The brief they gave their stellar panel was simple: if you had a wheezing old Rock-Ola record machine in your backroom--and, hey, some of them actually have-- what are the 10 tunes you'd insist were in there? These sonic delights had to satisfy some tough criteria. First, they had to have been originally available on 7-inch vinyl; they had, where possible, to have a spanking B-side for optimum jukebox longevity; and they had to be available today on CD, just so music lovers who'd consingned their styli to the attic could still sample their majesty.
The incoming votes were number-crunched by a crack team of mathematicians, and the results appear here at Indierider, like all great beauty contests in reverse order. It's a countdown to sonic nirvana... with a surprise Top 10. I hope you enjoy it.
100. THE DELFONICS: Didn't I ( Blow Your Mind This Time)/Loving Him
Despite its delicacy, this slow, luxurious ballad--masterminded by Philly soul maestro, Thom Bell--possesses the solid groove of a mandatory jukebox disc. Led by William Hart's seraphic falsetto and accompanied by Bell's symphonic arrangements, The Delfonics pioneered a romantic soft-soul sound that paved the way for later Philly acts like The Stylistics and Blue Magic. In contrast to the breath taking sonic beauty of Didn't I, the record's B-side, Loving Him, is edgier and finds the harmony vocal trio in a rare uptempo setting.
Availability: The Delfonics ARISTA CD
99. JERRY LEE LEWIS: Whole Lotta Shaking' Goin' On/It'll Be Me
Memphis Tennessee, 1957: a twice married, once jailed, 21-year-old Bible college dropout is determined to become the king of rock'n'roll. His first single, Crazy Arms, does moderatly well. Then, with Whole Lotta Shakin', he delivers every parent's worst nightmare. Kicking his piano bench and shaking his hips in an uncontrollable frenzy, Jerry Lee is taking his audience straight to Hell. Drop a quarter in the jukebox and you can still hear the insolence four decades later. Elvis might've ended up the King, but no one outhumped the Killer.
Availability: The Essential Sun Collection SNAPPER CD