It always bothers me when I bring in a CD from home to listen to while I work, because I have to listen to it on my computer’s disc player, which doesn’t sound bad, mind you, but I’d rather have it playing on a nice, big stereo system where I could really crank it up. This release, for example, needs to be played LOUD to be fully appreciated. And since I can’t do that without blasting everyone else out of their offices, I’ll try to keep it down low enough to work while I hammer out a short review telling you all to run out and buy this sucker immediately (if not sooner). What the hell am I talking about? Well, if you haven’t figured it out from the cover art pictured above, Nimrod, I’m talking ’bout the fantastic reissue of White Lightning: Lost Cadence Sessions ‘58 from the late, great Link Wray and His Ray Men on Sundazed Music. This is the perfect medicine to take if you’re sick to death of this fucking highly annoying ’80s music revival and sudden appreciation for anything recorded in the era of crappy, soulless (over)production. That’s because this record has TEETH. And those teeth will gnaw and tear at your brain with such primitive ferociousness that you’ll be lucky to come out of this listening party alive, friends. Give Link Wray a Danelectro and listen as he bends, plucks and strums the Devil himself out of them thar strings.
This release came out last August, and I’m just now getting around to reviewing it. So sue me. I’ve decided that there is really no time limit involved with reviewing good records. No expiration date. So don’t be surprised if I throw in an older release now and then when I feel the need to tell the world what I think of a certain release.
Now, about this record. It’s simply splendid. Downright MUST OWN for any true fans of Link Wray. The guitar is loud and up front, crunching, distorted, mean, and nasty. This is rock’n’roll, friends. This LP was originally intended to be the follow-up release to the blockbuster hit, “Rumble,” you know, the only instrumental song in the history of music to be banned from radio airwaves because it was inciting riots (or so they said). This was the late ’50s in the good ol’ US of A, and everyone—Cadence Records label-owner Archie Bleyer included—was talking about this new threat to the morals of the American youth. So they gave Link & Co. the boot and shelved the album, where it sat, collecting dust, for nearly 50 years. That’s where our pals over at Sundazed Music come in, because they were finally able to get the rights to re-release this splendid historical set so all of us HONGRY rock’n’roll connoisseurs could finally sink our own teeth into this thick, meaty platter.
Note: The vinyl LP version of this release is limited to 1,000 copies on numbered, high-definition vinyl. HD vinyl? Yeah, ya got me, but there ya have it!
Here’s a taste (please note these tracks will be removed after a few weeks):
Drag Race (MP3)
Rebel Rouser (MP3)
By the way, check out episode #68 of my Savage Kick podcast to hear the excellent title track!