‘The Roots of British Rock’ Examines Early UK Hits

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ImageAn unjustly ignored side street in musical history gets its due in this fascinating companion to Sire Records’ History of British Rock series. Included: Lonnie Donegan’s “Rock Island Line” and “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?” the song that started England’s skiffle craze and his biggest U.S. hit, respectively; “Tribute to Buddy Holly,” a haunting Mike Berry tune produced by Holly fanatic Joe Meek; the Shadows’ “Apache” and the Tornadoes’ “Telstar,” a pair of unforgettable instrumental hits; “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” by the Springfields, the group that launched Dusty Springfield; “Move It” and “Living Doll,” both from the legendary Cliff Richard; and 20 other tunes by such artists as Chris Barber, the Caravelles, Joe Brown, Frank Ifield and Billy Fury. The bonus: Greg Shaw’s extensive liner notes, which successfully convey the importance of this music.

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