Wilde About Marty 1960
This is one rocking album, in terms of sound about three parts Gene Vincent to one part Everly Brothers ("Love of My Life") and two parts Elvis Presley ("Mean Woman Blues"). Marty Wilde was one of England's early rock & roll stars, good enough to get him compared with Americans of Gene Vincent's caliber (and appear with Vincent and Eddie Cochran when they toured England), and talented enough to generate a first-rate album in the studio, at a time when relatively few white American rock & rollers were able to do as much. Wilde About Marty consists of covers of some of Wilde's favorite American-spawned numbers, and they're not bad — with Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar and, in their pre-Shadows days, Brian "Licorice" Locking on bass and Brian Bennett at the drums, backing up his own band, the Wildcats, the playing is solid, and Wilde was an excellent singer, if a somewhat derivative one. He displays good depth on "Dream Lover" and lightens his voice for the Buddy Holly/Crickets number "You've Got Love," and makes a trio of unfortunate digression (understandable in the time) into teen pop with "I Flipped," "Are You Sincere?," and "Don't Pity Me," but around them cuts loose, by turns raw and almost lewd on "All American Boy" and "High School Confidential," and acquits himself well on "Splish Slash" and Arthur Crudup's "So Glad You're Mine." It's all produced by John Franz, who went on to play a similar role in Dusty Springfield's early career. Reissued on CD in 2003 paired with the singer's second LP, Showcase.