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Eddie Cochran
Somethin Else, the Fine Lookin’ Hits of Eddie Cochran,  Razor and Tie CD RE 2162-2, 1998

 Rockabilly shooting star

Razor and Tie continues its excellent reissue series with a single disc collection of Eddie Cochran’s greatest hits. Among rockabilly players, Cochran was unique on two counts. First was his versatile guitar playing, by turns powerful and subtle, always featuring impeccably tasteful solos. Had his life not been cut short in a taxi crash in England (1960), it’s easy to imagine him working as a session guitarist after his singing career was finished. Cochran’s songwriting was also better than most. He was every bit Chuck Berry’s equal in capturing the nuance of what it was like to be a frustrated American teenager. Not bad for a guy who dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade to pursue his music.

At twenty tracks (just over 41 minutes) the disc may seem a trifle short until you consider that Cochran’s career itself was brief: basically from the spring of 1957 to the fall of 1959. All of Cochran’s big hits are here, and it’s worth the price of admission for classics like "Summertime Blues" (one of the best teen anthems ever recorded), "Cmon Everybody," "Something Else," "Nervous Breakdown" and "Twenty Flight Rock." While the disc occasionally steps off the beaten path–with an early hillbilly number recorded with Hank Cochran ("Tired and Sleepy") and a raving Buddy Holly-inspired instrumental ("Guybo")–the hard core completist will look elsewhere. For the rest of us, this is the collection to have.– Scott Boggan

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.