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  • Various - Quiffs At The Flicks 3CD Boxset (CD)


    Big Screen British Rock’n’Roll

    As its name suggests, Quiffs At The Flicks is a celebration of music from the rock’n’roll era, as included in feature films of the time. More than that, it is a celebration of specifically British feature films, so the music is predominantly home-grown rock & roll, skiffle and pop. But there is also space for a few US contributions, when a movie was fortunate enough to entice participants from across the Atlantic. Quiffs At the Flicks features music from 21 British movies which premiered between May 1957 and September 1962. No less than 98 tracks are included on this 3CD selection, compiled and annotated by early pop expert Lucky Parker. The 20pp booklet features colour illustrations including film posters and the sleeves of associated records.

    Few if any of the films included are now regarded as cinematic landmarks, nor were they intended as such: in most cases they were conceived to exploit the music and other transient preoccupations of contemporary pop culture. But that is precisely why they now hold a fascination with people of a certain age and/or with an interest in late fifties and early sixties youth culture. Some films were clearly vehicles for a particular talent, like The Tommy Steele Story and The Young Ones, while others featured a patchwork of disparate pop stars.

    Only the stoniest of hearts will not be warmed by the familiar roster of stars who inhabit these films, be it in lead roles or blink-and-you’ll-miss-them walk-on parts. They range from serious thespians to those much-loved players of character parts, and include Jackie Collins, Sid James, Anthony Quayle, Christopher Lee, Oliver Reed, Dirk Bogarde, David Hemmings, David McCallum (apparently These Dangerous Years was his feature film debut) and many more.

    Noteworthy directors range from those based in exploitation – Michael Winner (Play It Cool), Gerald Thomas (The Duke Wore Jeans) – to those who would transcend the genre in favour of grander productions; Clive Donner (Some People), Val Guest (Expresso Bongo), Cy Endfield (Jet Storm) and Dick Lester (It’s Trad, Dad!) Nevertheless Quiffs At The Flicks documents their work together, allowing an insight into the early days of British film and its buoyant pop soundtracks. Contained within are performances by skiffle acts Lonnie Donegan, Les Hobeaux and the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group featuring Nancy Whiskey, jazz and dance band musicians like Art Baxter, Tony Crombie and Don Lang who tried their hand at rock’n’roll, early British popular vocalists like Frankie Vaughan, Petula Clark and  Craig Douglas, first generation British rock’n’rollers Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury, instrumental combos The Shadows (aka The Drifters), The John Barry Seven and The Eagles, early sixties stars like Adam Faith and Helen Shapiro and the truly unique Anthony Newley. Of the US musicians so idolised in the UK, Quiffs At The Flicks nods to Bobby Vee, Gene Vincent, Gary US Bonds, Chubby Checker and Del Shannon.

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