10 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

LPs weren't the main focus in rock 'n' roll in the '50s, so Jerry Lee Lewis had already spent two years racking up huge hit singles and becoming a world-shaking wonder by the time Sun Records got around to releasing his debut album in 1958. None of those early smashes are included here, but "High School Confidential" became Lewis's last big hit before the scandal over his marriage to his underage cousin started to derail his career. The source materials Jerry Lee drew on to forge his own fiery sound weren't limited to rock 'n' roll; The Killer puts his pumping piano riffs behind everything from spirituals ("When the Saints Go Marching In") and folk songs ("Good Night Irene") to country tunes (Ray Price's honky-tonk classic "Crazy Arms," Hank Williams' "Jambalaya"). Of course he also finds time for rockabilly raveups like "Don't Be Cruel" and Warren Smith's hit "Ubangi Stomp." Everything that made Jerry Lee's earth-shattering early hits so irresistible can be found here: reckless rocking abandon, blowsy grit, and bluesy grace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

LPs weren't the main focus in rock 'n' roll in the '50s, so Jerry Lee Lewis had already spent two years racking up huge hit singles and becoming a world-shaking wonder by the time Sun Records got around to releasing his debut album in 1958. None of those early smashes are included here, but "High School Confidential" became Lewis's last big hit before the scandal over his marriage to his underage cousin started to derail his career. The source materials Jerry Lee drew on to forge his own fiery sound weren't limited to rock 'n' roll; The Killer puts his pumping piano riffs behind everything from spirituals ("When the Saints Go Marching In") and folk songs ("Good Night Irene") to country tunes (Ray Price's honky-tonk classic "Crazy Arms," Hank Williams' "Jambalaya"). Of course he also finds time for rockabilly raveups like "Don't Be Cruel" and Warren Smith's hit "Ubangi Stomp." Everything that made Jerry Lee's earth-shattering early hits so irresistible can be found here: reckless rocking abandon, blowsy grit, and bluesy grace.

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