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The Original Band (a.k.a. the Comets)

Still Rockin' Around the Clock – 2000 (Rollin' Rock)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by The Original Band (a.k.a. the Comets)

Though The Comets have recorded several records for the European market since reuniting in the late '80's, this is the group's first American release. And though unable to bill themselves as "The Comets" in the US for legal reasons, they still sound pretty much like they did at their mid-'50's peak with Marshall Lytle's trademark clicking upright bass and vocalist Jacko Buddin also deserving credit for approximating Bill Haley's vocal style.

If the group can be faulted for one thing it's for re-recording an awful lot of old material here. Indeed, of the 16 songs, only five are previously unrecorded by the band. While listeners are bound to be curious as to how the group handles their classic hits more than four decades on, it's just about impossible to improve on the original Essex and Decca versions of songs like "Rock the Joint" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll." For that reason it'd be nice to hear the band tackle more new material next time around.

Still, there's definitely something that warms the heart in seeing the five surviving original members of Bill Haley's Comets - all now in their 60's and 70's - still playing together in the year 2000. (Rollin' Rock, 2460 Casey Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89120, E-Mail: