Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wanda Jackson "The Party Ain’t Over"

(Nonesuch) (Guest Review by Edgar EaViL) Wanda Jackson is such a bombshell. She’s got the fireworks, sparklers, croon and cackle. “The Queen of Rockabilly” title is very well deserved.  She’s a bad bad lady, but gets away with it since she is so damn cute. Who could not love that big hair (hopper!), eyeliner for emphasis, fringe outfits and of course that voice! I was half expecting this album to have her voice sounding so different. What makes the album so great is that her voice is intact. She is doing what she does best and doesn’t fix what is not broken.  I have now heard three excellent versions of “Shakin’ All Over.” The other two came from Mae West and Suzi Quatro. This song sets the tone for the album. The horn blasted hostess greets you right away and sways you in many directions.  She even offers a “Rum and Coca Cola.” I drank one in her honor when I ROCKED WITH WANDA at Lincoln Hall. She improved and outdid Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” I especially love the spoken intro where she says “You always gotta push.”  I am not a fan of Amy, but this is definitely my favorite song. The same goes for Jack White III (the album’s producer). I have to appreciate how he used his “star power” to bring some attention to the detail that is Wanda.  “Rip It Up” is an update that goes great alongside her original take on it from 1963(!). The timing seems better when she mentions her date picking her up “in his ‘88.” “Busted” is the greatest “I’m Broke” anthem. It’s nice to hear when payday seems distant, but still knowing it’s not the worst thing. “Like a Baby” is the story of a spurned lover coping with the sting and fascination of first love. I think she channels that well and possibly reaches into old memories. That’s quite a task for a woman who has been happily married for nearly 50 years. “Blue Yodel #6” is just what is says. This is a very sparse acoustic number with some sweet mournful yodeling.  She does not leave Jesus behind with a cute version of “Dust on The Bible.” Wanda should be riding in a Smithsonian limousine for her contributions to Rock and Roll. This album offers a lot of variety and variations on the many moods of Wanda Jackson. It’s a fine place to start for those who haven’t heard.


  1. makes me appreciate artists that have been around for such a long time, regardless of their celebrity status