This 20 track compilation features many of rock & roll’s true pioneers along with one gigantic exception.
“20 Rock & Roll Greats” was released before the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame was established in Cleveland, Ohio. I must admit K-tel did a pretty good job of picking the selections on this album as fifteen of the twenty artists currently reside in the Hall Of Fame – Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, The Coasters, Dion, Carl Perkins, The Platters, Bobby Darin, The Drifters, Gene Pitney and Wanda Jackson. All of these rock & roll legends are well-represented by one of their major hits. So far so good.
Other worthy inclusions are “Kansas City” by Wilbert Harrison, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” by Larry Williams, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” by The Teddy Bears and “Red River Rock” by Johnny & The Hurricanes. There are a couple one-hit-wonders in this grouping but their hits were huge and influential. Hard to argue.
Track 20 is the head-scratcher – “Poor Boy” by The Lords. That’s right – “Poor Boy” by The Lords! It would be somewhere between a million years and forever before anyone would say The Lords belong in this illustrious mix.
This is just Wrong, Wrong, Wrong:
- Wrong Country – All the artists on this package are American. The Lords were a German group.
- Wrong Time Period – Every artist on this collection experienced their first success in the fifties, long before the mid-sixties when “Poor Boy” charted.
- Wrong Song – “Poor Boy” was a poor selection. Every song on this collection is a rock ‘n’ roll classic making “Poor Boy” stick out even more.
Curious why a track like this was included – A favor? – Someone needed to slap a 20th track on to meet a deadline? – One of The Lords was dating a K-tel employee?
Nothing against The Lords – they just belong on a German “One Hit Wonders” package, not this one.