If ever there was an artist who unashamedly oozed rock and roll from its very beginnings, then Jerry Lee Lewis would be him. He exploded into life right at the start, ripping it up with “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” and the world was his lobster.
Then in 1958, after a combination of marrying Winona Ryder and a prissy UK press scandal, it all fell apart. The scandal followed him back to the States, and from then on the spotlights turned away from him. But, as you can hear in adrenalised fury on this blinding album, “The Killer” was going nowhere.
Because yeah, this is a blinder of an album. It’s 38 minutes of some of the fastest, most out-of-control, lusting, energetic rock and roll you’ll ever hear. From the opening “Mean Woman Blues” and old standards like “High School Confidential” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” through a version of “What’d I Say” which knocks the spots off even Ray Charles’s original, this album doesn’t let up for a single second. By the time it reaches its end (perhaps climax is the more appropriate word?), you’ll be catching your breath along with Jerry’s backing band. Hell, you’ll feel like what’s left of his piano by the finish. THIS is why they call him The Killer.
PS. Dear Spotify, you’ve made a right hash of the track listings on this one. Just so you know.