In the late '50s, rock & roll was growing desperate for fresh blood. Elvis was in the army, Little Richard had returned to the church, and both Jerry Lee and Chuck Berry had fallen from grace, replaced by such banal pop stars as Frankie Avalon and Paul Anka. One voice, however, rose above the dross to provide the world with a much-needed adrenaline infusion. That voice belonged to Little Miss Dynamite, the diminutive Brenda Lee. For much of the early '60s, Lee peppered the charts with a mix of high-octane rockers and epic ballads, all masterfully produced by Owen Bradley (best known for his work with Patsy Cline). Bear Family's four-disc LITTLE MISS DYNAMITE collects every Lee studio recording from this period (1957-1962).
The size and thoroughness of this collection is aimed primarily at hardcore fans, and such fans will not be disappointed by this set. The music, from the 18 A-side hits to the B-sides and album tracks to unreleased throwaways, is consistently excellent, as is Bear Family's always-impeccable mastering and packaging. As an added bonus, the set comes with an 84-page hardcover book crammed with rare photos.