1958, Music

Have Twangy Guitar, Will Travel (1958) by Duane Eddy

There’s a stereotype that, before The Beatles, rock and roll LPs were just a collection of previously released singles and their b-sides plus a bunch of filler; just enough filler to pad out the LP to make releasing a full LP justified, and filler that was usually just remakes of the hits. Now, that’s not entirely true: there are plenty of good and even great rock and roll LPS from the first half decade of the genre which have strong album tracks on them. However, this Duane Eddy record very much fits the stereotype.

Eddy has a distinctive sound and it’s easy to see why it was popular. (It was also hugely influential and it’s hard to imagine surf music without him.) But if you came to this LP for “Rebel Rouser,” you’re not going to get all that much different. There is even a song that sounds like a complete remake of “Rebel Rouser” (yes, on the same LP!!!) though it seems to have been recorded first. (“Rebel Rouser” being the new and improved version, I guess.)

Where Eddy excels, outside of “Rebel Rouser” – which is really more notable for the sax part anyway – is in the covers, which at least offer relatively distinct takes on some relatively famous songs. The covers change up the mood enough from the originals so that you aren’t bored to tears.

But Eddy and Hazlewood (and, in one instance, Eddy’s rhythm guitarist) haven’t written enough distinct material for their record. Most of the originals sound of the same type and when they do a blues it’s generic.

Though everything is competent and Eddy and his band have a very distinctive sound, the whole thing is just way too one-note, and the original material is almost entirely weaker than the covers.

6/10

All songs written by Duane Eddy and Lee Hazlewood unless noted

  1. “Lonesome Road” (Gene Austin, Nathaniel Shilkret) – 3:09
  2. “I Almost Lost My Mind” (Ivory Joe Hunter) – 2:18
  3. “Rebel Rouser” – 2:23
  4. “Three-30-Blues” – 3:33
  5. “Cannonball” – 1:55
  6. “The Lonely One” – 1:42
  7. “Detour” (Paul Westmoreland) – 2:12
  8. “Stalkin'” – 2:27
  9. “Ramrod” (Al Casey) – 1:42
  10. “Anytime” (Herbert “Happy” Lawson) – 2:19
  11. “Moovin’ ‘N’ Groovin'” – 2:05
  12. “Loving You” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) – 2:10
  • Duane Eddy – guitar
  • Al Casey – electric bass, piano, rhythm guitar
  • Steve Douglas – saxophone
  • Corki Casey O’Dell – rhythm guitar
  • Buddy Wheeler – electric bass
  • Bob Taylor – drums
  • Mike Bermani – drums

Guest Musicians

  • Plas Johnson – saxophone
  • Gil Bernal – saxophone
  • Ike Clanton – bass
  • Jimmy Simmons – upright bass
  • Jimmy Wilcox – bass
  • Donnie Owens – rhythm guitar
  • The Sharps – backing vocals

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