CD Review: Dreamboats & Petticoats: The Diamond Edition; Ready Steady Go! The Sixties

Dreamboats & Petticoats: The Diamond Edition

Dreamboats & Petticoats: The Diamond Edition - Credit: Archant

Some of the greatest hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s...

Ready Steady Go! - The Sixties

Ready Steady Go! - The Sixties - Credit: Archant

(Universal Music On Demand)

With Christmas just around the corner, the shelves in supermarket entertainment aisles are being filled with compilation albums offering a perfect gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for relly of a certain age.

These two collections offer a flashback to the glory days of the fifties and sixties, celebrating all that is great about rock ‘n’ roll and featuring the artists who shaped the genre at its genesis.

Listening to the seven CDs contained across these two albums offers a journey from the birth of perhaps the most important musical style in history, through its formative years and into adolescence, just before everything changed with the Summer of Love in 1967.

Dreamboats & Petticoats features songs from the legendary year of 1957, which saw smash hits from the likes of The Everly Brothers with Wake Up Little Susie, Great Balls of Fire from Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis getting All Shook Up, and Paul Anka releasing the year’s biggest selling UK single with Diana.

But the classics don’t stop there, with a roll call of artists including Buddy Holly, Dusty Springfield, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Bill Haley, Sandie Shaw and Billy Fury, performing defining tracks from the era.

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Then the listener is propelled into the heart of the sixties with a tie-in to the hippest and most ambitious youth TV show of the decade, Ready Steady Go!, which ran from August 1963 to December 1966 and featured live performances from the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.

Although copyright issues prevent the inclusion of any of those artists, the line-up of talent included in this album arguably more than make up for it, with hit songs by Manfred Mann (including the show’s theme tune 5-4-3-2-1), The Who, The Kings, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Animals, The Walker Brothers and The Mamas And The Papas.

It’s a testament to the sheer volume of musical talent which was on the scene at this time, with tracks that have now passed into cultural legend. An outstanding collection of some of the greatest songs, not just of the ‘sixties, but probably of all time.

In fact, these compilations are so good you’ll probably find yourself giving them a permanent home in your album collection, and that difficult aunt or uncle will have to make do with another pair of socks this Christmas…