17 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The final volume of Norton’s essential Missing Links series eschews the chronological coherence of earlier volumes for a grab-bag approach that, rather than focusing on Wray’s rare independent releases, is comprised entirely of previously unreleased live recordings and studio demos from his early ‘60s prime. While all volumes of the Missing Links set are essential Streets of Chicago is easily the most consistent, and acts as something of an alternate greatest hits. It includes a fearsome early demo of Wray’s immortal “Rumble” that arguably bests the officially released version for sheer menace, and a host of rare live tracks that find Wray and his brothers abandoning all notions of restraint on a set of classic rock ‘n’ roll covers ranging from a damaged take on Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula” to an electrifying, and shockingly lo-fi take on “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” For the uninitiated looking for an understanding of Wray and his work that goes beyond the familiar Epic material, the incendiary, hit-filled Streets of Chicago is an ideal starting point.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The final volume of Norton’s essential Missing Links series eschews the chronological coherence of earlier volumes for a grab-bag approach that, rather than focusing on Wray’s rare independent releases, is comprised entirely of previously unreleased live recordings and studio demos from his early ‘60s prime. While all volumes of the Missing Links set are essential Streets of Chicago is easily the most consistent, and acts as something of an alternate greatest hits. It includes a fearsome early demo of Wray’s immortal “Rumble” that arguably bests the officially released version for sheer menace, and a host of rare live tracks that find Wray and his brothers abandoning all notions of restraint on a set of classic rock ‘n’ roll covers ranging from a damaged take on Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula” to an electrifying, and shockingly lo-fi take on “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” For the uninitiated looking for an understanding of Wray and his work that goes beyond the familiar Epic material, the incendiary, hit-filled Streets of Chicago is an ideal starting point.

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