the quintessen...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ronnie Hawkins
Title: Best of
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Release Date: 6/12/1990
Genres: Pop, Rock
Style: Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 081227096625, 081227096649

Ronnie Hawkins had to strain a bit to find the edge that came naturally for the likes of Gene Vincent and, for the most part, worked outside the U.S. star-making circuit for most his career. Hence, he became the quintessential journeyman. Indeed, Hawkins is now better known as the man who first brought together the Band (as one version of his fluctuating backup group, the Hawks) than as a recording artist who charted a few times in the late '50s before settling in as a club favorite in Canada, which is where he came upon Robbie Robertson, Richard Manual, Garth Hudson, and Rick Danko. (Levon Helm, like Hawkins an Arkansas native, was already a Hawk when the others joined.) This 18-track retrospective ranges from 1959 to 1970 and offers up Hawkins's smattering of minor hits ("Forty Days," "Mary Lou," "Wild Little Willy"). It's highlighted, however, by 1963's "Who Do You Love," which is dominated by Robertson's incendiary guitar and inspired playing by the rest of the Hawks, who'd soon go from playing juke joints to backing Bob Dylan at concert halls. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

The Genesis of the greatest rock and roll band ever
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks live at the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas some 35 years ago. This band went on to become, minus their lead singer Ronnie Hawkins, the greatest rock and roll band ever, The Band, featured in Martin Scorsese's film, "The Last Waltz." This album captures that incredible sound that started so long ago and features great riffs from the best lead guitar player I have ever heard, Robbie Robertson. From "Forty Days" to "Who Do You Love", this album, perhaps more than any other, portrays the true sound of what become known as Southern rock, even though all the guys were from Canada except for Levon Helm. This is an album every serious collector of rock and roll and the origins of rock and roll should have."
True rockers
Micah W. Evans | Little Rock, AR | 07/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Once again the true story of Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks is not being told. First and foremost they where always a better live act than their first two albums attest to. They played the delta circuit here in Arkansas before heading north to Canada where their really made their name. All of the original Hawks are from Arkansas and with the exception of Levon Helm had started out with Harold Jenkins. This collection does not do their fierce reputation justice. While it is true to the original recording it is tame in comparison to their wild rip-roaring performances. The Band is given much of the credit that is actually due to the originals. Jimmy Ray Paulman (guitar), Will "Pop" Jones (piano), Levon Helm (drums) and my father Jimmy "Lefty" Evans (bass). Any fan of rockabilly or 50's music should pick this one up. And by the way "Who do you Love" was performed by the original Hawks well before they taught it to Robbie Robertson!"
Far too restrained, but not without his moments
TimothyFarrell22 | Massachusetts | 08/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Today, Ronnie Hawkins is best known as the man whose self-formed backup musicians later became rock legends The Band, and he may as well be. Hawkins is a bit bland and too restrained to be considored a great rockabilly artist. He lacks the menacing edge of Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, and he had only a few memorable songs. Too little, too late, as Hawkins came late when the rockabilly craze was dying down. It was an honorable move to try to keep the purest form of rock 'n' roll there ever was alive, but Hawkins just didn't have what it took to make the move. The main detractor was his voice, which wasn't good, not even in the untraditional rock 'n' roll way. It isn't bad on some tracks, but is a major annoyance on others. All in all, this was a respectable rock 'n' roller who had his moments, but not enough of them. The better tracks on this album are, however, quite good and the rockabilly enthusiast may pick up the compilation for those tracks. His opening Berry covers are fun, and while they aren't a match to the originals, they are better than anything Brian Setzer has produced. "One of These Days" has some very cool riffs and should've been a bigger hit than it was. The highlight of the collection is definatly "Who Do You Love". Its obvious from this cover that early on Robbie Robertson is a godly guitarist. The riffing and soloing are amazing, and the early use of distortion is fantastic. This compilation may be worth buying for rockabilly fans who already have the essentials. However, if you are new to the genre, pick up some Gene Vincent or Link Wray instead."