Various - Stranger Than Fiction: Rockabilly Rules Again
Like any underground musical movement, the so-called rockabilly revival which curiously blossomed in the UK and spread out to the rest of Europe during the 1970s was largely fed by bootlegs or, at least, reissues of dubious legality. However, among the first independent reissue labels to emerge on both sides of the Atlantic, in an effort to quench the growing thirst for obscure US rockabilly in the 1970s, was a handful of rock ’n’ roll collectors and record dealers who diligently sought out the original artists and label owners to create their own legitimate catalogues and identifiable brands which have, today, become collectable singles in their own right…forty years and more down the line!
With Europe in the grip of another rockabilly revival, rock ’n’ roll authority Dave Penny has compiled the 3CD Stranger Than Fiction, which is devoted to recordings revived in the 1970s on some of those specialist labels. For this special 2LP vinyl edition, complete with annotated insert, he has selected 36 highlights, with Sides 1 and 2 drawing on the Rollin’ Rock and Record Mart respectively, while Side 3 investigates the sister labels Injun and Spade, and Side 4 rounds up the best releases on other labels of the period.
Serving as the soundtrack to a series of articles Dave Penny has contributed to Now Dig This magazine, Stranger Than Fiction allows new fans to acquire these classics, and conjures up memories for those who filled the dancefloors of the UK rock ’n’ roll clubs in the 1970s: the tom-toms introducing “Robinson Crusoe Bop”, the manic cowbells heralding “Lay Your Head On My Shoulder” or Pat Cupp’s long drawled-out “Aaaaaaa’m aaaaa...long gon’ daddy”. The obsession for obscure 1950s Americana by a host of British teenagers born two decades too late may have seemed stranger than fiction, but it cast a spell that weaves its magic to this day!