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Strictly Instrumental (album)

Recorded over the span of more than 18 months, Strictly Instrumental was the ninth rock and roll album by Bill Haley & His Comets, and their final album of new material for Decca Records (although Decca would release previously unissued recordings during the 1960s). Produced by Milt Gabler (the last full album he would produce for Haley), the album collects instrumental recordings made by Haley and the Comets between June 1958 and their final Decca recording sessions in September 1959. (The band subsequently began recording for Warner Bros. Records in January 1960.)

As the title of the album suggests, all of the songs on this album were instrumental in nature, with the exception of some ensemble singing on the track "Chiquita Linda". Bill Haley's involvement in the recordings was a matter of conjecture until research for the Bear Family Records box set The Decca Years and More in the early 1990s confirmed his presence. Recording session information compiled by music historian Chris Gardner reveals that no less than three different bass guitar players are heard on the varying tracks: Al Rex, Al Pompilli and Al Rappa.

The album contained two minor chart hits: "Joey's Song", which made the charts in 1959, and "Skokiaan", which became the band's last new North American charting recording when it was released as a single in 1960. This album also featured Haley's last recordings to be produced by Milt Gabler, with the exception of a single ("The Green Door"/"Yeah, She's Evil!") recorded for Decca in 1964.

Track listing

  1. Joey's Song
  2. Music! Music! Music!
  3. Mack the Knife
  4. In a Little Spanish Town
  5. Two Shadows
  6. Shaky
  7. Strictly Instrumental
  8. Skokiaan
  9. Puerto Rican Peddler
  10. Drowsy Waters
  11. Chiquita Linda
  12. The Catwalk



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