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Various Artists

Left Behind - Black & White 'Felsted' Rockers

Review by Gary Hill

The music on this set was all released on Feisted Records originally. That label wasn't really known as a rock and roll label, but rather for crooner and pop music. So, this collection pulls together a lot of the seemingly lost music from the company. We get a 10-inch, 13 track record on colored vinyl that includes some songs that have never been released on vinyl album before. Also included is a CD with all those songs along with an additional 21 songs. Some of those have never been released on CD previously. Add in a great booklet, and a postcard, and this is quite the special set. The music here ranges from rock and roll to doo wop, rockabilly and more. While I don't love everything here, there are some real gems included. It should be noted that since the first 13 songs on the CD are the same as those on the record, I've used the same track reviews for them in both places.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

You can find a bonus video companion for this review here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-LmQtyg7K0

Track by Track Review
Record
                           
Side 1
                     
The Admiral Tones - Hey, Hey Pretty Baby

This comes in with a good energy and groove to it. It's a fun little romp. I love the saxophone on the tune. This is a catchy rock and roller and a nice way to start the set.

David Orrell - Be My Baby
There is a real down-home countrified angle to this rocker. I dig the break with a focus on bass and piano.
Vince Maloy - Draggin' All Night
The drag and roll vibe of this rocker works pretty darn well. It's one of the highlights of the record.
The Five Fleets - Slight Case Of Love
I love the guitar sound on this, but the whole tune and vocal performance really make it shine.
The Jiv-A-Tones - Flirty Gertie
Percussion starts this track. The drives out from there with a standard, but classy, rock and roll jam.
D. C. Washington - The Mohawk
A little on the strange side, this rock and roller still manages to work pretty well.
Side 2
                          
Andy Anderson & The Rolling Stones - Johnny Valentine

There is a healthy helping of both country and rockabilly on this tune. Beyond that, though, this is another solid rock and roller. Just to be clear, the "Rolling Stones" credited here are not Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company, but rather an American group.

Ritchie Hart - The Great Duane
Now this is so much fun. The guitar fills are classy. The saxophone solo really rocks. I could use a lot more of stuff like this.
Bob Vaught & The Wheels - Doin' The Surf
I've never been a big fan of the Beach Boys type of surf music. For that reason, this song isn't really my thing. It feels a lot like the Beach Boys, but with a bit or a rawer edge to it. The guitar solo is tasty, though. I have to say that parts of this seem to be directly copied from the Beach Boys, and this came out a year after that group's debut release.
Charlie Gracie - W-Wow
The vocals feature a severe stutter. I'm not sure if this was poking fun of stuttering or not. It's almost an instrumental, really. From that aspect, it works well, either way.
Vince Maloy - Soda Pop
This old-school rock and roller makes me think of "At the Hop" to some degree. It's energetic and fun.
Mickey Michaels & The Forrestals - Koffee Shop Rock
If you are judging this on originality it's a failure. It sounds like a mélange of a lot of others old rock and rollers. It's well done, though. It's also a lot of fun.
LaVerne Stovall - Left Behind
There is plenty of rockabilly on this. The piano makes me think of Jerry Lee Lewis to some degree. The vocals have a real country twang to them. The song is catchy, high energy and fun.
CD
                                    
The Admiral Tones - Hey, Hey Pretty Baby

This comes in with a good energy and groove to it. It's a fun little romp. I love the saxophone on the tune. This is a catchy rock and roller and a nice way to start the set.

David Orrell - Be My Baby
There is a real down-home countrified angle to this rocker. I dig the break with a focus on bass and piano.
Vince Maloy - Draggin' All Night
The drag and roll vibe of this rocker works pretty darn well. It's one of the highlights of the record.
The Five Fleets - Slight Case Of Love
I love the guitar sound on this, but the whole tune and vocal performance really make it shine.
The Jiv-A-Tones - Flirty Gertie
Percussion starts this track. The drives out from there with a standard, but classy, rock and roll jam.
D. C. Washington - The Mohawk
A little on the strange side, this rock and roller still manages to work pretty well.
Andy Anderson & The Rolling Stones - Johnny Valentine
There is a healthy helping of both country and rockabilly on this tune. Beyond that, though, this is another solid rock and roller. Just to be clear, the "Rolling Stones" credited here are not Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company, but rather an American group.
Ritchie Hart - The Great Duane
Now this is so much fun. The guitar fills are classy. The saxophone solo really rocks. I could use a lot more of stuff like this.
Bob Vaught & The Wheels - Doin' The Surf
I've never been a big fan of the Beach Boys type of surf music. For that reason, this song isn't really my thing. It feels a lot like the Beach Boys, but with a bit or a rawer edge to it. The guitar solo is tasty, though. I have to say that parts of this seem to be directly copied from the Beach Boys, and this came out a year after that group's debut release.
Charlie Gracie - W-Wow
The vocals feature a severe stutter. I'm not sure if this was poking fun of stuttering or not. It's almost an instrumental, really. From that aspect, it works well, either way.
Vince Maloy - Soda Pop
This old-school rock and roller makes me think of "At the Hop" to some degree. It's energetic and fun.
Mickey Michaels & The Forrestals - Koffee Shop Rock
If you are judging this on originality it's a failure. It sounds like a mélange of a lot of other old rock and rollers. It's well done, though. It's also a lot of fun.
LaVerne Stovall - Left Behind
There is plenty of rockabilly on this. The piano makes me think of Jerry Lee Lewis to some degree. The vocals have a real country twang to them. The song is catchy, high energy and fun.
The Five Fleets - Oh What A Feeling
Starting with just vocals, this is a doo wop romp. It's definitely not my kind of music, but it has its charms.
The Roosters - Chicken Hop
The horn arrangement on this brings both a sense of fun and a lot of charm. This makes me think of "Tequila" from The Champs. Then again there is some definite "At the Hop" stuff going on here. Wherever you see the influences coming from, this instrumental is strong and one of the highlights of the set.
The Castaleers - (My) Hifi Baby
With plenty of doo wop in the mix, this song is solid, but not one of my favorites. I did the saxophone and guitar soloing on it a lot, though.
The Jiv-A-Tones - Fire Engine Baby
A fun rock and roll romp, I like this quite a lot.
Bobby Russell - Dum Diddle
Here we get a more balladic cut. It gets a bit more rocking later, but overall this is on the mellower side. It's a little too precious for my tastes.
Charlie Gracie - Makin' Whopee
This romp is so much fun. It has some exceptional jamming and a great energy. I'd consider this to be a highlight of the whole set.
Steve Schulte - Too Blue To Cry
With blues and rockabilly blending together, this is not bad. It's also not one that stands out.
The Spacemen - Blast Off
As this gets underway there is a weird, echoey descending pattern. It works out to a pretty killer early rock and roll instrumental. This is along the lines of the kind of stuff the Ventures did.
Myron Lee & The Caddies - Rona Baby
This tune is closer to a ballad. It's slow moving and more on the melodic side.      
Buddy Miller - Buddy Boy
Packed with lots of cool, this rocker is classy.
Bobby Russell & The Impollos - She's Gonna Be Sorry
Bouncing and driving, this tune is so cool. I dig the jazzy leanings on it. The guitar solo is tasty, too.
Frank And Jack & The Nightwinds - Pretty Betty Jean
I'm not a big fan of doo wop, and this is very much a doo wop rocker. It's not bad, but it's not my thing.
The Casualteens - She's Swinging
I love the saxophone on this little stomper. This is a killer tune. It's just a lot of fun.
David Orrell - You're The One
Rockabilly styled Elvis-like sounds drive this. It's not really to my tastes like some of the rest here is.
Tommy Mara - Funny This Thing Called Love
High energy rock and roll is on the menu here. This romp is a lot of fun.
Buddy Miller - (I've Been) Thinking It Over
There is a goofy kind of vibe to this. That said, it works well. It feels like a novelty song, but it's got a great groove to it.   
The Biscaines - Blue Skies
I love the slow moving groove at the start of this thing. It works out to more of Ventures with horn jam after that. The cut keeps twisting and turning. This instrumental is definitely one of the highlights of the whole set..
Ritchie Hart - I'm Hypnotized
This rockabilly styled number is solid, but not really my thing.
Bill Taylor - Bandstand Baby
Bouncy and fun, this is a step up from the last tune. The instrumental break is quite entertaining.
Bobby Russell & The Impollos - The Raven
With lyrics adapted from the works of Poe, this cut feels like a doo wop meets Elvis Presley type of song. I dig it for the lyrics, in particular, but this is unique and interesting even without that angle.
The Road Runners - Road Runnah
This surf guitar romp is all class. It's a highlight of the set for me, making it a great choice for closing shot. If you dig stuff like The Ventures, you are sure to love this.
 
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