Eddie Cochran – Eddie Cochran

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

I remember watching La Bamba in the theater, and seeing Brian Setzer as Eddie Cochran and thinking that was cool. Ironically, Cochran recorded a tribute to Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (and the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), who – let’s be honest – would not have had any kind of legacy if he had not been on that plane) with “Three Stars,” only to die tragically himself at the age of 21 (in 1960, about a year after the recording), in a car accident in England that also seriously injured Gene Vincent. Cochran’s recording from 1959 was not released until 1966. According to legend, John Lennon permitted Paul McCartney to join his band, the Quarrymen, upon hearing him play Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock.” Also, the post-Johnny Rotten Sex Pistols covered two of Cochran’s songs.

What I Think of This Album

Unless you are really into the history of rock ‘n’ roll or the history of rock guitar, this is not the album for you. It is barely the album for me, unabashed rock nerd. Certainly this 20 song album is too much Eddie Cochran, but at least it ensures that you get what you need.

“Summertime Blues,” of course, is eternal, often covered live by the Who. “Somethin’ Else” is fantastic, as is “C’mon Everybody,” and obviously someone in the Sex Pistols thought so as well, as these were the covers they selected when trying to salvage what was left of the band. Cochran had a way of adding just the right amount of grit to his voice, and his songs of teenage frustration/excitement are insightful and accurate. He was one of the few early rock ‘n’ roll artists to write his own material (usually collaborating with Jerry Capehart), and of course, he was also a talented guitarist.

“Twenty Flight Rock” is a quality song, as is “Cut Across Shorty” (though he didn’t write it). Deeper cuts like “Pink Pegged Slacks,” “Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie,” “Teenage Heaven” (with some cool sax), and “Weekend” are all worth hearing.

By the way, I am not entirely certain what the actual title of this album is, though the fact that it is part of the Legendary Masters Series seems like a salient fact.

The Best Thing About This Album

Cochran’s rasp is unparalleled, man – it’s somethin’ else.

Release Date

January, 1990

The Cover Art

You know what? I like the stripes and the colors, and it’s a good picture of Cochran. Nice work, EMI.

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