The best-selling female pop vocalist of the early 1960s, Brenda Lee was an international megastar who sold over 100 million records (she was voted Best Female Vocalist by the NME for five consecutive years) all before she was 21. And while it is true to say she reached the greatest number of record buyers by recording ballads, she also possessed one of the toughest rock'n'roll voices of that era - THE greatest according to John Lennon.
Here properly compiled for the first time are the rock'n'roll and bluesier recordings she made at the start of her career before she embraced the smooth certainties of the pop scene. It is a stand-alone release designed to wrap up these particular tunes.
Even at her peak, she would continue to thrown in little surprises on B-sides and very often these too became hits - such as Just A Little, Anybody But Me and That's All You Gotta Do, all heard here, are typical examples. There is the perennial hit, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, and the classic Let's Jump The Broomstick as well as very early rockers such as Dynamite, Rock The Bop and Jambalaya, which display a feisty attack belying the fact Brenda was a mere 13 years old at the time.
In 1964, Brenda came to London to record to record the scorching double-sider Is It True and What'd I Say for hotshot British producer Mickie Most. The latter tune appeared on the B-side of the UK release only to be replaced with a ballad when the single was released in the States. What'd I Say has always been hard to find on CD and appears here for the first time in two decades.
Compiled and annotated by Rob Finnis. Superb booklet generously illustrated with rare records and memorabilia in the classic Ace tradition.