Bill Haley & His Comets discography

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Bill Haley & His Comets recorded many singles and albums. The following list references only their original release and generally does not include compilation albums (with a few exceptions) or single reissues. This list does not include releases on which the Comets worked as session musicians, and primarily focuses on releases during Haley's lifetime.

Albums[edit]

  • 1956 - Rock 'n' Roll Stage Show (Decca 8345)
  • 1957 - Rockin' the Oldies (Decca 8569)
  • 1958 - Rockin' Around the World (Decca 8692)
  • 1959 - Bill Haley's Chicks (Decca 8821)
  • 1959 - Strictly Instrumental (Decca 8964)
  • 1960 - Bill Haley and His Comets (Warner Bros. 1378)
  • 1960 - Haley's Juke Box (Warner Bros. 1391)
  • 1961 - Twist (Dimsa 8255)
  • 1961 - Bikini Twist (Dimsa 8259)
  • 1962 - Twist Vol. 2 (Dimsa 8275)
  • 1962 - Twist en Mexico (Dimsa 8290)
  • 1963 - Madison (Orfeon 12339)
  • 1963 - Carnaval de Ritmos Modernos (Orfeon 12340)
  • 1964 - Rock Around the Clock King (Guest Star 1454)
  • 1964 - Surf Surf Surf (Orfeon 12354)
  • 1966 - Whiskey a Go-Go (Orfeon 12478) - studio album with simulated "live" audience overdubbed
  • 1966 - Bill Haley a Go-Go (Dimsa 8381)
  • 1968 - Biggest Hits (re-recordings plus new tracks) (Sonet 9945); issued in England as Rock Around the Clock (Hallmark SHM 668) and in North America as Rockin' (Pickwick SPC 3256)
  • 1971 - Rock Around the Country (Sonet 623); issued in North America by GNP-Crescendo (LP 2097) and as Travelin' Band on Janus (JLS 3035)
  • 1973 - Just Rock 'n' Roll Music (Sonet 645); issued in North America by GNP-Crescendo (LP 2077)
  • 1976 - R-O-C-K (re-recordings) (Sonet 710)
  • 1978 - Golden Country Origins (previously unissued pre-Comets recordings) (Grassroots Records)
  • 1979 - Everyone Can Rock and Roll (Sonet 808)

Live albums[edit]

  • 1962 - Twistin' Knights at the Roundtable (Roulette SR-25174)
  • 1968 - On Stage Vol. 1: Rock Around the Clock (Sonet SLP63)
  • 1968 - On Stage Vol. 2: Rock the Joint (Sonet SLP69)
    • The above two albums have been reissued in many forms, including by Janus Records as the two-album set, Razzle-Dazzle (Janus 7003), and numerous releases on the Pickwick and Hallmark labels.
  • 1970 - Bill Haley's Scrapbook (Kama Sutra/Buddah 2014)
  • 1974 - Live in London '74 (Antic 51501)

Notable compilations[edit]

Other[edit]

  • 1976 - Rudy's Rock: The Sax That Changed the World (billed as Rudy Pompilli and the Comets; recorded without Haley) (Sonet 696)

Singles[edit]

As Bill Haley & the Saddlemen (and variations of the name)

Note: Haley recorded several singles with other groups prior to the Saddlemen that are not listed here.

1950

  • "Deal Me a Hand" / "Ten Gallon Stetson" (Keystone 5101)
  • "Susan Van Dusan" / "I'm Not to Blame" (Keystone 5102)
  • "Why Do I Cry Over You?" / "I'm Gonna Dry Ev'ry Tear With a Kiss" (Atlantic 727)
  • "My Sweet Little Girl from Nevada" / "My Palomino and I" (Cowboy 1701) - released as Reno Browne and Her Buckaroos

1951

  • "Rocket 88" / "Tearstains on My Heart" (Holiday 105)
  • "Green Tree Boogie" / "Down Deep in My Heart" (Holiday 108)
  • "I'm Crying" / "Pretty Baby" (Holiday 110) - with Loretta Glendenning
  • "A Year Ago This Christmas" / "I Don't Want to Be Alone for Christmas" (Holiday 111)

1952

  • "Jukebox Cannonball" / "Sundown Boogie" (Holiday 113)
  • "Rock the Joint" / "Icy Heart" (Essex 303)
  • "Dance with a Dolly" (With a Hole in Her Stockin')" / "Rocking Chair on the Moon" (Essex 305)

As Bill Haley & His Comets (and name variations thereof)

1953

  • "Stop Beatin' round the Mulberry Bush" / "Real Rock Drive" (Essex 310)
  • "Crazy Man, Crazy" / "Whatcha Gonna Do?" (Essex 321)
  • "Pat-a-Cake" / "Fractured" (Essex 327)
  • "Live it Up" / "Farewell-So Long-Goodbye" (Essex 332)

1954

1955

1956

1957

  • "Forty Cups of Coffee" / "Hook, Line and Sinker" (Decca 30214)
  • "(You Hit the Wrong Note) Billy Goat" / "Rockin' Rollin' Rover" (Decca 30314)
  • "The Dipsy Doodle" / "Miss You" (Decca 30394)
  • "Rock the Joint (a.k.a. New Rock the Joint [stereo])" / "How Many?" (Decca 30461)
  • "Mary, Mary Lou" / "It's a Sin" (Decca 30530)

1958

  • "Skinny Minnie" / "Sway with Me" (Decca 30592)
  • "Lean Jean" / "Don't Nobody Move" (Decca 30681)
  • "Chiquita Linda (Un Poquito de tu Amor)" / "Whoa Mabel!" (Decca 30741)
  • "Corrine, Corrina" / "B.B. Betty" (Decca 30781)

1959

  • "I Got a Woman" / "Charmaine" (Decca 30844)
  • "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" / "Where'd You Go Last Night" (Decca 30873)
  • "Shaky" / "Caldonia" (Decca 30926)
  • "Joey's Song" / "Ooh! Look-a-There, Ain't She Pretty?" (Decca 30956)

1960

  • "Skokiaan (South African Song)" / "Puerto Rican Peddler" (Decca 31030)
  • "Music! Music! Music!" / "Strictly Instrumental" (Decca 31080)
  • "Candy Kisses" / "Tamiami" (Warner Bros. Records 5145)
  • "Hawk" / "Chick Safari" (Warner Bros. 5154)
  • "So Right Tonight" / "Let the Good Times Roll, Creole" (Warner Bros. 5171)
  • "Rock Around the Clock" / "Shake Rattle and Roll" (new versions) (Warner Bros. no. 7124)(Back to Back Hits)

1961

  • "Honky Tonk" / "Flip, Flop and Fly" (Warner Bros. 5228)
  • "Riviera" / "War Paint" (Gone 5116)
  • "Twist Español" / "My Kind of Woman (Spanish version)" (Orfeon 1010) [May 1961]
  • "Cerca del Mar" / "Tren Nocturno" (Orfeon 1036)
  • "Florida Twist" / "Negra Consentida" (Orfeon 1047)
  • "Spanish Twist (English version)" / "My Kind of Woman" (Gone 5111) [September 1961]

1962

  • "Caravan Twist" / "Actopan Twist" (Orfeon 1052)
  • "La Paloma" / "Silbando Y Caminando" (Orfeon 1062)
  • "Bikini Twist" / "Rudy's" (Orfeon 1067)
  • "Mas Twist" / "Tampico Twist" (Orfeon 1082)
  • "Twist Lento" / "Sonora Twist" (Orfeon 1100)
  • "Martha" / "Tacos de Twist" (Orfeon 1132)
  • "Jalisco Twist" / "Pueblo del Twist" (Orfeon 1169)

1963

  • "Tenor Man" / "Up Goes My Love" (Newtown 5013)
  • "White Parakeet" / "Midnight in Washington" (Newhits 5014)
  • "Dance Around the Clock" / "What Can I Say" (Newtown 5024)
  • "Tandy" / "You Call Everybody Darling" (Newtown 5025)
  • "Pure de Papas" / "Anoche" (Orfeon 1195)
  • "El Madison de la Estrella" / "Viajando Con el Madison" (Orfeon 1229)
  • "Avenida Madison" / "Reunion de Etiqueta" (Orfeon 1243)
  • "Limbo Rock" / "Ana Maria" (Orfeon 1269)

1964

  • "Green Door" / "Yeah, She's Evil!" (Decca 31650)
  • "Yakety Sax" (by Bill Haley & His Comets)" / "Boot's Blues" (by Boots Randolph) (Logo 7005)
  • "ABC Boogie (new version)" (by Haley) / "Rock Around the Clock" (by Phil Flowers) (Kasey 7006)
  • "Adios Mariquita Linda" / "El Quelite" (Orfeon 1324)
  • "Mish Mash" / "Madero y Gante" (Orfeon 1333)
  • Jimmy Martinez/Al Compás del Reloj (Orfeon 1429)

1965

  • Burn That Candle (new version) /Stop, Look and Listen (APT 25081)
  • Tongue-Tied Tony/Haley-a-Go-Go (APT 25087)
  • A Gusto Contigo/Mish Mash (Orfeon 1570)

1966

1968

  • That's How I Got to Memphis/Ain't Love Funny, Ha Ha Ha (United Artists 50483)

1970

  • Rock Around the Clock/Framed (live versions) (Kama Sutra 508)

1971

1978

  • Yodel Your Blues Away/Within This Broken Heart of Mine (previously unissued pre-Comets recordings from c.1949-50) (Arzee 4677)

1979

  • Hail Hail Rock and Roll/Let the Good Times Roll Again (Sonet 2188)
  • Everyone Can Rock and Roll/I Need the Music (Sonet 2194)

1980

  • God Bless Rock and Roll/So Right Tonight (new version) (Sonet 2202)

Unreleased recordings[edit]

As with Elvis Presley and other contemporaries of the 1950s, a large stock of previously unreleased recordings by Bill Haley exist and have been released periodically in the years following his death. Many of these are early country and western tracks recorded as demos or, for some reason, unreleased. However, occasionally tracks from the 1950s and 1960s have emerged, as have live recordings. Since the early 1990s several European labels have released a number of previously unreleased recordings, including Hydra Records, Rollercoaster Records, Rockstar Records, Buddah Records, and Bear Family Records.

Notable discoveries that have been commercially released have included:

  • Several 1946 radio recordings Haley made with the Down Homers (Rock n' Roll Arrives box set, Bear Family Records, 2006);
  • A large cache of country-western recordings made by Haley in the 1946–51 era, before the formation of the Comets (also released on Rock 'n' Roll Arrives);
  • An April 1955 concert in Cleveland, Ohio including the earliest known live recordings of "Rock Around the Clock" (Rock 'n' Roll Show, Hydra Records, 1995);
  • A concert recording from the German tour of 1958 (Vive La Rock 'n' Roll, Big Beat Records, 2002);
  • A 1957 radio recording from Haley's tour of Australia;
  • Soundtrack recordings from the 1958 film Here I Am, Here I Stay and the 1954 short film Round Up of Rhythm (On Screen, Hydra Records, 1998);
  • Previously unreleased live recordings from the 1969 Bill Haley's Scrapbook sessions at the Bitter End (CD release of Bill Haley's Scrapbook (Kama Sutra/Buddah, 1993) and The Warner Brothers Years and More box set (Bear Family, 1999);
  • Two Christmas recordings and a version of "Flip Flop and Fly" from the 1968 United Artists sessions;
  • In-studio discussion recordings and alternate takes from the 1979 Everyone Can Rock and Roll sessions (The Journey to Fame, Denton Media, 2004);
  • Assorted demos and alternate takes from the Decca and Warner Bros. era from the period 1958–1961, as well as additional alternate takes and unreleased tracks from the various labels Haley recorded with in the mid-1960s (The Decca Years and More box set (Bear Family, 1991) and The Warner Brothers Years and More box set (Bear Family, 1999); and
  • Two 1962 broadcasts for Armed Forces Radio (On the Air, Hydra Records, 2001).

A number of recordings exist in the hands of private collectors and remain to be commercially released, including a number of privately made live recordings of several 1960s and 1970s concerts, and a number of rehearsal recordings from 1960. To date, however, no one has discovered any alternative takes of any of Haley's most famous recordings of the 1950s, in particular "Rock Around the Clock" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll".

Later Comets recordings[edit]

Several of the post-Haley contingents of Comets had their own single and album releases:

  • The 1981–82 Comets reunion group recorded on single in 1982, Bring Back the Music/The Hawk Talks (Music City Records). Musicians involved in this recording included former Comets Franny Beecher, Al Rappa and Joey Welz. Welz later released a single overdubbing two Haley demo recordings using a group of session musicians who were dubbed The Comets for the occasion.
  • The Joey Rand version of Bill Haley's Comets recorded an album in the 1980s.
  • The John Lane version of Bill Haley's Comets recorded a live album in the early 2000s, along with a Christmas single.
  • Al Rappa's version of Bill Haley's Comets have recorded tracks with Joey Welz.
  • The 1954–55 Comets (a.k.a. The Original Comets) have been the most prolific, recording a few albums since 1993.
    • We're Gonna Party! (Hydra Records, 1993)
    • You're Never Too Old to Rock (Hydra, 1994)
    • The House is Rockin' (Rollercoaster Records, 1998)
    • Still Rockin' Around the Clock (Rollin' Rock Records, 1999)
    • Aged to Perfection (Rollin' Rock, 2001)
    • Bill Haley's Original Comets (CD-DVD hybrid; Bradley House Records, 2003)

The group has also appeared as guest stars on a number of other recordings by Andy Lee Lang, Schurli Weiss and others.

Chart positions (US and UK)[edit]

1953

  • Billboard or Cash Box charts:
  • "Crazy Man, Crazy" - # 11, Cashbox;[1] # 12, Billboard, June 27, 1953
  • "Fractured" - No. 24, Billboard, August 1953
  • "Live It Up" - No. 25, Billboard, October 1953

1954

1955

  • "Dim, Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)" - # 11, Billboard; # 10 R&B chart 01/1955
  • "Birth Of The Boogie" – No. 17, Billboard; # 18, Cashbox, 04/1955
  • "Mambo Rock" – (flipside of "Birth Of The Boogie") # 17, Billboard, US; # 14, UK, 04/1955
  • "Two Hound Dogs" – # 15, Billboard; # 31, Cashbox, (09/1955)
  • "Burn That Candle" - #9, Billboard, # 13, Cashbox, 11/26/1955[2][3]
  • "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie" – (A-side) of "Burn That Candle") No. 23, Billboard; No. 24 Cashbox Week ending NOVEMBER 19, 1955[4]

subsequent

  • "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" – US R'n'B No. 3 then # 1 (8 weeks), Billboard, US; # 1 (7 weeks), Cashbox, 06/1955; # 1, UK, 10/1955; UK recharts # 5 09/1956; # 24, 12/1956; No. 25 01/1957; No. 20 04/1968; No. 34 05/1968; No. 12 UK then No. 39 US, 04/1974
  • "Razzle-Dazzle" - (A-side of "Two Hound Dogs") # 15, 09/1955; # 13 UK, 09/1956
  • "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie" – (A-side) of "Burn That Candle") No. 23, Billboard; # 24, Cashbox; # 4 RU, 01/1956
  • "The Saints Rock 'n' Roll" - # 18, 04/1956 # 5 UK, 05/56
  • "R-O-C-K" - (A-side of "The Saints Rock and Roll") # 29, Billboard; # 21, Cashbox, 04/1956
  • "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy" - # 36, Cashbox; # 60, Billboard, 06/1956
  • "Rockin' Through the Rye" - (flipside of "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy") No. 39, Cashbox; No. 78, Billboard; # 3, UK, 08/1956; # 19 (UK), 01/1957
  • "See You Later, Alligator" – # 6, 02/1956; # 7 UK, 03/1956; # 12 UK, 09/1956 (new entry)
  • "Rip It Up" – # 25, 08/1956; # 4 UK, 11/1956
  • "Teenager's Mother (Are You Right?)" - (flipside of "Rip it Up") - No. 45, Cashbox; # 68, Billboard, 08/1956
  • "Rudy's Rock""- # 34, Billboard, US; # 38, Cashbox; # 30 (UK), 11/1956; re-charts # 26 (UK), 12/1956
  • "Don't Knock the Rock" - # 45, 12/1956; # 5, NME, UK, 02/1957
  • "Rock the Joint" (1952 recording) - # 20 UK, 02/1957
  • "Forty Cups of Coffee"/"Hook, Line and Sinker" - # 70, Billboard; "Forty Cups of Coffee", No. 46, Cashbox, 04/1957
  • "(You Hit the Wrong Note) Billy Goat" - # 60, Billboard; # 54, Cashbox, 06/1957
  • "Skinny Minnie" - # 22, Billboard; # 25, Cashbox, 05/1958
  • "Lean Jean" - # 67, Billboard; # 52 Cashbox, 08/1958
  • "Week End" - (recorded under the name The Kingsmen) # 35, Billboard Hot 100, November/1958
  • "Joey's Song" - # 46, Billboard; # 35, Cashbox, US; # 1 (8 weeks), Kent Music Report, Australia; # 26, Canada, 11/1959
  • "Skokiaan (South African Song)" - # 70, 1960
  • "Tamiami" - # 79, Cashbox, March 12, 1960
  • "Rock Around The Clock" - US Pop, # 39, Billboard; # 36, Cashbox; UK, # 12, in April 1974
  • "Haley's Golden Medley" - (posthumous edit of "Rock Around the Clock", "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie", "Shake, Rattle and Roll", "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie", and "See You Later Alligator" with "A-B-C Boogie" as the B side) # 50, UK, 04/1981
  • "Swing the Mood" - (featured samples of the original Decca recordings of "Rock Around the Clock", "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie", and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" in a mix by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers) No. 1, (5 weeks), UK; No. 11, Billboard Hot 100, No. 7, Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales, US, July 1989

American chart toppers (Top 100)[edit]

  • Launched on January 1, 1955 (coast to coast, under control).
  • (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock: enters the "A.C.T." on 21/05/1955 topping on 9/07/1955 for 8 weeks.

British chart toppers (Top 20)[edit]

  • Also launched on January 1, 1955.
  • (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock: enters the B.C.T. on 7/01/1955 reaching No. 17 two weeks later, re-enters on 14/10/1955 topping on 25/11/1955 for 11 weeks then re-enters once again on 21/09/1956 peaking at No. 5 a few weeks later.***Also B.C.T.'s No. 25 in January 1957 dropping out for a week before making its fifth and final re-entry on Columbia/Brunswick at No. 22.

Mexico, India, and Australia[edit]

In addition, Bill Haley and the Comets also scored chart hits in Latin America, Mexico, and India during the period 1961–1966 with recordings such as "Twist Español", "Florida Twist", "Spanish Twist", "Caravan Twist", and "Land of a Thousand Dances". Reportedly, "Chick Safari", a 1960 recording, reached the No. 1 position on the Indian musical charts. Both the single "Florida Twist" and the Twist LP Record went to No. 1 in Mexico.

Based on the Billboard Hits of the World chart, Bill Haley and the Comets had the following chart hits in Mexico and India in 1962:

  • "Florida Twist", No. 3, Mexico, Billboard Hits of the World, April 21, 1962
  • "Caravan Twist", No. 5, Mexico, Billboard Hits of the World, April 28, 1962
  • "Spanish Twist", No. 3, India, Billboard Hits of the World, June 30, 1962

In 1964, "Rock Around the Clock" on the Festival label reached no. 8 on the Australian chart:

  • "Rock Around the Clock", no. 8, Australia, Billboard Hits of the World, June 13, 1964[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Week ending JUNE 27, 1953". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1953-06-27. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  2. ^ "10.2011". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1955-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  3. ^ Song artist 114 - Bill Haley & his Comets.
  4. ^ "Cash Box Top Singles 11/19/55". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1955-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  5. ^ Billboard, June 13, 1964, Hits of the World chart, Australia.