So, today’s post, folks, is about ZZ Top.
We’ve got the fabulous Bill Haley and his Comets. How could it be anyone else with a post title like that? You knew that instinctively, right? There are some tracks that are just in our DNA. Like the Twang of the opening chord of the Beatles’ A Hard Days’ Night. If I played you just the opening couple of drums beats of Rock Around the Clock, you would know which song it was.
I’ve been trying to imagine what it would have been like to hear Bill Haley’s music for the very first time in 1950s post-war Britain. It must have been amazing – so refreshing and wonderful.
Surprisingly, Rock Around the Clock was not an immediate hit when it was released in 1954. Haley went on to release a cover version of Shake, Rattle & Roll, which was a huge success. This led, among other things, to Haley being the first American rock singer to tour Europe, and Rock Around the Clock eventually became the first record to sell over 1 million copies in Britain and Germany. It also became known as the single which launched the ‘rock era’. There is a fabulous clip of Bill Haley and his Comets performing live in New York in the 1950s here.
The album which I have on my iPhone is Bill Haley and His Comets: From the Original Master Tapes. This has got all the familiar tracks, and is a real ‘toe-tapping treat’! It feels totally compulsory to react to the music – it’s so infectious. I have the album playing while I am writing this post and my shoulders are swaying, my legs are swinging – it’s a whole seat-jive thing going on. Yep, here comes See You Later, Alligator – sitting still is impossible. Just try it.