Billy Lee Riley
never made a hit before scraping the bottom of the charts in 1972, but you'd never know it from his reputation as one of the top artists of the original rockabilly era. His classics "Red Hot" and "Flying Saucers Rock and Roll" are included on this 22-track anthology of Riley
's Sun recordings, which is the most affordable and readily available alternative to Bear Family's two-disc set Classic Recordings 1956-60
. Collectors should note that the last four cuts on this collection are from Riley
's 1969-1970 return to Sun Records. Buyers wanting Riley
's '50s material would have been happier with four more early rockabilly cuts in place of these mediocre country and rock recordings from the downside of Riley
's career, but others may enjoy hearing the evolution of his sound.