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Tony Cotton

The Jets (British Rock'n'roll band)

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Jets (the) – Cotton Pickin

Cotton Pickin

Krypton Records KRYP200 [1988]
Nervous – Be-El-Zebub Boogie – Penny Loafers And Bobby Sox – Would You – Heartbreaker – Bones – Razor Alley – Can’t Keep A Good Man Down – Primadonna – I Didn’t Like It The First Time – Oh Judy – The Hunter

Cotton Pickin, the Jets’ fourth lp, is more or less made of the same wood as its predecessor. You’ll find Neo-Rockabilly (Nervous, Razor Alley) and even a song bordering on Psychobilly (the Hunter.) Still, in the Rockabilly idiom, there’s plenty of Rockabilly tunes with Doo-Wop embellishments (Would You, the Sparkletones’ Penny Loafers And Bobby Sox, I Didn’t Like It The First Time.) Talking about Doo-Wop, it wouldn’t be a Jets album without a couple of pure Doo-Wop tunes. Here you have Dion’s Prima Donna, Heartbreaker (that sounds a bit like Runaround Sue), and Judy performed acapella by the three brothers.
A mean Rock’n’Roll (Can’t Keep A Good Man Down), a boogie with jazzy echoes (Be-El-Zebub Boogie), and Bones, an instrumental in the vein of Steel Guitar Rag complete the set.

Jets (the) – Session Out

jets session out

Nervous Records NERD 021 [1986]
Jitterbuggin’ Baby – Dan O’ Dell – Drunk Again – Charlene – Moonshine – Bye Bye Baby – Open Your Heart – Forget The Love – Did Anyone Tell You – Millionaire Hobo – Cry The Blues – Slippin’ In

After beginning their career with Roy Williams as a manager, the Jets (Bob, Ray and Tony Cotton, respectively on double-bass, guitar, and drums) went on to international fame with EMI scoring hits and TV appearances.
For their third album, they returned to Williams and Nervous records. And the result is one hell of a rocking album produced by the band. All songs are originals, either written by Ray or Bob, except for Millionaire Hobo and Slippin’ In.
The opening number sets the moods for what will follow: top-notch production, tight arrangement (excellent twin guitar part), and superb musicianship.
Next, you find Dan O Dell. It’s a Rock’n’roll number yet with a Jazz mood and a nod to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 16 Tons. It also sees the Jets’ secret weapon’s introduction: their vocals harmonies. Drunk Again follows. Jet-propelled by Bob’s fantastic slap-bass, I can easily imagine it recorded by Eddie Cochran.
Charlene is a pure Doo-wop candy that seems to come straight from the fifties. Maybe these three brothers have a special connection or something, but their voices sure blend magnifically.
How about an instrumental after that? With a title like Moonshine, don’t be surprised to find a strong Hillbilly touch.
Bye Bye Baby is a soft Neo-Rockabilly with, once again, a great guitar part that mixes rockabilly with jazz.
The B-side begins with Open Up Your Heart, a Rockaballad with the brothers’ harmonies. More rockin’ is Forget the Love. Imagine Right Behind You baby with a Neo-Rockabilly feel. Sounds great? The result is even better. Still rockin’ but more classical, the stripped-down sound of Did Anyone Tell You evokes the legendary recordings made by Sam Phillips.
Next are two Doo-wop tunes: a storming rendition of the Fantastics’ Millionaire Hobo and the more classical Cry the Blues.
To confirm the Neo-Rockabilly orientation of this album, a breathless rendition of Slippin’ In concludes the set.


Jets (the) ‎– Love Makes The World Go Round

Love Makes the World Go Round

EMI ‎– EMI 5262 [1982]
Love Makes the World Go Round – I’m Just A Score

Back in the early 80s, the Jets achieved the delicate task of reaching commercial success without selling themselves out.
This single is a perfect example of that. The sound is undoubtedly more radio-friendly than the most hardcore Rockabilly bands, but the Cotton brothers remain faithful to the genre. Suffice to compare their cover of Love Makes the World Go Round with the original by Perry Como. They bring everything to turn it into a Rockabilly tune, soft Rockabilly maybe, but Rockabilly nonetheless. The same goes for the flip-side, with its powerful slap bass, subtle harmonies, and delicate guitar.


Jets (the) ‎– Who’s That Knocking

the Jets

EMI ‎– EMI 5134 [1981]
Who’s That Knocking – I Seen Ya

Excellent single by the Cotton brothers. The A-side is a fast-paced doo-wop on which the band sees its line-up augmented by Mickey Gallagher on piano and Davey Payne on saxophone, both from Ian Dury and the Blockheads. The B-side is another superb example of their brand of soft Rockabilly with a terrific guitar.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Official website: http://www.thejets.co.uk/

the Jets
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