3 “Bad” Albums from 1956

Look at the albums I’ve reviewed for the year 1956: all or at least most of them have received a high grade of A- or better. Am I overrating a lot of these LPs? It may seem so, but I don’t think so. Here are 3 “bad” albums from 1956 that prove it was just like any other year.


Calypso (Harry Belafonte)

R-521508-1477710509-8239.jpeg.jpg

Genre: Calypso

Grade: C+

Sure, it’s good; how often do I listen to calypso music? But the best calypso I know is “Frelimo,” of which Harry Belafonte pales in comparison. “Man Smart (Women Smarter)” may be true but, like the rest of the album, Calypso is only listenable if you’re margarita-drunk. Jamaican folk recorded in Manhattan; see what it turned out to be.


Bluejean Bop (Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps)

MI0002162334.jpg

Genre: Rock and Roll

Grade: B

Gene Vincent is less corny than Bill Haley, that’s for sure. But none of the songs on Bluejean Bop even approach the greatness and sheer innovation of “Rock Around the Clock.” Even rock ‘n’ roll started small.


Calendar Girl
R-1951489-1333784226.jpeg.jpg

Genre: Pop

Grade: B

The concept is bold, yes, and several of the songs are quite good, but this isn’t Julie London at her best. In fact, the best thing about the LP is the album cover. It’s alluring and arresting unlike the music. So it’s best to forget about it and just keep staring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s