ARTIST: Carl Perkins
TITLE: The Definitive Collection
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Charted: Blue Suede Shoes (#2, #1 Country), Boppin’ the Blues (#70, #7 Country), Dixie Fried (#10 Country), Your True Love (#67, #13 Country)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby, Honey Don’t, Matchbox, Lend Me Your Comb, Right String – Wrong Yo-Yo
LINEUP: Carl Perkins, Jay Perkins, Clayton Perkins, Fluke Holland. Ed Cisco replaced Jay Perkins after an accident.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Flawed compilation of the rockabilly pioneer who wrote and performed one of the most famous songs of all time and was covered extensively by the Beatles. As flawed as this is, it’s the most complete.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Carl Perkins won over Sam Phillips at Sun with his cornball tune “Movie Magg”, and released two singles split with pure country and the country-rock hybrid that Phillips was releasing with Elvis Presley. When his third single, “Blue Suede Shoes” hit, well, that set Perkins up for success. Soon, he was in demand everywhere, but a car accident derailed his career (and eventually caused the death of his brother Jay), and Elvis took control of the movement AND of his signature song.
Perkins had a bunch of great songs in the can before, and also recorded a bunch of great sides afterwards. Most all of them are collected here. The Beatles covered three songs on their albums and many more on stage. They are the bedrock of rock and roll.
Yet, this collection has some alternate versions of some big songs (like “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” and “Pink Pedal Pushers”) and lots of alternate versions of other songs (some are better, some are incomplete takes). Yes, there are other Perkins’ compilations out there, but they either skip some really good songs (many of the Sun Records collections are sparse, really) or they’re re-recorded. STAY AWAY FROM THOSE.
After his time at Sun. he moved record companies and never was able to capture the magic he had in that Memphis Studio. Still, his legacy is solid, so put this on, skip around to the good ones, and get “Dixie Fried”!
NOTES & MINUTIAE: His song “Glad All Over” was not the one that the Dave Clark Five recorded. He was voted one of the top guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there are box sets (not streaming) that have almost every extant take by Perkins. You can also get this collection in two parts.
GRADE: B+: The grade is for the quality of the collection, not the quality of the songs.