ARTIST: Jerry Lee Lewis
TITLE: The Definitive Collection
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10 Pop or R&B: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On (#3 US, #1 Country, #1 R&B, #8 UK), Great Balls of Fire (#2 US, #1 Country, #1 R&B, #1 UK), You Win Again (#95, #4 Country), Breathless (#7 US, #4 Country, #3 R&B, #8 UK), High School Confidential (#21, #9 Country, #5 R&B, #12 UK). He had a lot of country hits after 1968 that are on here.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: What’ Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me), Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (a later version)
LINEUP: The Killer and some others
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The first part’s the killer. The rest is the killer as a country artist.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first six tracks on this collection are Jerry Lee’s best blasts of rock and rockabilly, though “You Win Again” was a foreshadowing of how he’d rebuild his career. The rest is Jerry Lee as a country artist.
If you’re really, really into the Killer as a rockabilly guy, there are other collections. I chose this as an overview of his entire musical life (and I have a live record and a 1973 album to go over, too). His country stuff isn’t as interesting, but there are some highlights (“What’s Made Milwaukee Famous”, “Don’t Let Me Cross Over” with his sister).
His brief hit making career was derailed by his marriage to his under-age cousin, but it’s an important phase. His country phase was a chance to make some money. I can’t disparage a guy for that.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He’s still performing, believe it or not.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Nope.
GRADE: B: His rockabilly singles are A PLUS, but his country stuff you can take or leave.