CONWAY ROCKS is a 30-track release of early recordings by legendary country and rock musician Conway Twitty that includes "Double Talk Baby" and "Make Me Know You're Mine," and a 36-page book.
Whoa! Has Bear Family ever done it this time. Many of the label's single-disc compilations become definitive by default -- there are no good ones anywhere else. In this case, as in the case of Johnny Burnette & the Rock & Roll Trio, this collection of 30 (!) tracks by Conway Twitty during the 1950s, presenting all of his major rockabilly sides as well as many of his "minor ones," is a new standard in that this is not only definitive, but no one else should ever bother. Conway Rocks captures all of the many voices of Twitty, from the crooner of "It's Only Make Believe" to the snarling sensual rocker of "Rock House" to the teen rocker of "Give Me Some Love" -- in the first four tracks! But that's far from the best of it; also included are Twitty's trademark rendition of "Danny Boy," "Is a Blue Bird Blue," "Long Black Train," "Such a Night," and so many others it's literally dizzying. Twitty was beyond prolific. These sides are the tip of the iceberg and stand up as some of the finest rockabilly sides ever issued, all by a man who wanted to be a crooner and became one. Part of this has to do with Twitty's production team, which included the late Sam Phillips and Felton Jarvis as well as some of the finest guitar slingers of the era, including Al Bruno and Hank Garland. While Twitty made his name with Columbia, this mere sampling from his rock & roll years is enough to whet the appetite for Bear Family's amazing eight-CD Rock 'n' Roll Years collection. There are fine photos included in this set as well as finely excerpted notes from the box by Colin Escott. This is highly recommended for those who know the truth about Twitty and for the disbelievers who thought of him merely as a country schmaltz king. Revelatory. ~ Thom Jurek