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Fabian

The Drugstore's Rockin' - I'm A Man

Review by Gary Hill

Fabian was billed as a cross between Elvis Presley and Rick Nelson. He was a bit of a manufactured act. He was an actor who was pushed into rock and roll because of his looks. The thing is, he could sing, and he did some good music. This collection gathers a wide range of tunes from the 50s artists. Personally, I think it might have been a better set if they'd left maybe three or four of the weaker tunes off (there are 37 tracks here). That said, there are plenty of shining moments. I always expect quality packaging from Bear Family, and we definitely get that here. This comes with a massive booklet along with the digipack.

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.

Track by Track Review
I'm A Man
This as a solid energy and a tasty groove to it. The hooks are catchy. It's a solid 1950s rock and roller and has a tasty guitar solo in the midst of it.
Tongue-Tied
There is a more energized and almost raw groove to this. It works well to elevate it even past the opener.
Ooh, What You Do!
I'm not overly crazy about the doo wop aspect of this tune.
Turn Me Loose
I dig the overall groove of this quite a bit. The doo wop vocals detract a little for me, though.
I've Got Nobody
Although this also features doo wop vocals, the tune works better for me than some of the others do. It's a good-time romp.
Gonna Get You
I love the guitar soloing on this number. This isn't a big change in general, but it's an effective piece.
Stop Thief!
Cut from much the same cloth as the rest here, this feels a bit like an "also ran."
Little Meanie Jeanie
The energy and hooks on this are both great. This is an exciting and entertaining tune.
Hong Kong
This tune hasn't aged well. The stereotypical elements are pretty offensive in this day and age. It's not that great of a tune, anyway. I think maybe this would be better if this tune had been left off of the disc.
Everything Is Just Right
This rocker feels like something Elvis Presley would do. It's solid, but not a standout.
Grapevine
Old-school rock and is merged with musical theater elements on this tune. It's not a bad song, but the arrangement is a little over-the-top for me.
Lilly Lou
I like this bouncy rocker quite a bit. It's a lot of fun. The horn solo is all class, too.
Be My Steady Date
While not a big change, this rock and roller is particularly effective.
String Along
I dig the energy and groove on this one a lot. It's a fun romp.
Tiger Rag
This is a particularly short (just over half-a-minute) tune. It's somewhat fun, but nothing all that special, really.
Tiger
With plenty of energy and some solid hooks, this is a winner.
Learnin'
I dig the guitar sound on this. The tune has a good energy and works well.
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
This has more of a jazz meets crooner music groove. It's a fun number and a nice bit of variety. I like this one quite a bit.
Take Me
I love the guitar sound on this smoking hot rock and roller. This is a highlight.
Wild Party
More of a doo wop number, this is fairly effective and fun.
Mighty Cold (To A Warm Warm Heart)
A pretty standard rock and roller, I really dig the guitar work on this.
Tomorrow
While this has a good energy and groove, it's not one of my favorites here. The doo wop vocals hurt it a bit for me. That said, the guitar solo is on fire.
Kissin' And Twistin'
The female backing vocals and the rather jazzy over-layers serve this track well. It's perhaps not one of my favorites, but it's definitely in the top half of the album.
Long Before
While I'm not enthused about this tune overall, I do like the guitar solo a lot.
Shivers
I find the female doo wop backing vocals on this to be a bit annoying. The cut doesn't work that well for me.
Break Down And Cry
There is a meaty, lower-register angle to this. I dig the guitar sound a lot, but the overall arrangement is a bit much.
Hound Dog Man
I dig the hooks and the energy on this, but I wouldn't consider it to be a standout.
Lovesick
A 50s pop rock groove, this isn't quite what I'd call rock and roll. The backing vocals bring some of that doo wop angle, but work better than they do on some of the rest.
Hey Little Girl
This is fun stuff. I has a Bo Diddley beat and represents some change.
Got The Feeling
A fun and energetic rock and roller, I really like this tune a lot.
Come On And Get Me
Another strong piece, this has more of a blues rock and roll groove to it.
About This Thing Called Love
I really like just about everything about this song. It has some tasty guitar fills. The overall vibe is packed with drama and style. This just oozes class and charm. It's one of the highlights of this set.
Gonna Make You Mine
There is a rockabilly edge to this tune. It's a fun one. It also represents some variety.
King Of Love
A bouncy tune, this one doesn't work as well for me. The backing vocals and overall arrangement are a bit over-done for my tastes.
Hypnotized
An up-tempo doo wop number, this lands sort of in the neighborhood of "also ran."
Remember Me
This almost feels like a variant on the song that preceded it. Again, it's not bad, but it just doesn't stand all that tall.
Please Don't Stop
I like the groove and the vocal performance on this a lot. It is a fun tune. While not necessarily a favorite, this is one that lands in the better half. It's also a step up from the last couple, and a good choice to close the set.
 
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