The Complete Demon & Titan Masters Jody Reynolds

£11.50

Genre:
Rock'n'Roll
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1474

The complete early output of the moody rock pioneer. All tracks sourced from newly discovered master tapes, including several excellent unissued sides.

Jody Reynolds’ 1958 Top 10 entry ‘Endless Sleep’ is frequently cited as an early example of a pop “death disc”, or filed alongside other hits from rock’n’roll’s first phase such as ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’ and ‘Last Kiss’ in the category “teardrop rock”. The song is undoubtedly the progenitor of that genre, yet also quite separate from it. A teen tragedy, such as Mark Dinning’s ‘Teen Angel’, could be considered mawkish and immature, a simple objectification of unrequited love. ‘Endless Sleep’ is much more emotionally complex and mysterious, with an impressive sonic ambiance to match. The tune is one of the more compelling insights into the human condition to be found in a pop song.

Such themes were nothing new in country or the blues but ‘Endless Sleep’ was one of the first times it was to be found in rock’n’roll. To have made it to the top of the pop charts, an arena usually overwhelmed with syrup or enforced jollity is another indication of the song’s power. What might have been considered a novelty has endured as one of the best templates for the effective use of drama in pop.

The unwitting revolutionary behind this million-seller was a jobbing musician who simply wanted to write and record a hit. When he came up with ‘Endless Sleep’ in 1956, Jody Reynolds was playing Southwestern clubs purveying a light brand of rockabilly and could not have guessed that his lament would become a rock standard, consistently covered through the ensuing years. A demo was passed around in Hollywood which caught the ear of publisher Herb Montei, who got the singer signed to a newly minted indie label, Demon, co-owned by George Brown, and in the process became his manager. Phoenix guitar whiz Al Casey twanged on the session, Gold Star legend Stan Ross manned the controls and LA jazz stalwart Joe Greene helmed the date and Reynolds’ subsequent recordings for Demon, as ‘Endless Sleep’ shot to the top of the charts and kept him on the road for the next few years.

Although he came from a standard entertainer’s background, Reynolds was also a stylist, and his persona on record, particular in the era covered on this compilation, demonstrates this clearly. His was a lonesome, introspective approach, carefully utilising elements taken from his roots in country and rockabilly but loading them with atmospherics that amplified the sadness and heartbreak in tunes such as ‘Fire Of Love’, ‘The Storm’ and ‘Stone Cold’. These tracks still send a shiver down the spine as the singer wallows in an endless, reverberating despair.

Reynolds could also rock with the best of them. Some of his best work is in this style: ‘Beaulah Lee’, ‘Daisy Mae’ and the unissued ‘My Baby’s Gone’. He could switch from a jaunty bopper such as ‘Tight Capris’ to the big band arrangement of ‘I Wanna Be With You Tonight’ with ease. As his pop visibility ebbed, Reynolds took to cutting raucous instrumentals such as ‘Makin’ Out’, and after some spotty releases on other labels, reconnected with Brown and his new Titan label in 1966 for the moody ‘A Tear For Jesse’ and a rare duet with Bobbie Gentry, who had performed in his band just prior to finding fame with her own spooky smash, ‘Ode To Billie Joe’.

The Titan singles and his early quasi-rockabilly sides are much sought after, yet only a couple of hodge-podge collections of Jody Reynolds’ best work have been available to date. Reynolds died in 2008 but was performing almost up until the end. This exhaustive anthology is fully mastered from pristine, recently discovered tapes for the first time, and the fresh sources have also revealed several exciting unreleased titles. With “The Complete Demon & Titan Masters” this rockin’ iconoclast finally has the anthology he deserves.

Alec Palao

Share

Track listing

Show

Side 1

Delivery & Returns

Show

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Press quotes

Show

A fine tribute 

Now Dig This

This release captures the best of Reynold's remarkable career, expertly compiled and delineated. It's the last word on the subject.

Ugly Things

Customer reviews

Show

Customers who bought this item also bought