The first in a series of 8 simultaneously released sets celebrating the most iconic British pop show of all time looks in depth at the era of youthquakes, love-ins, happenings and Bank Holiday rumbles. Marking the period 1964-1969, this 3-CD collection includes artists such as The Beach Boys, Small Faces, Stevie Wonder, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and many more.
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."