Eddie Cochran – 12 of His Biggest Hits: #940 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Eddie Cochran - 12 of His Biggest Hits

Why is Eddie Cochran’s 12 of His Biggest Hits on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Old school rock n’ roll that jumps and swings and pulses and grooves.

What does Eddie Cochran’s 12 of His Biggest Hits mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

As a self-appointed pop culture super nerd – and, c’mon, if nothing else, embarking on a best 1,000 albums ever project as ambitious as this one gives me a Pop Culture Super Nerd card, if such a thing existed. Maybe an NFT? Never mind… Anyway, one of my great joys is figuring out that this pop culture thing relates to that pop culture thing.

For example, I was listening to Eddie Cochran’s outstanding “Summertime Blues.” It’s a song that has existed for all of my lifetime and rightfully should live on for many more. It’s a great song, holding a real rock ‘n roll power to it, if you will. It’s anti-authority yet accessible, it jumps and swings and pulses and grooves like all the best rock ‘n roll songs of all time do. And it’s inventive and even a little bit cheeky with its cut to a deep voice “authority figure” that sets it apart and above most of the songs of its day.

I knew that I’ve heard this song many times in my life, dating back to when I was a child, but I couldn’t quite figure out when I had first heard it. I had a sense that it was a “cover song” – and this song has rightfully been covered many times, as aside – but the source alluded me.

Then, it struck me, wham-o! It was from La Bamba, the biopic of Ritchie Valens’ life and tragic death at a super young age (Valens died along with fellow budding rock n’ roll superstars Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper in a plane crash), starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens. It’s a good movie packed with lots of great early rock ‘n roll music, and most importantly it was on cable television constantly when I was a kid, ensuring that I watched it countless times.

The great Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats and The Brian Setzer Orchestra fame plays Eddie Cochran in the movie, and does a most legit version of “Summertime Blues.” And, yes, my standing in the Pop Culture Super Nerd club remains quite good, thank you very much, he said with a self-satisfied sniff.

This live version from 1959 is worth checking out for the guys clapping in rhythm in the background alone.

Also, I miss the era where rock musicians could be a little bit rebellious in suits, you know? Maybe that’s one of the reasons I dig The Hives so much, but I digress.

What’s great about 12 of His Biggest Hits is its range. Take “Three Steps to Heaven,” much less anti-authority but entirely pleasant and crooning in a late 1950s / early 1960s style with guitar strumming that reminds me of what bands like The Kinks would pick up on later as rock continued to evolve.

Some stats & info about Eddie Cochran – 12 of His Biggest Hits

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop Music, Rock, Country, Rockabilly, Honky Tonk
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating3.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was 12 of His Biggest Hits released? 1960
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #940 out of 1,000

Eddie Cochran’s 12 of His Biggest Hits on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.