"Carl Perkins' album ORIGINAL SUN GREATEST HITS is a must own album. This album is essential in any rock and roll collection. The Sun singles/45s on this collection represent the seminal hits of Carl Perkins from 1954 to 1957 when he recorded for Sam Phillips' Sun Studios in Memphis.
First, let me say that Rhino chose a very bad photo for the cover of this album. The LP and cassette versions featured a different and much better cover. Carl Perkins played a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop electric guitar on many of his earliest and most influential recordings. A photo from 1956 should have been chosen that shows Perkins playing the Les Paul guitar. Also, the single "That's Right" (co-written with Johnny Cash) was left off as were the ballads "Turn Around" and "Let the Jukebox Keep on Playing". The selection, however, is the best of any Perkins release up to that time.
When Carl Perkins released BLUE SUEDE SHOES on January 1, 1956, the record instantly shot to no. 2 on the Billboard pop amd r and b charts. Ironically, Elvis Presley kept it from going to no. 1 with his hit HEARTBREAK HOTEL! But Perkins' BLUE SUEDE SHOES was no. 1 on the Billboard country charts for 3 weeks! The record became the first million-seller or gold record at Sun. Not even Elvis was able to achieve this at Sun! BLUE SUEDE SHOES became one of the greatest and most influential records in rock and roll history! It was covered not only by Elvis, but by Bill Haley and the Comets, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, The Beatles, John Lennon and Eric Clapton as the Plastic Ono Band, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Pat Boone, and Johnny Rivers (who had a top 40 hit with it in the 1970s. Cliff Gallup said that he went into rock and roll after he heard Perkins' BLUE SUEDE SHOE. Bob Dylan listed Perkins as one of his greatest musical influences on his first album and said his music represented freedom. Dylan later co-wrote a song with Perkins called CHAMPAIGNE, ILLINOIS. The Grateful Dead also performed a Carl Perkins song in concert. Chuck Berry even used a line from Perkins' song and Perkins' nursery rhyme motif in ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN. Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps based their entire style on just this one Carl Perkins'record (Perkins' originated the phrases: "go cat go", "bop", "bop cat bop", "rock", "get it cat", "cat clothes", etc.). To show the influence of Carl Perkins' on the Beatles, the following songs are listed which the Beatles recorded: "Sure to Fall" (Beatles Live at the BBC), "Matchbax" (Capitol single in 1964), "Honey Don't" and "Everybody's Trying to be My baby" ("Beatles 65" album or For Sale in UK), "Blue Suede Shoes"(Beatles' Anthology 3, Live Peace in Toronto by John Lennon)), "Lend Me Your Comb" (Anthology 1). Perkins had a major impact on the Beatles as a songwriter, a guitarist, and a singer. He also wrote DADDY SANG BASS (no.1 for 6 weeks on the country chart)and THE BALLAD OF BOOT HILL for Johnny Cash, SO WRONG for Patsy Cline, which reached no.14 on the country chart and no.85 on the pop chart in 1962, and LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT LOVE (a country no. 1)for The Judds in 1989.
The records selected are among Perkins' best sides ever. DIXIE FRIED (with the RAVE ON refrain) is a record way ahead of its time with even a rap style 25 years before rap! The record features Perkins' chainsaw style electric guitar that was very influential on George Harrison and Eric Clapton. This song was ripped off by Buddy Holly for RAVE ON. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin recorded a cover version of this song in 1968 as did George Thorogood and the Destroyers and the Kentucky Headhunters. It is one of the greatest rock records ever released.
MATCHBOX is based on a phrase from an old blues song by Blind Lemon Jefferson. But Perkins wrote new music, a new rock rhythm for it and new lyrics. Jerry Lee Lewis plays piano on this record and provides the pumping and driving rhythm which he would later use for his own records. But it should be pointed out that the Killer derived this rhyhm from Carl Perkins. The Killer is also on YOUR TRUE LOVE and CAT CLOTHES, an insane rockabilly rave up that was originally unreleased. HONEY DON'T was originally the flip side of BLUE SUEDE SHOES and features the rhythm Perkins developed for the early Sun singles. BOPPIN' THE BLUES was the follow-up to BLUE SUEDE SHOES and is a great rock record. The B side to that single was ALL MAMA'S CHILDREN, co-written by Johnny Cash that develops Perkins' nursery rhyme motif ("There was an old woman that lived in a shoe..."). MOVIE MAGG was Perkins' first release on the Sun subsidiary Flip. The song was later covered by Paul McCartney on the RUN DEVIL RUN album. The record features Perkins' jangling guitar sound. EVERYBODY'S TRYING TO BE MY BABY is a great guitar jam that has the theme of groupies and rock and roll stardom. It was a filler on Perkins' Sun album that came out in 1957.
This album features some of the greatest and most infleuntial sides released on Sun records. BLUE SUEDE SHOES by Carl Perkins is definitely one of the greatest and most influential records ever released in America!In 1986, the Grammys inducted Perkins' recording into the Grammy Hall of Fame (so it even won a Grammy). These Sun sides can stand up to the best sides of Elvis, Little Richard, Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, or anyone else who recorded in the 1950s. The records are that good! This is the best that rock and roll has to offer. I would recommend this collection to anyone who is a fan of rock and roll. This is the real stuff, the real deal. In my opinion, these are perhaps the greatest sides in 50s rock and roll! Certainly, Perkins needs to take a back seat to no one! Go Cat Go, indeed! But honey don't you step on my blue suede shoes...."
Carl Perkins: A Great Perfomer And A Great Human Being
bix lang | Davenport, Iowa USA | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of rockabilly or if you're simply interested in the roots of rock and roll, then you must purchase Carl Perkins: Original Sun Greatest Hits." Back in the late 1940s Carl Perkins along with his brothers were already playing and singing a combination of Country & Western and Rhythm and Blues that would become known years later as Rockabilly. Long before Elvis Presley unleashed his mile-high pompadour and mile-long sideburns on the world of popular music, Carl Perkins was bopping along with a great beat and an innovative guitar style. From "Matchbox" and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" to "Honey Don't" and "Lend Me Your Comb," Perkins' vocals and twangy guitar sound were something new and hip. Many people who know Perkins solely as the composer and performer of the early rock classic "Blue Suede Shoes," will be pleasantly surprised to discover that there was much more to this man's appreciable talents than one era-defining song. Perkins had a strong tenor-cum-baritone that could shatter your wine-filled old fruit jar. He also wrote most of his tunes (unlike Presley who was neither a composer nor musican, although his handlers had him pose many times with a guiitar as a prop). But most of all, Perkins played the heck out of his Gretsch and Gibson guitars. If you were an early rock and roller wannabe, you had two innovators to emulate: Chuck Berry or Carl Perkins. Everyone else had to file in behind these two pioneers (Cliff Gallup might have qualified as the third member of this exclusive coterie except that he decided to quit the msuic business only months before he and Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps hit the big time with "Be Bop A Lula"). Besides being a fine talent, Perkins was a wonderfully nice man with a kind heart. Virtually everyone who knew him corroborated this fact. Perkins was born into a literally dirt-poor sharecropper family in 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. His first guitar was a homemade contraption comprised of a broomstick and twine. He played bars and honky-tonks throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s with modest success. When Perkins began making a name for himself in 1955 a stroke of terrible luck befell him. On his way to perform his new hit record "Blue Suede Shoes" on the Ed Sullivan Show, he and his band were in a horrible automobile accident outside of Wilmington, Delaware that left his brother dead and Perkins himself in critical condition. Only weeks later, Perkins, still in a body cast in a hospital bed, suffered the disappointment and indignity of watching the newcomer Elvis Presley perform "Blue Suede Shoes" on the Ed Sullivan Show. Who knows what might have been if that auto accident had not occurred and the world got to see Perkins doing "Blue Suede Shoes" rather than Presley? Perkins never became a giant commercial success but he nonetheless became a successful performer and a Rockabilly icon who was hailed by many younger Rock and Rollers (including the Beatles) as a true musical innovator. When he died at the age of 66 in 1998, Perkins was a legendary figure. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy or a more talented performer."
Good overview of Rockabilly pioneer's early sides
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"16 swinging tracks from one of Rockabilly's best, masterfully prepared by Rhino's champion Bill Inglot. This disc covers Perkins' Sun years, from 1955 through 1957, and you can hear Sun studio pianist Jerry Lee Lewis pounding away on several of these tracks.The music runs from classic rockabilly to country, including a large dose of standards such as Perkins-penned "Blue Suede Shoes" "Honey Don't" (two sides of the SAME single, jeez) "Boppin the Blues" "Everybody's Trying to be My Baby" "Put Your Cat Clothes On" and "Matchbox" (a Blind Lemon Jefferson tune that Perkins wrote new lyrics for). Other great rockabilly sounds include "All Mama's Children" "Your True Love" "Dixie Fried" "Glad All Over" (not the DC5 tune) and "Gone, Gone, Gone." Great slap bass is the rule here.Also included are a couple of nice country tunes such as Perkins' first Sam Phillips released single (on the FLIP label) "Movie Magg" and "Sure to Fall" (with Jay Perkins on lead vocals).Overall, an impressive collection from an artist whose fame (though not his contribution at the genesis of Rock 'n' Roll) was somewhat eclipsed by the charisma of his labelmate."
Eclectic Revisited | Arizona | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For an avid collector, this is a must-have CD. The other reviewers, who seem quite knowledgeable, have heaped justifiable praise on Perkins but some of the facts are off just a bit. For instance, Jerry Lee Lewis didn't start doing his own thing later AFTER playing on a Carl Perkins record; in fact, I assume as a joke, it's said he told Perkins he had to get paid and settled for $15 cash on the spot for his not-impressive improv on the 88s. As for Elvis Presley, he caused the release of his own version of "Blue Suede Shoes" to be delayed so Carl Perkins' original could have a good run. It's documented. I have no clear memory of Elvis doing "Blue Suede Shoes" on the Sullivan show but I know he was welcomed there and sung some OTHER songs. And Elvis COULD play the guitar (though Eric Clapton's legend is safe) and the piano as well. Carl Perkins' reputation can stand on its own without denigrating other performers. If you don't believe it, listen to this CD. But rockabilly faded (until its influence re-emerged with the early Eagles) and Perkins spent years as an appendage to Johnny Cash (the pill years), did a bit of impressive acting, a video appearance and of course got recognition for his contributions to RNR. This CD is all you need to know about Carl Perkins of Jackson, TN. But no slavering please."
Mark Padgett | Portland OR USA | 12/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's no doubt (at least in Carl's mind - according to every interview he made) that, but for a car accident on his way to New York, he would have beat Elvis to The Ed Sullivan Show and would have been the king of rock. He may have some supporting evidence in this collection.Carl's sound is so pure, you think he invented it. Not only does Blue Suede Shoes sound like he's actually making that statement ("Don't you step..."), but I wouldn't want to step on them with him in them.My favorite track is "Glad All Over" - no, not the Dave Clark 5 song (although I really like that one too). The only thing better than hearing this track is seeing Carl perform it, which you can in the movie "Jamboree" - available through amazon on VHS.If you like the sound of the roots of rock-a-billy as it was produced in the Sun studios, you'll love this collection. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was that I wanted a lot of photos with it. But, then again, I'm like that :-)"