Various artists - The Beatles Jukebox

Illustrative compilation of the Fab Four’s roots

Despite breaking one of High
Fidelity’s golden rules of
compilation-making (“…you
can’t have two tracks by the
same artist side-by-side, unless
you’ve done the whole thing in
pairs…”), The Beatles Jukebox
makes an intriguing listen.

It could just as well be
called The Best Of The 50s, as
it spans skiffle, rock’n’roll, doo
wop, music hall, country and
R&B. Some tracks are well-known:
Bill Haley & His Comets’
1954 single Rock Around The
Clock is credited as the then-14-year-old John Lennon’s first
musical influence. Others, such
as Don’t You Rock Me Daddy-O
by The Vipers Skiffle Group are
less so, but there are no real
surprises here.

That said, the effect that
this music had on the young
Beatles is clear. The beginnings
of When I’m Sixty-Four can be
found in George Formby’s music
hall and songs The Beatles later
covered, including Chuck Berry’s
Rock’n’Roll Music and Larry
Williams’ Dizzy Miss Lizzy, make
an appearance.

This 28-track collection is
invaluable in understanding how
the Fab Four’s early style
evolved and the sleevenotes
explain their musical journey
from Liverpool schoolboys,
through The Quarrymen to
Please Please Me. But that’s
where it ends. To understand
the Beatles’ career we really
need Jukebox II, III and IV.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Chrome Dreams | CDCD 5020

Reviewed by Lynn Roberts
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