King Size Taylor – Taylor Made

Following on from Dr. Feelgood, the King Size Taylor edition of the Brits Are Rocking series, Bear Family Records have released another King Size Taylor collection: Taylor Made. It comprises a limited-edition 10-inch vinyl containing 12 tracks, accompanied by a 27-track compact disc.

Vinyl

As is usual for Bear Family Records, the 10-inch vinyl is presented in a nice way, featuring a visually pleasing label design that has the right amount of retro shine to it. The reproduction of sound is virtually flawless, sounding as good as it can. The studio and live recordings have a nice 60s sparkle to them, aided by the unique sound of vinyl. The newly issued tracks, Saw My Baby With Another Guy and Good Golly Miss Molly, are a welcomed extra that may lack something in sound quality, but the feel of the performance is still there.

In terms of performance, I have written of my appreciation for Taylor’s music in the review on Bear Family’s previous release; This compilation has not dampened my enthusiasm.

CD

Recorded at various times in 1957 and 1958, twenty-five of the tracks in the living room of Sam Hardie, the Dominoes’ pianist, and presented for the first time on an official release. It is clear the material originates from less-than-ideal sources, but the performances shine through.

Given the age of the material, it is not surprising that many audio artifacts and surface noise remain, but it is still listenable. To hear these tracks is a great insight into the early mindset for the group, performing a mixture of Rock and RnB covers in a Lo-Fi environment. The tracks, including Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Great Balls of Fire, Roll Over Beethoven, Matchbox et al, executed with the same energy as their later material. A personal highlight is the inclusion of various early instrumentals tracks less hampered by the lack of professional audio equipment.

These home recordings present a rare opportunity, showing the early days of a band soon to find its feet in the music world. The raw sound will not appeal to some, but it is an important historical document of the timeframe.

A Little Something Extra…

Included here is a booklet entitled “King Size Taylor Scrapbook”. As is usual from Bear Family Records, its biographical information is extensive; The biography is presented in both English and German language text: reflecting his popularity in Europe. This booklet is also full of great photos that chronicle Taylor’s musical adventure. And to top off the extra material, there is also a signed picture postcard of King Size Taylor himself included. All this makes Taylor Made more than just an album; this is a true package.

Track Listing

Vinyl – Side One

  1. Bad Boy
  2. All Around The World
  3. Slippin’ and Slidin’
  4. Hello Josephine
  5. Looking For My Baby
  6. Saw My Baby With Another Guy

Vinyl – Side Two

  1. Somebody’s Always Trying
  2. Stupidity
  3. Heeby Jeebies
  4. Short On Love
  5. Lipstick, Powder and Paint
  6. Good Golly Miss Molly

Compact Disc

  1. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
  2. Baby
  3. Great Balls of Fire
  4. Guitar Boogie
  5. Roll Over Beethoven
  6. So Long
  7. I Want You To Know
  8. Mean Woman Blues
  9. Autumn Leaves
  10. Lend Me Your Comb
  11. Matchbox
  12. Good Golly Miss Molly
  13. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
  14. Guitar Boogie
  15. Shortnin’ Bread Rock
  16. Roll Over Beethoven
  17. Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey
  18. Your True Love
  19. Guitar Boogie
  20. Saw My Baby With Another Guy
  21. Piano Instrumental
  22. Guitar Instrumental
  23. Ooh, My Soul
  24. Baby
  25. Sad And Blue
  26. Somebody’s Always Trying
  27. Looking For My Baby

Conclusion

Bear Family Records have compiled a package that celebrates the work of King Size Taylor, all while offering an enormous stack of ‘new’ official recordings for fans. In the reviewers’ opinion, they could have released the CD and vinyl albums separately, but this possibly provides more value on all sides. It will please ardent fans, but the casuals might want to check out Taylor’s Dr Feelgood album from the Brits Are Rocking compilation series.

King Size Taylor – Taylor Made is available from Bear Family Records.

Taylor Made By King Size Taylor

7.5

Rating

7.5/10

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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