Friday, December 25, 2009

Jerry Lee LEWIS – Live At The Star Club 1964

Jerry Lee LEWIS – Live At The Star Club 1964


Take one oversize talent with an ego the size of the chip on his shoulder. Put him in front of a frenzied German audience, and set him loose. What do you have? One of the greatest live albums in rock & roll history. Recorded in 1964 at the same club where the Beatles cut their teeth, Live at the Star Club, Hamburg captures the Killer when he was on the outs as a recording artist. (It took him years to recover from the scandal that ensued when he wed his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown.) Lewis didn't require acceptance, however; he just needed an audience, a piano, and a rhythm section willing to hang on to "old Jerry Lee" for dear life. The repertoire is rife with staples of the day--"Money," "Mean Woman Blues," "Long Tall Sally," "Hound Dog"--but the Killer has no trouble customizing them with his pumping piano and insinuating vocals. "When Jerry does something, I do it mighty good," he boasts in "What'd I Say." No argument here.
By Steven Stolder.
Whenever I listen to this, I can feel my heart pumping at a hundred beats a second. No other live album captures the energy and fun of this one. Jerry Lee Lewis was at a low point in his career. After marrying his thirteen year old cousin, he was in exile in the States and was only on the verge on being forgiven by Europe. That didn't however alter his perception that he was the king of rock 'n' roll, which in many ways he was. It certainly didn't stop him from being a wildman on stage, and as crazy as his 50's performances where, he is on top of his game on this recording. He plays his songs with a passion and love for them, and puts more heart and soul into the covers than the original artists probably ever dreamed of. A little bit of ego will carry you a long way, and Jerry's ego is massive on this one, resulting in the most energetic live album there is. "Kick Out the Jams" and "At Folsum Prison" are great, but are incredibly tame compared to this. "At the Apollo 1962" is a good, but not great album. It is considored the greatest live album mainly because it is the most influential. Despite the fact it proved people would buy a live album, it was far from the best. This, folks, it the best. Elvis who? Jerry Lee Lewis never sold his soul to Vegas,
and is the true king of rock 'n' roll.
By Timothy Farrell.
"Live At The Star Club, Hamburg" is not an album, it's a crime scene: Jerry Lee Lewis slaughters his rivals in a thirteen-song set that feels like one long convulsion. Recorded April 5th, 1964, this is the earliest and most feral of Lewis' concert releases from his wilderness years, after he was banished from the radio and after he had left Sun Records for Mercury, but before he humbled himself and switched to country. Live at the Star Club is not country, boogie, bop or blues but showdown rock & roll, with no survivors but the Killer.
Not that the rockabillies and piano pounders whose tunes he devours -- Ray Charles ("What'd I Say"), Carl Perkins ("Matchbox"), Little Richard ("Good Golly, Miss Molly") and Elvis Presley ("Hound Dog") -- thought of Lewis as their chief competition. But he did. The world at large seemed out to get him, and that was no position for the hardest-working ego in show business. Lewis was not going to just slide through his career doldrums. He wanted to show 'em all -- those prigs who looked down their blue noses at his marriage to thirteen-year-old Myra Gayle Brown, those fools who thought Elvis was the King, those damned Brit invaders, even the angry God of his angrier fathers. No enemy could touch him onstage. Once Lewis launches into "Mean Woman Blues," the audience and his backing band, a vastly overmatched British group called the Nashville Teens, simply toast in the afterburners.

Lewis combines his frightening precision with piano stomps and rolls, and nonstop sneers and boasts (his self-references would not be matched until the rap years). He devours the songs with his sweet-hellfire vocals, spattering everyone with Jerry Lee-sanctified lewdness. He makes the manic pace his everyday beat -- "Your Cheatin' Heart" is the only respite -- and the fact that he's functionally a one-man show doesn't matter. Throughout, Lewis calls for the guitarist to add some excitement in the middle of the storm, but at that point even a tuba would sound crazed.
By Milo MILES.
Johnny Allen- Guitar
John Hanken- Drums 
Jerry Lee Lewis- Piano, Vocals
Ray Phillips- Bass
Pete Shannon- Guitar
A1. I Got A Woman
A2. High School Confidential
A3. Money (That's What I Want)
A4. Matchbox
A5. What'd I Say (Part. 1)
A6. What'd I Say (Part. 2)
B1. Great Balls Of Fire
B2. Good Golly, Miss Molly
B3. Lewis Boogie
B4. Your Cheatin' Heart
B5. Hound Dog
B6. Long Tall Sally
B7. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

1 comment:

  1. dont ask me peter...
    not my fault. :)
    TIM says the same about him.