Billy Fury – The E.P. Collection
Vinyl, LP, Compilation
See For Miles Records Ltd.
There are three Billy Fury albums that I love and feel that are essential, and The E.P. Collection is one of the releases that I can't live without. So much so that I bought this album on vinyl in Japan last March (2013) and for some years now have the CD version as well.
A greatest hits album for the connoisseur, but deeper than that because this is a collection of EP's realeased in the UK, including the b-sides or the three other songs. A typical EP would have two songs on each side. It was invented by record companies to deal with those who couldn't afford an entire album, and specifically marketed to the teenager and their budget. But also I imagine this format was popular with the jukeboxes at the time as well.
To this day the EP has a romantic appeal for me. I like the 45rpm format, and having four songs on a 7” single, aesthetically speaking, is very pleasing to me. So what we have here is 20 songs and not a bad cut on the collection. All his early hits are here, but also strong recordings from his catalog as well.
There are two songs that gives me goose-bumps whenever I hear them. “Nobody's Child” and the Morrissey like “Don't Jump.”
“Nobody's Child” is a heartbreaking narrative about a child all alone in the world, and Billy's voice conveys the loneliness and despair, but also just the sadnessness of it all. “Don't Jump” is our hero about to end it all at a cliff's end, with only the chorus singing “Don't Jump Billy, Don't Jump.” It's a brilliant pop record, but those two are just the highlights of an amazing album all the way through.
Even the titles alone has a haunted aspect to the Billy Fury theme of romantic disaster coming around the corner. “Don't Walk Away,” “What Am I Living For,” and the incredible “I'll Never Quite Get Over You” are important landmarks to an era when Pop was popping its head above the murky waters of Pre-Beatles UK.