Eddie Cochran

TrackSingle
C’'mon EverybodyC'mon Everybody / Don't Ever Let Me Go
Cut Across ShortyCut Across Shorty / Three Steps To Heaven
Hallelujah, I Love Her SoHallelujah, I Love Her So / Cradle Baby
My WayMy Way / Rock And Roll Blues
Somethin’' ElseSomethin' Else / Boll Weevil Song
Summertime BluesSummertime Blues / Love Again
Teenage HeavenTeenage Heaven / I Remember
Three Steps To HeavenCut Across Shorty / Three Steps To Heaven
Twenty Flight RockTwenty Flight Rock / Cradle Baby
WeekendLonely / Weekend

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Contributor: Peter Viney

Eddie Cochran, like Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, remained more popular in Britain than the USA. My copy of The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album went missing with an ex-girlfriend and the CD era never saw an exact British reissue, but eventually a French reissue appeared on the Magic label.

These Top Tens aren’t ranked, but in Eddie Cochran’s case, four tracks stand out as the cream of his work: Summertime Blues, C’mon Everybody, Somethin’ Else and Cut Across Shorty. All four appear on The Memorial Album. They do on every Best Of … too, but there’s a lot to be said for the original order you knew and loved.

The first three are inseparable pieces of great rock and roll. Cut Across Shorty was destined to join them as a single, but after the car crash which killed him, while he was dying in intensive care, his manager announced to the waiting reporters that the next single would be Three Steps To Heaven, which had been planned as the B-side to Cut Across Shorty. So Cut Across Shorty got relegated to the B-side and is among the great B-sides of all time.

Cochran’s influence on The Who show in their 1970 cover of Summertime Blues. The Sex Pistols did Somethin’ Else. Rod Stewart made an excellent job of Cut Across Shorty. But the originals are always the best with Cochran.

Cochran’s version of Ray Charles’ Hallelujah I Love Her So is an outstanding interpretation, and like Teenage Heaven, also appears on The Memorial Album. My favourite version of The Boll Weevil Song is on the same LP. There’s a tendency to go for the out and out rockers, though Sittin’ In The Balcony and Three Steps To Heaven would make most Top Tens. I’m going to put My Way instead of Sittin’ In The Balcony and NO! NO! NO! it is not the song Frank Sinatra made his own. It was a posthumous single in 1963, when they were already scraping the barrel somewhat, but I was so thrilled to buy an unheard Eddie Cochran track that it remains a major playlist item for me.

There are multi disc versions of Eddie Cochran’s work, exhuming every instrumental and practice session, and I’ve got them, but I never found a hidden gem among them. The best stuff was released at the time.

Remember Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran biography (iTunes)

TopperPost #7

2 Comments

  1. Dave Stephens
    Jul 7, 2017

    I was tootling through Toppermost, as you do, and thought I’d check whether Eddie Cochran had been done. Then I came across this little beauty. From the days when brevity ruled and Peter puts up a strong argument for that approach. There’s no padding. As Jimi once said “all meat and no potatoes”. Yet at the same time he makes his points: ignore covers and there aren’t any hidden gems you’re not aware of, or should be aware of (with the possible exception of Nervous Breakdown). Still have my vinyl Memorial Album, Peter even if it’s not quite pristine. The only thing I’d have added was mention of the the performance, on telly, of Twenty Flight Rock in The Girl Can’t Help It. It was up there with Gene & the Blue Caps plus the Richard performances. I’m almost in agreement on the ten, too. Only major omission for me was the Boll Weevil Song. Keep on rocking, Peter.

  2. Andrew Shields
    Jul 8, 2017

    Just discovered this great piece through Dave’s comment. My only addition might be ‘Skinny Jim’ for its Gene Vincent allusions…

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