• 1.
    Mean Woman Blues
  • 2.
    Midnight Special
  • 3.
    Blue Moon of Kentucky
  • 4.
    I Forgot to Remember to Forget
  • 5.
    Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
  • 6.
    Pick a Ball of Cotton
  • 7.
    That's All Right
  • 8.
    Blue Suede Shoes
  • 9.
    When the Son Goes Down
  • 10.
    Don't Be Cruel
  • 11.
    You're Right, I'm Left, She's Gone
  • 12.
    Be-Bop-A-Lula
  • 13.
    Have I Told You Lately That I Lo...
  • 14.
    Twenty Flight Rock
  • 15.
    Lost John

Review

The five original members of the Quarrymen (sans John Lennon) reunited in 1997 for a benefit concert in Liverpool at St. Peter's Church, where they first played in 1957, which led to this 15-song recording and an international tour. That may seem the height of exploitation, except that it turns out they're still a good skiffle band -- one will even pick up a few insights into the roots of Lennon's and the Beatles' music, if one can keep the perspective of 1950s' England in sight. The main influence is Lonnie Donegan, whose skiffle sound was the basis for most English teens taking up rock & roll from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. Today it's no trick to play American rock & roll in an authentic American style, but the Quarrymen's laid-back, relaxed, natural style must have set them apart from much of the competition in Liverpool circa 1957. If lead guitarist Eric Griffiths had an attack anything like he does on this record back then, then he had a more than fair amount going for him, at least as a top rhythm player -- and given that rhythm guitar was what the Beatles' (and the Liverpool) sound proved to be all about, it's sad that he never stayed in the music. The renditions of "Twenty Flight Rock" and Lonnie Donegan numbers like "Lost John" are spirited and enthusiastic, and revive a sound that fairly overwhelmed English youth circa 1956-57. Colin Hanton keeps a good beat, and Len Garry is a good, solid singer, while Rod Davis acquits himself well as a bluesy singer on "When the Sun Goes Down" and the Elvis-style rendering of "Don't Be Cruel," which has a certain honesty about it -- this was the way they knew and loved the song. It might not be the Rosetta Stone to the Beatles' music, but Get Back-Together is a rare chance to hear some more than decent skiffle music, and if the Beatles connection is the excuse needed to get people to listen, so be it. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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