Released November 2023 on Jasmine Records
Reviewed December 2023
Buy the album here: https://jasmine-records.co.uk/.../3751-various-artists...
Hot on the heels of a compilation of American tracks lasting less than two minutes, Bernie Keith's - 'Two Minute Heroes' (U.S. Edition), Roger Dopson has come up with this collection of British tracks lasting less than two minutes. These two albums came from a suggestion by BBC Radio Northampton’s DJ, Bernie Keith whose face is featured on the two covers.
1 That’s Love by Billy Fury – This fine example of British rockabilly got to number 19 in the UK Charts in 1960. Fantastic guitar playing from Joe Brown. A great opening track.
2 It’s Been Nice by Marty Wilde – A good rocker from another iconic British Rocker covering a song from the Everly Brothers.
3 I Shoulda Listened To Mama by Jimmy Crawford – An early 60s pop rocker with an orchestra and chirpy backing vocals.
4 My Baby Doll by Mike Berry & Outlaws – Mike doing his best Buddy Holly inspired vocals. This was the B side of his first single in January 1961 and was followed by his best known record “Tribute To Buddy Holly” later the same year.
5 Kon-Tiki by Shadows – Wonderful guitar playing by Hank Marvin helped get this instrumental to the top of the charts in 1961.
6 It Only Took A Minute by Joe Brown & Bruvvers – Actually it is one minute and fifty four seconds but it did reach number 6 in 1962. A pop rocker with a good guitar break.
7 Made You by Adam Faith – Issued in 1960 this track has touches of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran and some very clever guitar picking. It reached number five on the charts.
8 I saw Linda Yesterday by Doug Sheldon – A cover of a song that was a hit for Dickey Lee in the USA. An early 60s rocker in the vein of Freddie Cannon.
9 Cry Of The Wild Goose by The Sunsets – Not the backing band for Shakin’ Stevens but a four piece instrumental group trying to follow in the footsteps of the Shadows with this track from 1961.
10 Lonely Sixteen by Julie Grant - Early British pop rock full of teen age angst.
11 Beat Girl Main Title Theme by John Barry Seven – The title track from the film “Beat Girl”. The Beat Girl soundtrack was the first British soundtrack to be released on a vinyl LP. It reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart, paving the way for the release of other film soundtrack albums.
12 Gee Whiz It’s You by Cliff Richard & Shadows – From 1961 a good rocker from Cliff, not as wild as his earlier work but there’s some great guitar work from Hank Marvin who wrote the song with Ian Samwell. A number 4 hit.
13 Trambone by Krew Kats – Another instrumental, a slower version of tune written by legendary American guitar picker, Chet Atkins. The Krew Kats were Big Jim Sullivan, future Shads Brian Bennett and Brian 'Liquorice' Locking, plus Tony Belcher. This made number 33 in the UK charts.
14 What Do You Want by Craig Douglas - Craig AKA “the Singing Milkman” doing a cover of the track that was a massive hit for Adam Faith.
15 Gypsy love by Emile Ford & Checkmates – There’s a country and western feel to this up-tempo track from 1961.
16 Write Me A Letter by Jimmy justice – This pop song was the B side of Jimmy’s version of “Spanish Harlem” on the UK Pye label in 1962.
17 Can’t Forget by Johnny Gavotte – Another track clearly influenced by Buddy Holly’s later recordings. This was issued on Parlophone in 1960. It failed to make the charts and little is known about the singer. Like many recordings of the time, the backing is provided by John Barry.
18 Rodeo by Outlaws – An up-tempo country instrumental from the 1961 album “Dream Of The West” The band was made up of Billy Kuy, Bobby Graham, Chas Hodges and Reg Hawkins.
19 That’s All Right by The Viscounts – An up-tempo pop country song that has nothing to do with the Elvis/Arthur Crudup number.
20 Let’s Talk About Love by Helen Shapiro – Typical British pop from 1962 that reached 23 in the charts.
21 He’s Old Enough To Know Better by Brook Brothers – Geoff and Ricky Brook, the boys whose best known hit is “Warpaint” got to number 37 in 1962 with this cover of a song first done by the Crickets. Issued on Pye Records.
22 Who does He Think He Is? by Penny – The first of two singles from Penny Calvert on the Piccadilly label in 1961. Up-tempo pop love song. “Who does he think he is, going around like a lover man. The biggest egg in the frying pan.” True poetry!
23 Exodus by The Eagles – A Shadows type instrumental that was the theme of the Otto Preminger film “Exodus”. These Eagles were from Bristol and have nothing to do with the band from the States with the same name.
24 Cindy’s Birthday by Shane Fenton & The Fentones – From 1962, this was the biggest hit by the band whose front man, Bernard Jewry went on to become Alvin Stardust.
25 Stop Your Crying by Lee Diamond – Another pop song typical of the early 60s that failed to chart for Lee and his backing band, The Cherokees.
26 (I Wanna) Love My Life Away by Vince Eager – This was Vince’s fourth single which like the previous three failed to get any chart success. Gene Pitney’s original was the more successful version.
27 The Johnson Boys by The Springfields – A country/folk song with Dusty singing the lead. This was the B side of their smash hit “Island Of Dreams”
28 Be Mine by Lance Fortune – A joe Meek production from 1960 that hit number 4 in the hit parade.
29 Be Nice To Him Mama by Vernons Girls – A quirky little number from the EP “The Vernons Girls”.
30 Lover’s Guitar by The Fentones – A definite latin feel to this instrumental B side from 1962.
31 Six White Horses by John Leyton – Released on HMV in 1961 this was the B side of “Son, This Is She”. One of the several Joe Meek productions on this album.
32 Me And My Chauffeur Blues by Ottilie Patterson – This is from the Chris Barber’s Blues Book Volume 1 LP, it’s a mid-tempo cover of a song first recorded in the States my Memphis Minnie that has a slight skiffle feel to it.
33 In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Nero & Gladiators – During the early 60s there were several pop reworkings of classical music pieces. This instrumental take on Grieg’s composition managed to get into the UK Top 50, reaching 48 for one week in 1961.
34 Frantic by Dickie Pride – The “Sheik Of Shake” had this pop rocker B side released on Columbia in 1959.
35 You’ve Got What I Like by Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers – There’s plenty of echo on Cliff’s vocals, a great piano and guitar. An excellent rocker produced by Joe Meek in 1961.
36 Honey Cause I Love You by Michael Cox – A rocking B side from 1962. Maybe it should have been the A side.
37 Sunburst by The Flee-Rekkers – The Duane Eddy influence is obvious here. A rocking instrumental with some nice sax player by the band’s founder, Peter Fleerackers. Released in 1962 on the Pye label.
38 Come On, Let’s Go! by Tommy Steele – This cover of the Ritchie Valens’ original stands up well against the original and gave the Boy From Bermondsey a Top 10 hit in 1958.
39 This Little Girl’s Gone Rocking by Janice Peters – Ruth Brown’s original version for Atlantic Records in the USA has long been popular in the Rock and Roll Clubs. This is also a good rocker that has a slight novelty feel to it thanks to the male backing singer. Janice’s vocal has an attitude to it and there is some nifty guitar playing too. Released in 1958 but sadly did not chart.
40 Hot Chicka’roo by Ricky Wayne With The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers – This Joe meek production was issued on two labels, Triumph and Top Rank but failed to gain any chart success on either.
41 The Squelch by Lord Rockingham’s Xi – This sax driven instrumental, with Oh Boy! references was the band’s debut disc back in May ’58 (bizarrely, its flip ‘Fried Onions’, made the US Top 100), although neither side made the UK charts.
42 A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Released in 1962 it features Johnny Kidd on vocals, the superb Mick Green on lead guitar, Johnny Spence on bass and Frank Farley on drums and did well in the UK Charts.
Top marks to Roger Dopson for picking up on Bernie Kieth’s idea and coming up with a compilation of tracks that range from the quirky to the classic, chart hits to obscure recordings all united by the fact they last less than two minutes. This sits nicely alongside the compilation of American two minute heroes and both are good additions to any collection, plus they are fantastic value for money. Nice sleeve notes from Alfred Rhode complete an excellent package.
Reviewed by Jailhouse John Alexander.