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Rock'n'Roll Greatest

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Album Review

Don't confuse the Mitch Ryder 1998 greatest-hits package entitled Rock & Roll, compiled by the KRB label, with this Line Records release. Rock 'n' Roll Live is a portion of the Full Moon Concert VHS/DVD by Mitch Ryder from the Rockpalast series, the historic show that launched Ryder's career in Germany at the end of the 1970s. This EP was followed by an illegitimate full-length LP that started appearing in stores — a bootleg validating the strength of Ryder's European following, which started as a cult and kept building. The musicians here are Billy Csernits on keyboards and Joe Gute and Richard Schein on guitar, with drummer Wilson Owens aided by Mark Gougeon wielding the bass. This is the music that was appealing to the young generation of Germans and initiated his success in that country. Rock 'n' Roll Live is not a reference to the Lou Reed song sung by Ryder per se, but a salute to the American performer who reinvented himself in Germany on his own terms.


Born: 26 February 1945 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The unsung heart and soul of the Motor City rock & roll scene, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels' blue-eyed R&B attack boasted a gritty passion and incendiary energy matched by few artists on either side of the color line. Born William Levise, Jr. in Hamtramck, Michigan on February 26, 1945, Ryder sang with a local black quartet dubbed the Peps as a teen, but suffered so much racial harassment that he soon left the group to form his own combo, Billy Lee & the Rivieras. While opening for the Dave Clark...
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