12 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don't be confused by the title; this 1961 release isn't a best-of. It's Jerry Lee Lewis's second and final LP for Sun Records. (He was much more prolific on the singles end during his Sun tenure.) The best-known cut here is his 1957 smash "Great Balls of Fire," which had never been on an LP before. With Lewis in post-marriage-scandal mode, Sun may have figured that an old hit would help the album's sales. In fact, The Killer's loose-limbed version of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" here would be his biggest pop hit for the next decade. Besides indicating the power of Lewis' later Sun sides, the album is a relatively early indicator of the eclecticism that would serve him well throughout his career. Things take an unexpected turn straight out of the gate, with the stinging, horn-punctuated swing of Jerry Lee's take on the Barrett Strong classic "Money." Lewis goes on to tackle country ("Cold, Cold Heart," which earned him a country hit), blues ("Hello, Hello Baby"), and straight-up rock 'n' roll (Charlie Rich's "Break Up"), offering ample evidence that he was one of American roots music's most agile interpreters.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don't be confused by the title; this 1961 release isn't a best-of. It's Jerry Lee Lewis's second and final LP for Sun Records. (He was much more prolific on the singles end during his Sun tenure.) The best-known cut here is his 1957 smash "Great Balls of Fire," which had never been on an LP before. With Lewis in post-marriage-scandal mode, Sun may have figured that an old hit would help the album's sales. In fact, The Killer's loose-limbed version of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" here would be his biggest pop hit for the next decade. Besides indicating the power of Lewis' later Sun sides, the album is a relatively early indicator of the eclecticism that would serve him well throughout his career. Things take an unexpected turn straight out of the gate, with the stinging, horn-punctuated swing of Jerry Lee's take on the Barrett Strong classic "Money." Lewis goes on to tackle country ("Cold, Cold Heart," which earned him a country hit), blues ("Hello, Hello Baby"), and straight-up rock 'n' roll (Charlie Rich's "Break Up"), offering ample evidence that he was one of American roots music's most agile interpreters.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

johnshirley ,

Jerry Lee Lewis's Greatest

Man if it's the Killer, it's a great record. Greatest rock piano player ever. One of the best singers and performers.

YourRoleModel ,

Not Really His 'Greatest'

Sorry, but even though this collection does have 'Great Balls of Fire', no album can really claim to be a Jerry Lee Lewis 'Greatest Hits' compilation without including major hits and standards like 'Breathless', 'Pink Cadillac', and 'Chantilly Lace'.

You're probably better off cherry-picking songs and putting together your own true 'Greatest Hits' collection.

rockabilly_boy ,

Original Album from 1961!!!!!

A monumental rock and roll album! This was Jerry Lee's 2nd LP ever released! (1961 on Sun Records) Some of the other reviewers complained about how it didn't have some of Jerry's later material on it, well, DUH! It's much OLDER! Gosh, I hate stupid people :)
Rock on, Jerry Lee!

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