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.

Studio 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 - Whisky 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 from c.1948-1951) (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)

In addition, two previously unissued live recordings were included on the 1973 soundtrack album for the concert film Let the Good Times Roll (Bell 9002).

Notable compilations[edit]

  • 1954 - Rock with Bill Haley and the Comets (Essex ESLP 202)
  • 1955 - Shake, Rattle and Roll (Decca DL5560)
  • 1955 - Rock Around the Clock (Decca DL8225)
  • 1958 - Rockin' the Joint (compilation with several unreleased tracks) (Decca DL8775)
  • 1963 - Bill Haley & His Comets (compilation with several unreleased tracks) (Vocalion 3696; 1963)
  • 1968 - Bill Haley's Greatest Hits! (Decca DL5027; later reissued on MCA Records MAP1015)
  • 1972 - Golden Hits (Decca DXSE7-211; later reissued on MCA LPS1035)
  • 1975 - Golden Favorites (compilation with unreleased tracks) (MCA Coral 7845P)
  • 1985 - From the Original Master Tapes (MCA Records MCAD-5539)

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)[edit]

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)[edit]

Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions
US
[1]
US R&B
[1][2]
UK
1952 "Stop Beatin' Round The Mulberry Bush"
b/w "Real Rock Drive"
1953 "Crazy Man, Crazy"
b/w "Whatcha Gonna Do"
15
"Fractured"
b/w "Pat-A-Cake"
"Live It Up!"
b/w "Farewell, So Long, Goodbye"
"I'll Be True"
b/w "Ten Little Indians"
"Yes Indeed"
b/w "Real Rock Drive"
1954 "Chattanooga Choo Choo"
b/w "Straight-Jacket"
"Thirteen Women"/
"Rock Around the Clock"

1

3

1
"Shake, Rattle and Roll"
b/w "A.B.C. Boogie"
7 4
"Dim, Dim the Lights"
b/w "Happy Baby"
11 10
1955 "Birth of the Boogie"/
"Mambo Rock"
26
18

14
"Razzle Dazzle"
b/w "Two Hound Dogs"
15 13
"Burn That Candle!"/
"Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie"
20
41
9

4
1956 "See You Later, Alligator"
b/w "The Paper Boy (On Main Street, U.S.A.)"
6 7 7
"R-O-C-K"/
"The Saints Rock 'N' Roll"
29
42
15

5
"Hot Dog Buddy Buddy"/
"Rockin' Through the Rye"
60
78

3
"Rip It Up"/
"Teenager's Mother"
30
68
4
3
"Rudy's Rock"
b/w "Blue Comet Blues"
34 26
"Don't Knock the Rock"/
"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie"
1957 "Don't Knock the Rock"
b/w "Calling All Comets"
7
"Forty Cups of Coffee"/
"Hook, Line And Sinker"
70
"Billy Goat"
b/w "Rockin' Rollin' Rover"
60
"The Dipsy Doodle"
b/w "Miss You"
"Rock The Joint"
b/w "Yes Indeed!"
20
1958 "Skinny Minnie"
b/w "How Many"
22
"Lean Jean"
b/w "Don't Nobody Move"
67
"Whoa Mabel!"
b/w "Chiquita Linda"
"Corrine, Corrina"
b/w "B. B. Betty"
1959 "I Got A Woman"
b/w "Charmaine"
"A Fool Such As I"
b/w "Where'd You Go Last Night"
"Caldonia"
b/w "Shaky"
"Joey's Song"
b/w "Ooh Looka There, Ain't She Pretty"
46
"Skokiaan (South African Song)"
b/w "Puerto Rican Peddler"
70
1960 "Tamiami"
b/w "Candy Kisses"
"Chick Safari"
b/w "Hawk"
"Music! Music! Music!"
b/w "Strictly Instrumental"
"So Right Tonight"
b/w "Let The Good Times Roll, Creole"
1961 "Flip, Flop And Fly"
b/w "Honky Tonk"
"The Spanish Twist"
b/w "My Kind Of Woman"
"Riviera"
b/w "War Paint"
1963 "Dance Around The Clock"
b/w "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry"
"Tandy"
b/w "You Call Everybody Darling"
"Tenor Man"
b/w "Up Goes My Love"
1964 "The Green Door"
b/w "Yeah! She's Evil"
"Lean Jean"
b/w "Skinny Minnie"
1965 "Burn That Candle"
b/w "Stop, Look and Listen"
"Tongue Tied Tony"
b/w "Haley A Go Go"
1968 "Rock Around the Clock" (re-release)
b/w "Shake, Rattle and Roll"
20
1969 "That's How I Got To Memphis"
b/w "Ain't Love Funny, Ha Ha Ha"
1971 "A Little Piece At A Time"
b/w "Travelin' Band"
1974 "Rock Around the Clock" (re-release)
b/w "Shake, Rattle and Roll"
34 12
"See You Later, Alligator" (re-release)
b/w "Rudy's Rock"
52
1978 "Yodel Your Blues Away"
b/w "Within This Broken Heart Of Mine"
1981 "Haley's Golden Medley"
b/w "A.B.C. Boogie"
50

"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

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 (We're Back on the Moon Tracks label).
  • 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, including the 2011 album Rock and Roll Survivors released on the Canadian-American label.
  • The 1954–55 Comets (a.k.a. The Original Comets) have been the most prolific, recording a number of 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 dual-disc release; 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;[3] # 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[4][5]
  • "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie" – (A-side) of "Burn That Candle") No. 23, Billboard; No. # 4 RU, 01/1956; # 24 Cashbox, Week ending November 19, 1955[6]
  • "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" (1955 re-release) – 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
  • "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[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b {{cite web url=http://www.musicvf.com/Bill+Haley+%2526+His+Comets.art |title=Bill Haley : Chart Singles Discography}}
  2. ^ "Hot R&B Sides". Billboard: 156. April 25, 1960. 
  3. ^ "Week ending JUNE 27, 1953". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1953-06-27. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  4. ^ "10.2011". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1955-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  5. ^ Song artist 114 - Bill Haley & his Comets.
  6. ^ "Cash Box Top Singles 11/19/55". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1955-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  7. ^ Billboard, June 13, 1964, Hits of the World chart, Australia.