September 03, 1979 12:00 PM

Dave Edmunds

For those with an appetite for straight rockabilly rock’n’roll, this should be a deeply satisfying LP. Edmunds, a Welshman, is a masterful conjurer of ’50s rock and an inventive lyricist. Here, on guitar, vocals and piano, he is backed by the Rockpile (Nick Lowe on bass, Billy Bremner on guitars and Terry Williams on drums). They all play with sparkling vibrancy. Elvis Costello’s Girls Talk, for instance, shimmers with acoustic guitar, Western-sounding harmonies and a driving rhythm. On Black Lagoon, guest guitarist Albert Lee performs his stinging signature runs, evoking the Lonnie Mack solo on Memphis. On Queen of Hearts, Edmunds recalls the acoustic resonance of Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues; then in the break he switches to Buddy Holly chord twanging. Goodbye Mr. Good Guy, featuring Edmunds’ soaring mock-Memphis drawl, sounds like early Elvis Presley. Sure, there are obvious derivative snatches: Edmunds’ genius is that he turned it all into a new, distinct sound.

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