"The Greatest Hits of Duane Eddy," comes to us as an English import, not surprisingly, as he's always been perhaps even more popular there than here. Eddy, a Grammy-winning guitarist, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, is widely considered the most successful rock and roll instrumentalist of all time: his records have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. And there can be no doubt that, from his first hit and signature tune, the aptly-named "Rebel Rouser," recorded in 1958, when he was just twenty, he's one of the founding fathers of rockabilly, and, by extension, rock and roll. The record at hand is a good collection of his biggest hits, rerecorded in the U.K., some of them originally bigger in the U.K. than here, although he had an unprecedented 34 chart-topping singles here, of which 15 made Top Forty rank. The U.K. rerecording was done, of course, when he was considerably past his dark, hit-making prime. You don't need me to tell you that the material isn't as strong as the originals. If you want them, you should consider trying to get a remastering of one of his earlier records. Eddy's" big" sound prompted John Fogarty to dub him the first rock and roll god. The tremendously influential sound was deep, dark, reverberant,"twangy,"as it was called, surely Southern-fried, influenced by country, blues, jazz and gospel. Eddy created this sound by utilizing strong, dramatic, single-note melodies, bending the low strings, combining echo and vibrato bar with the help of the esteemed Lee Hazlewood, longtime music producer, and Eddy's longtime partner in the recording studio. He also utilized rebel yells from his backing band, and swinging saxophone breaks. Furthermore, his backing were also esteemed musicians. Many of them went on to work for Phil Spector, as he created his "wall of sound." In addition, almost all of them were/are popular studio session men to this day. If you want the more *modern* versions of these tunes, guess this is the disk for you. Otherwise, try looking back.
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