Rumble! The Best of Link Wray album cover
Rumble! The Best of Link Wray

Link Wray

Rhino Records

Link Wray’s “Rumble” is one of the most important pieces of music in rock ’n’ roll history. Its simple but ominous riff, played through a for-the-time ultra-distorted amplifier and set to an implacable backbeat (it was inspired by an attempt to work up an arrangement of the vocal group the Diamonds’ hit “The Stroll”), laid the groundwork for an incredible amount of music to follow. Wray’s ferocious guitar sound inspired basically every amp-frying, leather-jacketed six-string maniac after him, and the other instrumentals on this compilation, like “Raw Hide,” “Big City After Dark,” “Run Chicken Run,” “Deuces Wild” and “Switchblade,” have the same glowering, Harley-revving energy.

Phil Freeman

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