The surprising thing about K-Tel's staggering ten-disc box set burdened with the title Ultimate History of Rock & Roll is that it actually approaches delivering on its huge promise. Of course, a collection of this sort of any size is immediately sunk by lacking the presence of Elvis Presley or virtually any British act (only the Troggs and Tornadoes leap to mind). The focus here is on early rock & roll and rockabilly (Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, Duane Eddy), the girl groups (the Angels, the Shirelles, the Shangri-Las, Lesley Gore, the Dixie Cups, the Chiffons) and an almost overwhelming concentration on the R&B side of rock (the Coasters, the Drifters, the Platters, the Del-Vikings, Ben E. King, the Clovers, the Duprees, the Olympics, the Penguins). Also well-represented is the increasingly white-bread '60s pop/rock artists: the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Ventures, and the Association. For fans of the above types of music, Ultimate History of Rock & Roll is an immensely rewarding set which delivers with all the best tracks from the biggest artists. Just don't expect to find "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Can't Buy Me Love."
Super limited 3xCD version available exclusively from Relapse.com, featuring all the contents of the 2xCD version along with an exclusive 3rd CD, which includes over 40 minutes of never-before-heard DEATH demo / rehearsal material from May 1986. Housed in deluxe embossed and foil-stamped 8-panel digipak, limited and numbered to 2000 copies.
The music that Bohren makes has fallen under the heavy metal/doom rubric, but this is both inaccurate and unfair to the band and its music. While the former members of hardcore legends 7 Inch Boots, Chronical Diarrhoea, and Macabre Farmhouse may have once played fast and heavy, on Sunset Mission they completely drop the metal overtones that appeared on Gore Motel and stand resolutely in the late-night jazz-noir camp. The cover of the album shows night descending on the wet streets of a residential/industrial landscape. The music included within is for a couple of hours later, when there is only darkness and the breath of a saxophone to keep you company.
This two-CD album, released in 1995, is this uniquely bizarre band's second and most austere effort. As mentioned above, Midnight Radio is similar in style to Sunset Mission, minus the piano and saxophone. This results in a very hypnotic listening experience.