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Tony Sheridan

Skinny Minny - The Brits Are Rocking Vol.6

Review by Gary Hill

Tony Sheridan was a big part of the same Hamburg scene from which the Beatles ultimately came, He became overshadowed as their fame grew. Based on this release, though, I think he is one of the better of the musicians of his time. This music has aged better than that of a lot of his contemporaries. Mind you, I'm not putting him on the same level as the Beatles, not even close, but he is better than a lot of the earlier rockers, at least to my ears. There is only one song that doesn't really do it for me. This, as you expect from Bear Family, is a quality product that includes an extensive booklet in the digipack.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
My Bonnie (English Intro)
Here we get a rock and roll crooner (complete with barbershop quartet meets doo wop backing vocals) ballad take on an old chestnut. After the first section, though, they turn it into a high energy rock and roller with a lot of guitar fills in the mix.
Get On The Right Track Baby
It feels like we're at the hop with this swinging number. It's a lot of fun. That said, it is not nearly as interesting as that opener was.
Let's Dance
The organ on this is pretty crazed. The tune is an energized rock and roller with a smoking hot instrumental section.
Skinny Minny
A mid-tempo piece, this has some charms, but falls a bit little flat compared to the tracks that preceded it. I do like the vocals on the number quite a bit, though.
Ready Teddy
An Elvis Presley styled rock and roller, this has a good energy and some cool bass and piano work.
What'd I Say
I dig the somewhat tentative guitar section that starts this track a lot. The whole tune has a great groove and sound. It's a pretty magical tune. The guitar sound is just so classic, and everybody puts in great performances on this thing.
Ruby Baby
The wailing saxophone is nice on this tune. Overall the cut is a pretty standard doo wop groove that doesn't really stand that tall.
Top Ten Twist
While not breaking any molds, this rock and roller is a lot of fun. The piano on this is positively inspired and gets pretty crazy before it's over.
The Saints
Another that feels a lot like Elvis, this is not one of the standouts here, but it works pretty well. It is a rock and roll adaptation of a classic gospel tune. It does have some fairly fiery guitar soloing.
Shake, Rattle And Roll
This old chestnut gets a cool performance. The organ is a little too far up in the mix to me, but it sure does wail.
Let's Slop
I really love the groove on this tune, and the saxophone really brings a lot of magic with it.
Jambalaya
There is so much energy and style built into this scorching groove. It's so much fun.
Ya Ya -part I
The organ soloing on this track is on fire. This is a great early 60s styled rocker.
Ya Ya -part II
Another smoking hot rock and roller cut from much the same cloth as its predecessor, I like this a lot.
Swanee River
Starting in traditional ways, this cut gets worked out after the first vocal section to more of a rock and roll take on it. It's fun, but not really all that special. The jazzy instrumental section works pretty well, though.
Take Some Insurance On Me Baby
More of a stripped back rockabilly styled number, this has some Elvis styled vocals. I like the bass line on the track quite a bit, but overall, this doesn't do much for me. Interestingly enough, this gets a little swearing on it, something that was unusual for the time.
Madison Kid
Now, this tune is more like  it. It deftly blends the blues, jazz and rock and roll into a particularly tasty groove that just works so well. This is one of the highlights of the set.
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
The piano on this really grooves. This is a fun romp that is another standout.
Let's Twist Again
This tune gets an energetic telling. I love the bass work on it. The saxophone brings something special, too.
Shake It Some More
Here we get another classy rock and roll groove. This has a bit more of a 60s vibe to it.
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
I really have always liked this rock and roll classic. Sheridan and his band put into a smoking hot rendition, too. The bass, piano and guitar are all incendiary here.
My Babe
There is plenty of jazz and even some early funk in the mix on this groove. It's a more modern tune, and it's also one of the highlights of the set. It has such a classic groove to it.
Kansas City
A classic tune done in a classic style, this is solid, but nothing all that Earth-shattering.
Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
Another that's pretty much "by the numbers," this works better. The organ is a bit far up in the mix, though. I really love the saxophone soloing on the song.
Just A Little Bit
I really love the guitar soloing on this. The whole tune has so much 60s rock and roll groove built into it. It's a lot of fun.
Sweet Georgia Brown
This is an energetic and bouncy grooving rendition of an old chestnut. It's a lot of fun.
You Are My Sunshine
This rock and roll version of this old tune is fun, but not all that special. That said, some of the saxophone on the cut reminds me a little of the music from Benny Hill's show.
Oh Mary Ann
Another cool rock and roller with a healthy helping of jazz in the mix, this is fun stuff.
Ich lieb' Dich so
There is a 1950s doo wop sort of sound on this cut. This one has lyrics in German. The string arrangement takes this to the level of far too precious. This is the only tune here that really doesn't work at all for me. I just don't care for it.
 
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