Shattered Dreams - Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio
El Toro Records, ETCDVD 10010 

Press release:
One of a handful of "holy grail" moments in rock 'n' roll history, Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio's triumphant appearance at Madison Square Garden for the final of Ted Mack's Amateur Hour has not been seen since it was aired on 9th September 1956. For the very first time in over fifty years, El Toro Records brings you this iconic performance along with the rest of the show in sparkling DVD quality (Region 0 - so it is playable in any country), to finally allow rockabilly fans to see Johnny, Dorsey and Paul "Tear It Up" again...and again.

As if the DVD wasn't enough, the new package from El Toro Records includes a complimentary audio CD featuring the complete recordings of Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio from 1955/56, including all the Coral studio cuts with alternative takes, the Alan Freed Show performances and the rare early Von coupling, all remastered for sparkling sound.

Well, this is certainly a memorable release. The DVD contains the full 1956 final show of The Original Amateur Hour, a contest for new talent in many different fields. Included for the first time is the complete performance of "Hound Dog" by The Rock 'n' Roll Trio; Johnny & Dorsey Burnette and Paul Burlison. I have watched the complete show and I found it very enjoyable. Even the original commercials are left in, so you get a good idea how television was made 50 years ago. Rock 'n' Rollers might also enjoy The Royal Airs with their rendition of "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and a doo-wop group called The Dynatones with "I Only Have Eyes For You". There's also Hubert Finn with an enjoyable Boogie Woogie Comedy. Other talents are not rock 'n' roll related, but still a lot of fun to watch.

The accompanied CD contains the complete Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio's recordings, plus a number of alternate takes and live tracks. No surprises here, but itsn't it just great to have the complete collection on one CD! It would have been even greater if Eager Beaver Baby, Butterfingers, If You Want It Enough & Touch Me  were also included, but they aren't because they were not originally released as by The Johnny Burnette Trio (Johnny Burnette appears on the label as a solo artist).

The Rock 'n' Roll Trio might not have been the first to have ever recorded rockabilly, but they have influenced many generations that came after them. Ask any rockabilly what his or her favorite 50's rockabilly records are and I bet "Lonesome Train", "Oh Baby Babe", "Train Kept A-Rollin'", "Honey Hush" and "Rock Therapy" are on everybody's list. CD sound quality is perfect, even on de alternate tracks. The live-recordings are not the best in sound, but I'm sure El Toro did the best they could to make it sound very acceptable. Dave Penny wrote down the full story, which you can read in the 8 page booklet that comes with the set. Well done Dave!

A word of caution for our overseas friends in the US and Canada: El Toro is a Spanish company, and here in Europe we have a TV system named PAL which is different from the United States' NTSC system. Although DVD players in Europe will usually play both formats, I know that this is not always the case on your side of the big pond. Check if your player can handle PAL, or you might get disappointed. I don't know at this point if an NTSC version is or will be available. The DVD is an "all region disc", so there are no regional restrictions.

CD tracklisting:
Tear It Up / You're Undecided / Oh Baby Babe / Midnight Train / Shattered Dreams / The Train Kept A-Rollin' / Honey Hush / Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track) / I Just Found Out / Blues Stay Away From Me / All By Myself / Drinking Wine Spoo-Dee-O-Dee / Chains Of Love / Lonesome Tears In My Eyes / Please Don't Leave Me / Rock Therapy / Rock Billy Boogie / Please Don't Leave Me (Alt) / I Love You So / Sweet Love On My Mind / My Love, You Are A Stranger / Your Baby Blue Eyes / Lonesome Train (Alt) / I Love You So (Alt) / Tear It Up (Live) / Oh Baby Babe (Live) / Hound Dog (Live TV Clip) / You're Undecided (Von Version) / Go Along Mule

El Toro Records
P.O. Box 220
Pineda 08397
Tel & Fax +34 937 660 117

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2007