American Roots of the British Invasion

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
These are the original versions of 20 American songs, mostly but not all rock & roll, covered by British Invasion bands in the mid-'60s, usually but not always for hits. To do a comprehensive survey of original versions of British Invasion classics, you'd need a few shelves of CDs. But this does have many of the better ones, and even if the stylistic threads connecting them are thin other than the British Invasion connection, it's a pretty great listen, taking in various strands of high-grade American rock & roll from the 1950s and first half of the 1960s. Although just about all of this stuff appears on more than one compilation and sometimes on many ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
These are the original versions of 20 American songs, mostly but not all rock & roll, covered by British Invasion bands in the mid-'60s, usually but not always for hits. To do a comprehensive survey of original versions of British Invasion classics, you'd need a few shelves of CDs. But this does have many of the better ones, and even if the stylistic threads connecting them are thin other than the British Invasion connection, it's a pretty great listen, taking in various strands of high-grade American rock & roll from the 1950s and first half of the 1960s. Although just about all of this stuff appears on more than one compilation and sometimes on many compilations, there are still many listeners who know the British Invasion covers of many of the songs, but not the originals. For instance, there is Chan Romero's "Hippy Hippy Shake" covered by the Swinging Blue Jeans and the Beatles, though their version didn't come out officially until the 1990s; the Shirelles' "Boys," done on the Beatles' first album; the Donays' girl group classic "Devil in His Heart," done on the Beatles' second album; Barbie Gaye's peppy 1957 rock & roller "My Boy Lollipop," covered by Millie Small; Bessie Banks' soul-pop ballad "Go Now," a hit for the Moody Blues; and Dr. Feelgood's "Mr. Moonlight," covered by the Beatles. And more: Bobby Day's "Over and Over" was done by the Dave Clark Five, Evie Sands' fetching girl group-ish "I Can't Let Go" by the Hollies, and Del Shannon's dramatic ballad "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon. Getting more obscure, Little Willie John's "Leave My Kitten Alone" was indeed recorded by the Beatles in 1964, but that cover wasn't released for three decades. Getting less obscure, the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout," Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' "Stay," Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," and John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" were all big hits in the United States before being taken up by British bands. There are also a couple of interesting detours outside of rock in Buck Owens' Bakersfield country classic "Act Naturally," done by the Beatles, and Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier," which gave Donovan an American hit. For the original versions of Beatles songs specifically, there are actually a few more on the 1986 Rhino LP Beatle Originals, including some important songs that don't appear on this CD, like Buddy Holly's "Words of Love" and Arthur Alexander's "Anna Go to Him." Still, a very fun CD this is, whether you're looking for the original versions or not. It seems kind of suspect, though, that Gene Pitney's "Pretty Flamingo" was the "original" for Manfred Mann's cover; Manfred Mann recorded that tune in March of 1966, the same year Pitney put it on an album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2002
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • UPC: 030206633429
  • Catalog Number: 066334

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Boys - The Shirelles (2:08)
  2. 2 Stay - Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (1:37)
  3. 3 Hippy Hippy Shake - Chan Romero (1:44)
  4. 4 Twist and Shout - The Isley Brothers (2:35)
  5. 5 Devil in His Heart - The Donays (2:36)
  6. 6 My Boy Lollipop - Barbie Gaye (2:10)
  7. 7 Leave My Kitten Alone - Little Willie John (2:35)
  8. 8 Slow Down - Larry Williams (2:45)
  9. 9 Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker (2:32)
  10. 10 I Go to Pieces - Del Shannon (2:28)
  11. 11 Long Tall Sally - Little Richard (2:10)
  12. 12 Go Now - Bessie Banks (2:43)
  13. 13 Mr. Moonlight - Dr. Feelgood & the Interns (2:38)
  14. 14 Honey Don't - Carl Perkins (2:51)
  15. 15 I Understand (Just How You Feel) - The G-Clefs (2:46)
  16. 16 Act Naturally - Buck Owens (2:23)
  17. 17 Universal Soldier - Buffy Sainte-Marie (2:18)
  18. 18 Over and Over - Bobby Day (2:20)
  19. 19 I Can't Let Go - Evie Sands (2:19)
  20. 20 Pretty Flamingo - Gene Pitney (2:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Lee Hooker Track Performer
P.D.Q. Bach Conductor
Buck Owens Track Performer
Buffy Sainte-Marie Track Performer
The Isley Brothers Track Performer
Little Richard Track Performer
The Shirelles Track Performer
Evie Sands Track Performer
Chan Romero Track Performer
Bessie Banks Track Performer
Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs Track Performer
The Donays Track Performer
Technical Credits
P.D.Q. Bach Arranger
Little Richard Composer
Carl Perkins Composer
Gene Pitney Producer
Del Shannon Producer
Jerry Leiber Producer
Chip Taylor Producer
Bumps Blackwell Producer
Bert Berns Producer
Calvin Carter Producer
Henry Glover Producer
Evren Göknar Mastering
Jack Gold Producer
Al Gorgoni Arranger, Producer
Stanley Kahan Producer
Don Law Producer
Morris Levy Composer
Maynard Solomon Producer
Phil Medley Composer
Leon René Producer
J. Roberts Composer
Art Rupe Producer
Garry Sherman Arranger, Producer
Alain Silver Producer
Mike Stoller Producer
Teacho Wiltshire Arranger
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Bert Russell Composer
Sam Phillips Producer
Bob Keane Producer
Luther Dixon Producer
Ray Griff Composer
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Harry Balk Producer
Marty Wekser Producer
Richard Wylie Producer
Robert Blackwell Composer
Robert Spencer Composer
Vonie Morrison Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ear-opening collection of American originals

    The original American sounds whose echoes washed back ashore with the British Invasion, though widely acknowledged, were often launched as obscure B-sides and album tracks. The Brits didn't just listen to American music, they studied it. Long before Lennon & McCartney had written an album-full of compositions, they showed off their roots with covers of non-hits by Larry Williams ("Slow Down"), The Shirelles ("Boys"), and The Donays ("Devil in His Heart"), to name just a few. ¶ To many listeners, iconic hits, like the Isley Brothers "Twist and Shout," have become "Beatles' songs." Similarly, many Americans were introduced to one of their own most popular country artists, Buck Owens, via Ringo Starr's treatment of "Act Naturally." The British hits took popular ownership of American-born songs, and while the reincarnated doo-wop, blues, rockabilly and girlgroup pop lit up the charts, the originals cataloged here are the scene's true foundation. ¶ Barbie Gaye's R&B "My Boy Lollipop" and Chan Romero's rockin' "Hippy Hippy Shake" were revived from late-50s obscurity by one-hit wonders Millie Small and The Swinging Blue Jeans, respectively. Peter & Gordon mined Del Shannon's catalog for the fully-arranged, hit-ready album-track, "I Go to Pieces," and Manfred Mann turned Gene Pitney's fey flute-and-trumpet "Pretty Flamingo" into rock 'n' roll gold. John Lennon's fascination with the song "Mr. Moonlight" is finally explained by Dr. Feelgood & The Intern's rare 1962 original. ¶ Though this twenty track collection barely scratches the surface of the British Invasion's American roots (the Beatles alone recorded several dozen such covers), it's still a knock-out -- a broad, ear-opening primer that begs for additional volumes.

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