Proper's four-disc, budget-priced but hardly shoddy box Classic Rockabilly
can't quite be called a proper introduction to rockabilly -- there are too many classic singles missing for that. What it can be called is a great second
rockabilly box to get (probably after Rhino's crash-course introduction Rockin' Bones
, a master's course in cat clothes and rockin' rhythms). Which isn't to say all 120 of these songs are obscure. Many of the best and biggest Sun sides from Elvis
, Carl Perkins
, and Roy Orbison
are here, along with Gene Vincent
's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" -- songs that are pretty close to very first rockabilly anybody ever hears -- and there is even a decent share of good second-tier rockabilly that isn't exactly uncommon (including cuts from that aforementioned Rhino box). But there is also much more high-quality music that warrants further exploration by rockabilly fans of all stripes. Plus, there is a certain joy to the sequencing -- where all the songs about rockin' are followed by songs with "cat" in the titles, then a bunch of tunes about Cadillacs and bops and boogies, then finally nearly a whole disc of songs with "baby" in the titles -- which helps make this already fun set just a bit more of a gas.