Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joey Dee & The Starliters

On the Dancefloor With

Review by Gary Hill

This group was the house band at the Peppermint Lounge in Manhattan in the early 1960s. They had a huge hit in 1962 with "Peppermint Twist." This CD collects a healthy sampling of their music. For my money, these guys are best when they stick to 60s styled party rock and roll, but they covered quite a bit of other territory, too. The packaging here includes an extensive booklet. While there are a few songs that didn't work as well as some of the others here for me, there is plenty of entertaining 1960s music to make it well worth having.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2024  Volume 1 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Fanny Mae
There is a real early 60s party rock vibe to this tune. Think of bands like The Kingsmen. It's a driving tuned drenched in organ playing. It has a garage band vibe going on, too. Of course, the Kingsmen reference certainly implies that.
Peppermint Twist -part I
There is more 50s rock and roll in the mix here. I dig the horn playing, and the tune rocks pretty well. It does have some organ that gets prominent at times, though. The guitar solo is classic.
Mother Goose Twist
The saxophone solo on this is great. I like this old-school rock and roller more than either of the two tracks that preceded it. It's a lot of fun.
Shimmy Baby -part I
Another old-school rock and roller packed with style, the two things that stand out the most for me are the piano and bass work. This is another effective tune.
Speak Up Mambo
The lyrics here are in Spanish. The cut has a bouncy sort of vaguely Latin groove at play. It's a nice change of pace and a fun romp.
Leave My Woman Alone
A driving rocker with a prominent organ presence, this has some bluesy elements at play. While it's not bad, I don't think it's at the level of much of the other material here.
Slippin' And Slidin'
This energized rocker is a little raw here, but in a good way. It definitely feels like party rock and roll.
Crazy Love
A bouncy sort of doo-wop styled tune, the horn playing is a nice touch on this.
C.C. Rider
They put in a cool rendition of this old chestnut. It's a lot of fun.
Everytime (I Think About You) -part I
Here we get another energized rock and roller. This isn't anything all that special, but it's fun.
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
This version of the old classic tune is a faithful, but a little "busy" take on it. It's again not bad, but not all that great, either.
Goin' Back To My Hometown
This old-school rock groove works well. It's not any kind of mold-shattering thing, but it's fun.
Just Walking In The Rain
Mellower, and more contemporary pop-oriented, I'm not all that crazy about this one, but the saxophone solo is on fire.
Wing Ding
This is basically an instrumental, with only incidental vocals used more as punctuation. It's also a fun 1960s rock romp. This is one of my favorite tracks here.
Shout -part I
I've always loved this energetic rocker, and they put in a strong rendition. This is just plain fun. It's definitely party music, and another highlight.
What Kind Of Love Is This
This is more of a doo-wop styled ballad. That said, it doesn't have all that many backing vocals. This isn't really my kind of thing.
Starting with just vocals, this is a slow doo-wop tune. If you like that kind of thing, you will probably enjoy this. I'm definitely not the target audience.
Hot Pastrami And Mashed Potatoes
This is another bouncy 60s rock groove. I like the soulful vocal stylings, and the organ definitely provides a lot of retro sound.
Roly Poly
This isn't any kind of deeply original thing, but it's fun.
Hello Josephine
More of a 50s rocker, this is fun, but nothing exceptional.
Honky Tonk
A bouncy instrumental number, this is an entertaining romp with prominent organ playing.
I Lost My Baby
A 1950s styled ballad, I like the guitar on this, but the song otherwise doesn't do a lot for me.
Hey! Let's Twist
This bouncy romp is a particularly good time.
The Girl I Walk To School
Here we are back in doo-wop territory. This has a good energy and some classy retro guitar sounds.
Baby, You're Driving Me Crazy
This romp is a good time. There are some doo-wop styled vocals that mar it a bit for me, but overall this works.
Ya Ya
Another that's fun, but not al that special, this is better than some of the others for me.
This Boat
Here we get more of that party kind of vibe. It's a fun romp. The saxophone solo is on fire.
Kansas City
This blues meets party rock and roll groove is entertaining. It has some prominent organ playing.
Peppermint Twist -part II
Another party rocker, this so much fun. It's a great way to end the set. It includes some wailing saxophone and cool guitar playing.
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./