Rockabilly multi-instrumentalist Billy Lee Riley first rose to fame as a member of the Sun Records house band. He then struck out on his own and became a much-in demand session guitarist. But Riley's most powerful work could still be heard on the cuts he made early in his career at Sun Records, which are included here.
Personnel includes: Billy Lee Riley; Jerry Lee Lewis (piano).
Though he never achieved the renown of first-generation rockabilly contemporaries like Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, Billy Lee Riley was one of the rawest, wildest, most intense rock-&-rollers to come out of the magic music factory that was Sun Studio in the 1950s. This 22-track anthology presents a comprehensive, well balanced view of Riley's career. Naturally, the signature songs are here, like the fiery, much-covered "Red Hot" and the extraterrestrial rave-up, "Flying Saucers Rock and Roll," but there are also less iconic (though no less intriguing) cuts like Riley's swinging, bluesy take on the Louis Jordan jump-blues hit "Open the Door Richard" and a rocking update of the spiritual standard "Down By the Riverside." All in all, it's a first-rate introduction to Riley's work.