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volume 5
february 2003

And the music plays on ...


  Introducing the songs of Del Shannon
by René de Bruin
  In April 1961 the song "Runaway" topped the American and British charts. The song was very original, with its verse based on a progression of Am-»G-»F-»E chords and a surprising Musitron solo in the middle. With this song American singer and composer Del Shannon proved that not only British artists were busy renewing the idiom of pop music at that time. Remembering Shannon, René de Bruin here describes his career and lists his song releases.
1 Doug DeMott, Loren Dugger, and Del Shannon, playing at the Hi-Lo Club (1959)

Collecting the music of Del Shannon. In previous contributions to this journal, I have been informing its readers about the early recording career of Roy Orbison. Time certainly does seem to run very fast, because it is already fifteen years since he passed away. That is also an important reason why I'm trying to keep the memory alive of the man with the dark sun glasses — at least a part of — with my stories and song information. As I told the readers of these pages before, my interest in Orbison began at an early age. But when I really started to collect his records, it made me cross a bridge and I also started collecting the work of other artists from the same era. As a result, I now would like to introduce you to — the also late — Del Shannon. It may seem a contradiction to be a collector of two of such different artists as Orbison and Shannon, but in my own way of experiencing music this seems just a natural thing to do.

2 Why Del Shannon? What is so special about Del Shannon, that it drew my attention to him? Part of it is that he's not very well known on the mainland of Europe. Actually my interest in his work started in the same way as with Roy Orbison. I clearly recall the days when I was working in a metalworking company. Indoors it was quite noisy there, most of the times to such a degree that one needed to wear earplugs. However, there was still a radio on the shop floor that sometimes was audible when the noise subsided temporarily. One day this happened between 12.00 and 14.00 hours, right at the time that a program was aired on Dutch Radio 2, hosted by Frits Spits. Without any disrespect, you can call Spits a "dinosaur" of Dutch radio. This deejay was and still is on the radio — for as long as I can remember, that is over thirty years at least. In his program "the album of the week" was a regular item. That time it was Rock On by Del Shannon. The songs hit a string inside me that couldn't be silenced afterwards, even more so because in the evening, after having arrived home, I kept hearing the tracks of the album that continued to be played on the radio. It didn't took me long to buy the album. From there off, I went thirty years back in time, when I bought a CD titled Looking Back ... His Biggest Hits, released on the Connoisseur's Collection label and containing a stunning thirty tracks from "Runaway" till "Move It On Over". This was my first acquaintance with Shannon's older work, except of course for world-famous songs like "Runaway" and "I Go To Pieces".
Listen to a fragment of Del Shannon's hit "Runaway" (1961)
3 Expanding my collection. With both these albums my collection of Shannon had started and along with it came the urge to fill the gap by finding more song material, and also the drive to learn more about the man behind this music. Of course I was very late in starting a Shannon collection, because his recording career had already begun at the end of 1959. Here, I will try to cover the different periods in his musical career, concentrating on the CD releases. On vinyl Shannon's work was covered in Britain and over Europe by labels such as London American Recording, Liberty and Stateside. In Germany, there was a re-issue company, named Line Records. During the 1980's this particular label re-released all of Shannon's 1960's albums with the original sleeves, but all in mono. As we shall see, there is a long story to tell about managers, disappearing and sometimes refound stereo-mastertapes, rechanneled albums, as well about the fact how disturbed Shannon was by all these procedures. But, I will pick up the history at the very beginning: the day Shannon was born.
4 Del Shannon with Dion DiMucci and Joe Brown in England (1962)

A birth date change. As a teenager Charles — nicknamed Chuck — worked in a carpet store, where he used his spare time to write songs and to play the guitar. In the evenings he played with a band in a Battle Creek based club in Michigan named the "Hi-Lo Club". In 1959, when he was making himself heard at that club, Del Shannon already was 25 years old. Due to a deliberate birth date change, many people thought and still think he was younger by a few years. The reason for that is, that Shannon's birth date was changed at the time "Runaway" was released. Shannon's songs then were mainly bought by teenagers, while Shannon himself didn't belong to that category anymore. So to maintain the youthful impression people had of him, his birth date was altered into 30 December 1939. You can see this date mentioned on a lot of so-called "budget" LP's and CD's, and sometimes even on CD's such as EMI/Liberty's The Liberty Years. According to his birthday-certificate and tombstone, Charles Weedon Westover — Shannon's real name — however was four years older, as he was born on 30 December 1934 in Coopersville, Michigan.

Listen to Max Crook playing "Runaway" on his Musitron
5 Max Crook's Musitron. It is also in that club that Shannon and Max Crook met each other. It was a happy coincidence, because Crook not only was a good keyboard player, but also an innovator of electronic devices. He invented what is now known as a Musitron, a hybrid syntheziser. Crook started with a clavioline, a French organ developed by Constant Martin in 1947, and enhanced it by expanding the octave range beyond human hearing. He inserted extra resistors, pots, and capacitors. It not easy to catch the specific sound of the Musitron in words, but you can hear its sound very well on Shannon's first album Runaway with Del Shannon. The best example, of course, is Shannon's milestone song "Runaway" itself. The Musitron can be described as a predecessor of the synthesizer. It has a range of — electronic — sounds that in the early sixties were quite unfamiliar to the public. When you listen to songs from other artists from the same period, you will realize how innovative and modern this record sounded in 1961. It is also understandable that even over forty years later, a whole lot of people will recognize this tune just by hearing the first few bars.
6 A multi-styled artist. As always, every pro has its con, and that also happened to Del Shannon. The original sound of "Runaway" made every song he released later on, seem of a lesser quality. That is clearly reflected by his scores on the charts. The merit of his songs, however, did not diminish. In the public appreciation, his style diversity must have played a more important role. Though Shannon was a "rocker" at heart, he was always a multi-styled artist with a great passion for country music. He was simply one of those legends in music that couldn't be categorized. In the USA, with its separated musical streams and audiences, this made it rather difficult for him to stay in the spotlights. In Great Britain, however, Shannon was often better appreciated, and has always been rated "top of the bill". He also had a good feeling for things to come. Remember, it was Del Shannon, who brought the first Beatles-song to the USA-audiences — "From Me To You," issued as early as 1963.
7 Del Shannon with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in Miami, Florida (1964)

Coping with the British invasion. The people, who knew Shannon's old style, possibly couldn't cope with the new influences and direction in his music. Shannon was a "bridge" between country, rock, pop and who knows what else. He was an energetic performer and a wonderful songwriter. A major part of his catalogue consists of songs originally written by Shannon himself, some in cooperation with others. When Shannon's career slowed down under the influence of the British Invasion, his producer forced him to record songs that were popular at that time. This proved to be a major mistake, because a lot of those covers just weren't his style and therefore Shannon recorded them only half-heartedly. Not on purpose, but only because he could not "connect" to them. On some tracks this is painfully noticeable. In 1963 Shannon had a major fall-out with his manager, which made him leave the Big Top label — for Europe: London American records. Consequently he started his own label, BerLee Records — not a common step in those days. Only two singles emerged from this adventure: "Sue's Gotta Be Mine" / "Now That She's Gone" and "That's The Way Love Is" / "Time Of The Day". Afterwards Shannon signed a contract with Amy records where his former producer and manager also ran the scene.

Listen to a fragment of Del Shannon's "I Go To Pieces" (1965)
8 A psychedelic swan song. Strangely enough one of Shannon's best songs, "I Go To Pieces" — brought to the charts by Peter and Gordon — stems from this post-1963 period. In 1966 Shannon switched to the Liberty Label. This change brought a new management and a fresh producer and seemed like a restart for Shannon, but it didn't bring the commercial break everybody was hoping for. After two albums, filled with his own compositions and a variety of covers, Liberty refused Shannon's third album which working title was Home and Away — this entire album stayed unreleased till 1991 when it was integrated in the Liberty Years CD/Musicassette from EMI. The swansong album for Shannon for Liberty became the psychedelic The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover, produced by Andrew Loog Oldham — of Rolling Stones fame. Only in the late 1990's all these albums were re-released on CD by English company Beat Goes On (BGO) Records.
9 Antique stereo. Before continuing this history, I need to tell a special story about Shannon's early managers and producers and the question if there were and still are original stereo-recordings of Shannon's earliest albums. It is common knowledge that the first stereo-recordings were made around 1958. It is also common knowledge that the first stereo facilities were situated in New York City. The very first professional recordings of Shannon were made in ... exactly: New York City. Of course, the stereo of those days cannot be compared with that of the present time. I like to refer to it as "antique stereo", meaning that it is just two-track stereo — you hear the music in one channel and the vocals in the other. Little later, also three-track stereo was used, with the music divided over two channels with the vocals in the "middle" providing the audience with the feeling of being more "inside" the music.
10 Del Shannon with Chuck Berry at the Saville Theatre, England (February 1967)

Stereo mastertapes. The existence of stereo studio facilities at the time of his recording sessions brings up the question, if Shannon was recorded in stereo and if these recordings resulted in stereo-LP's. This question can simply be answered with one word and that word is "yes", but there's a story behind it of what happened to the stereo master tapes. After Shannon had left Big Top and later AMY, his manager Irving Micahnik somehow, deliberately or not, mismanaged the original mastertapes. For years everybody concerned believed that there were no stereo copies of Shannon's albums. Then suddenly, in the 1990's some stereo-copies of the LP's Runaway with Del Shannon and 1661 Seconds With Del Shannon hit the auctions, drawing astronomical prices. In the early 1990's also the stereo mastertapes, or copies from them, of the albums Del Shannon Sings Hank Williams and Little Town Flirt were discovered on the attic of a garage of a former AMY-records engineer. These tapes were remastered and released by USA-based Rhino-records, thereby bringing the first ever stereo releases of these albums.

Listen to a fragment of "Deadly Game" from 1973 (Del Shannon and Jeff Lynne)
11 Beware of fake stereo. Stereo-copies of the LP's Runaway With Del Shannon and 1661 Seconds With Del Shannon were used to make a mastertape for a CD on the USA Taragon label. All in all, this means that there are only two albums left from which it is unknown if there are still stereo-LP's existing or the original mastertapes. The first of those is Hats Off To Del Shannon and the second is Handy Man, his final album for AMY. If these albums would surface in stereo-quality, they certainly would draw an astronomic price when in "mint" condition. BGO-records from England and Unidisc from Canada have re-released Shannon's original albums on CD. I do need to make a fair warning to all collectors out there. One thing that upset Shannon in a tremendous way is that — in the 1970's — budget-labels started to rechannel original monotracks to some kind of stereo. Of course those are mutilations of the original sound and, actually, often not worth the price that is asked for them. Once you have heard the original sound in original stereo, you don't know what hit you. The Musitron from Max Crook on the album Runaway is crystal clear and the separation of the instruments brings more details to the surface. A much richer and deeper sound is the result. Rechanneled albums are fake and sound similar to the mono-versions. They were just made in a — failed — attempt to bring the albums to a modern standard. So be aware whenever you want to buy a stereo record on a fair. Original stereo-albums, if really for sale at all, will cost you at least a month salary!
12 Del Shannon recording with Jeff Lynne (1974)

Working with Brian Hyland. After Liberty Records, Shannon recorded some singles for Dunhill, United Artists and Island Records, but he disappeared from the front stage. In the background Shannon was still active as producer for a group called Smith, and he also collaborated, for several years, with Brian Hyland. Hyland had a hit with the Del Shannon produced his single "Gypsy Woman". Together they wrote a whole series of songs — first examples to be found on the CD The Liberty Years — which are hard to find today, especially when you are a European citizen. This is an open invitation to reissue companies to cover this unique period as well in Shannon's as in Hyland's career.

13 Invited by Tom Petty. The 1970's a period in which Shannon also tried to beat his drinking and depression problems. In these years he also twice re-recorded "Runaway" and "Hats Off To Larry" for budget labels, but these versions could nowhere pass the test of comparison to the original versions, and so they didn't do nothing for Shannon's career. Shannon did overcome all his problems and in the early 1980's he was invited — by Tom Petty — to record an album again. This resulted in the album Drop Down And Get Me, and a couple of singles that were taken from this album. There is a story about different releases and that is because Britain released the album some time later. In the time in-between Shannon recorded some singles in England that were included in the UK-release. This all resulted in a ten-track USA LP and an eleven-track UK album. The re-release on CD in the late 1990's maintains this difference but here the USA CD (Varese Sarabande) carries twelve tracks and the UK CD (See For Miles) thirteen tracks. The See For Miles issue is actually a second European re-release on CD, because in the early 1990's Line Records from Germany already re-released a thirteen track CD of this album, but the later album is to be preferred as sound techniques did severely improve over time.
14 A creative decade. The 1980's can be marked as a creative decade for Shannon, even though audiences and fans didn't see or hear very much of it. That is because his recorded work from this decade is mostly still stuck in archives and remains to be released. In these sessions, as is known, Shannon worked with Jeff Lynne on new material in a place called "The Cherokee Ranch". Only a couple of songs appeared here and there on b-sides of singles or as a track on a compilation CD. Among the members of the UK and USA fan club of Shannon a tape, titled the Dublin Sessions, has been circulating. People who have heard it, appreciate songs like "Amanda", "Deadly Game", "I'm Alive, But I'm Dead" and "Jamie" as Shannon's finest work. The album, yet, is still not released and nobody understands why. The story became very painful when Shannon recorded a complete album for Warner Bros America (1986) and the album was shelved entirely. Warner only released two — now very much searched for — singles from these sessions.
15 Del Shannon with Tom Petty promoting his hit "Sea Of Love" (1982)

The Nashville sessions. As you can see Shannon was quite productive again, but failed to get much response from his record companies. Especially the refusal by Warner Bros must have hurt him deeply, because it is a marvelous album. It does have a definite country-rock flavor and nowhere sounds as a voice of the past. On the contrary, I would say, Shannon was back as strong as ever. No one at the Warner Bros offices, however, cared to notice it and they certainly have missed an opportunity here. The two singles, mentioned before, even never hit the European market. Shannon was so disappointed, that he dissipated a music-cassette with these recordings among his fans — by way of the fan club. Today these tracks are still circulating among Shannon's admirers. Let's hope, that one day a reissue company will pick up these Nashville Sessions and put the album on the market.

Listen to a fragment of "Walk Away" with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, released in 1991
16 The return of the veterans. In 1987 it seems that something was awakening. A new kind of creativity surfaced, especially when it came to the veterans of pop music. In that year George Harrison released his Cloud Nine album. Tom Petty was working on his Full Moon Fever and Roy Orbison was busy with what was going to be his Mystery Girl album — besides his revamped song "Crying" in duet with k.d. lang and a new version of "In Dreams" for the original soundtrack of David Lynch's Blue Velvet — and Jeff Lynne was simply everywhere and also working on his album Armchair Theatre. Suddenly it seemed as if the balance had turned in the right direction for these "veterans". Shannon seemed to share this mood and started to work, with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, on his Rock On album. There was no sign of what was going to happen. A video in my collection shows Shannon working in the studio with Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. You see the three of them in the process of rehearsing and recording tracks for Rock On. You can also see that the mood was relaxed and everybody was enjoying the event. It still is very surrealistic to me, that just a short time afterwards, Shannon took his own life on the 8th of February 1990. He was recording, performing — as he always did — and was even rumored to replace Roy Orbison in The Traveling Wilburys. Another rock-legend had passed away leaving a great gap behind. As a tribute, the remaining members recorded "Runaway" as a track on a British only CD-single.
17 Del Shannon performing in Melbourne, Australia (February 28, 1989)

Lost in a memory. Rock On, the album Shannon was still working on when he passed away, was released in 1991, also to honor this true legend of Rock and Roll — and much later the man was rightfully included in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame. The people he worked with in the studio made the final musical takes to the vocal takes Shannon had already recorded. It proved to be a catchy album that nowhere sounds old fashioned, not that anyone ever expected that. It showed that Shannon was as good as ever and, as always, in touch with the spirit of the times. It makes you realize that it all ended much too soon. The album makes you long for more, but to phrase it in Shannon's own words: we are just "Lost In A Memory" now.

18 Rereleases. A remarkable and innovative career had ended but Shannon was rediscovered after the tragic events of 1990. Since then, with the exception of the earlier mentioned sessions, his entire catalogue has been re-released in several countries like England (BGO-records and See For Miles Records), Canada (Unidisc) and Australia (Raven Records). Curiously enough, Bear Family Germany hasn't entered the bandwagon but rumors are going that the company is considering a box with songs from the first decade of Shannon's career. I really would welcome that, because collectors know that Bear Family is really top quality in research, sound and packaging, especially when it comes to CD-boxes. It would be a true homage to "Chuck", the respect he deserves. I personally hope that all the unreleased material throughout Shannon's career is going to be released, rather sooner than later. I have never seen the reason why record-companies are so timid when it comes to this. My personal point of view is that they can show their integrity and respect to the artists that worked — and earned the money — for them. I hope that Shannon will live on in the hearts of everybody who has read this story. Thank you and ... rock on!
Vinyl singles (7") US   UK
- Runaway / Jody Big Top 3067   London HLX 9317
- Hats Off To Larry / Don't Gild The Lily Lily Big Top 3075   London HLX 9402
- So Long Baby / The Answer To Every Everything Big Top 3083   London HLX 9462
- Hey Little Girl / I Don't Care Anymore Big Top 3091  
- Hey Little Girl / You Never Talked About Me
  London HLX 9515
- Ginny In The Mirror / I Won't Be There Big Top 3098  
- Cry Myself To Sleep / I'm Gonna Move On Big Top 3112   London HLX 9587
- The Swiss Maid / You Never Talked About Me Big Top 3117  
- The Swiss Maid / Ginny In the Mirror
  London HLX 9609
- Little Town Flirt / The Wamboo Big Top 3131   London HLX 9653
- Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Kelly Big Top 3143   London HLX 9710
- From Me To You / Two Silhouettes Big Top 3152  
- From Me to You / My Wild One London AM.9761(Holland)  
- Two Silhouettes / My Wild One
  London HLX 9761
- Sue's Gotta Be Mine / Now That She's Gone Berlee 501   London HLU 9800
- That's The Way Love Is / Time Of The Day Berlee 502   London HLU 9858
- Mary Jane / Stains On My Letter AMY 897   Stateside SS 269
- Handy Man / Give Her Lots Of Lovin' AMY 905   Stateside SS 317
- Do You Want To Dance / This Is All I Have To Give AMY 11   Stateside SS 349
- Keep Searchin' / Broken Promises AMY 915   Stateside SS 368
- Stranger In Town / Over You AMY 919   Stateside SS 395
- Break Up / Why Don't You Tell Him AMY 925   Stateside SS 430
- Move It On Over / She Still Remembers Tony AMY 937   Stateside SS 452
- I Can't Believe My Ears / I Wish I Wasn't Me Tonight AMY 947   Stateside SS 494
- The Big Hurt / I Got It Bad Liberty 55866   LIB 55866
- For A Little While / Hey Little Star Liberty 55889   LIB 55889
- Show Me / Never Thought I Could Liberty 55894  
- Under My Thumb / She Was Mine Liberty 55904  
- She / What Makes You Run Liberty 55939   LIB 55939
- Led Along / I Can't Be True Liberty 55961  
- Mind Over Matter / Led Along
  Liberty 10277
- Runaway '67 / Show Me Liberty 55993  
- Runaway '67 / He Cheated
  Liberty LBF 15020
- Thinkin' It Over / Runnin' On Back Liberty 56018   LBF 15061
- Gemini / Magical Musical Box Liberty 56036   LBF 15079
- Raindrops / You Don't Love Me Liberty 56070(US only)  
- Comin' Back To Me / Sweet Mary Lou Dunhill 4193   Stateside SS 8025
- Sister Isabelle / Colorado Rain Dunhill 4224   Stateside SS 8040
- What's A Matter Baby / Early In The Morning
  United Artists UP 35460
- Kelly / Coopersville Yodel (live / live)
  United artists UP 35535
- And The Music Plays On / In My Arms Again
  United Artists UP 35740
- The Swiss Maid / Hey Little Girl
  Contempo CS 9013
- The Swiss Maid / Little Town Flirt
  Contempo 6.11563
- Rhythm Of The Rain - The Cascades / Runaway
  United Artists 35956
- Runaway / Keep Searchin'
  Contempo CS 9021
- Kelly / The Answer To Everything
  Contempo CS 9033
- Tell Her No / Restless Island 021  
- Cry Baby Cry / In My Arms again Island 038  
- Runaway / Hats Off To Larry (re-recorded)
  Creole CR 196
- Runaway / Hats Off To Larry (re-recorded), differs from above Gusto 2035  
- Runaway / Keep Searchin'
  JB 001
- Hats Off To Larry / Little Town Flirt
  JB 005
- Runaway / Hats Off To Larry (both original stereo) Eric 189  
- Runaway / Keep Searchin'
  London HL 10580
- Runaway / Jody
  Old Gold OG 9256
- Hats Off To Larry / Hey Little Girl
  Old Gold OG 9257
- The Swiss Maid / So Long Baby
  Old Gold OG 9258
- Little Town Flirt / Two Kinds of Teardrops
  Old Gold OG 9259
- Kelly / Keep Searchin'
  Old Gold OG 9260
- Sea Of Love / Midnight Train Network 47951  
- To Love Someone / Liar Network 48006  
- Cheap Love / Distant Ghost
  Demon D 1017
- Sea Of Love / Help Me
  Demon D 1019
- In My Arms Again / You Can't Forgive Me Warner Bros WB 7-29098  
- Stranger On The Run / What You're Gonna Do With That Beautiful Body Of Yours Warner Bros 7-28853  
- Walk Away / Nobody's Business Silvertone ZB 44375 (Europe)  
- Are You Lovin' Me Too / One Woman Man Silvertone ZB 44667 (Europe)  
- Callin' Out My Name / Hot Love Silvertone ZB 45103 (Europe)  
B Special singles
- The Letter / Silently Liberty 20376 (Fillipines only)
- Oh How Happy / The Ghost Interfusion 5439 (Australia only)
- I Go To Pieces (duet with Nils Lofgren) / Ancient History (Nils Lofgren) MCA 757 (UK only)
C CD singles
- Walk Away MCA / Gone Gator CD45-1453 (US promotional)
- Walk Away / Nobody's Business / Let's Dance MCA / Gone Gator ORE 24 (USA)
- Walk Away / Nobody's Business / Let's Dance Silvertone ZD 44376 (Europe)
- Are You Lovin' Me Too / One Woman Man / Who Left Who MCA / Gone Gator ORE 26 (USA)
- Are You Lovin' Me Too / One Woman Man / Who Left Who Silvertone ZD 44668 (Europe)
- Callin' Out My Name / Hot Love / When I Had You Silvertone ZD 45104 (Europe only)
D Unreleased songs
  (I'm Alive) But I'm Dead / Amanda / And The Music Plays On / Best Days Of My Life / Black Is Black / Broken Down Angel / Can't Get Away From This Feeling / Condemned To Die / Distant Ghost / Eye Of A Needle / Face Of An Angel / Game Of Love / Girl Of My Life / Gonna Give It Back To You / Guilty Feelings / Honey Bee / I Found Someone New / It's A Lie / I've Got Eyes For You / Jamie / Johnny Got The Blues / Joker On The Run / Just You / Little By Little / Little Oscar / Little Sandy / Louise,Louise / Love, It Don't Come Easy / Love Letters / My Life / Miss You Like I Do / Nobody's Business / No One Knows / Oh, Pretty Woman / One Day At The Time / One Track Mind / Part Time Lover / Play With Fire / Queen Of The Honky Tonks / Raylene / Same Old Song / Sea Of Love / She's Always On My Mind / Since I Fell For You / Something To Write Home About / So Tired / Table Reserved For The Blues / Take Me Back / Tell Her No (1965 version) / That's All Right / There Ought To Be A Law / 'Till I Found You / Today I Started Loving You Again / Walk Like An Angel / Wrong Day, Wrong Way / You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Loose It) / You Don't Want To Be My Lover / You Still Live Here
  (Note: Of the songs that are underlined, more versions are known to exist)
E Unreleased albums
Next Nashville Sessions. In 1986 Del Shannon recorded a country-rock album for Warner Bros, an album that never got released in complete. Only two singles saw the light of day. The titles of these songs here are underlined.
  Tracks: Stranger On The Run / You Still Live Here / Beautiful Body / In My Arms Again / She's Always On My Mind / Little By Little / You Can't Forgive / Nobody's Business / Part Time Lover / Broken Down Angel / Miss You Like I Do
F Released albums
Next Runaway With Del Shannon (1961) - USA Big Top 1 303 / UK London HA-X 2402
  • Reissue Germany-Line 6.24787 (1981)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Impact 4.00248 (1986)
  • Reissue USA Taragon TARCD-1022 (1997; full stereo CD)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 367 (1997; CD)
  • Reissue Canada UniDisc UBK-4118 (2000; full stereo CD)
  Tracks: Misery / Daydreams / His Latest Flame / The Prom / The Search / Runaway (alternate to the single version) / I Wake Up Crying / Wide Wide World / I'll Always Love You / Lies / He Doesn't Care / Jody
Next Hats Off To Del Shannon (1963) - USA not released / UK London HA-X 8071
  • Reissue Germany-Line 6.24788 (1981)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Impact 4.00252 (1986)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Backline 9.00252 (1989; CD)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 367 (1997; CD)
  • Reissue Canada Unidisc UBK-4119 (2000; CD)
  Tracks: The Swiss Maid / Cry Myself To Sleep / Ginny In The Mirror / You Never Talked About Me / Don't Gild The Lily, Lily / I Won't Be There / Hats Off To Larry / The Answer To Everything / Hey! Little Girl (alternate to the single version) / I'm Gonna Move On / I Don't Care Anymore / So Long Baby
Next Little Town Flirt (1963) - USA Big Top 1 308 / UK London HA-X 8091
  • Reissue Germany-Line 5050 (1981; UK version)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Impact 4.00333 (1987; UK version)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Backline 9.00333 (1989; UK version; CD)
  • Reissue USA-Rhino R2 70983 (1990; USA version, full stereo; CD)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 388 (1998; UK version,full stereo; CD)
  • Reissue Canada Unidisc UBK-4120 (2000; 15 tracks - except for 3 tracks all are full stereo)
  Tracks: Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Dream Baby / Happiness / Hey! Little Girl (alternate to the single version) = Two Silhouettes on UK album / She Thinks I Still Care / Runaway = My Wild One on UK album / Runaround Sue / Hats Off To Larry = From Me To You on UK album / Kelly / Hey Baby / Go Away Little Girl / Little Town Flirt
Next Handy Man (1965) - USA AMY 8003 / UK Stateside SL 10 115
  • Reissue Germany-Line 5057 (1981)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Impact 4.00433 (1987)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 388 (1998; CD)
  • Reissue Canada UniDisc UBK-4121 (2000; CD)
  Tracks: Memphis / That's The Way Love Is / Ruby Baby / I'll Be Lonely Tomorrow / I Can't Fool Around Anymore / Handy Man / Crying / Mary Jane / World Without Love / Sorry (I Ran All The Way) / Give Her Lots Of Lovin' / Twist And Shout
Next Del Shannon Sings Hank Williams "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1965) - USA AMY 8004 / UK Stateside SL 10 130
  • Reissue Germany-Line 5071 (1981)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Backline 9.00760 (1990; CD)
  • Reissue USA-Rhino R2 70982 (1990; full stereo CD)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 404 (1998; partly stereo CD)
  • Reissue Canada UniDisc UBK-4122 (2000; full stereo CD)
  Tracks: Your Cheatin' Heart / Kaw Liga / I Can't Help It / Honky Tonk Blues / Lonesome Whistle / You Win Again / Ramblin' Man / Hey Good Lookin' / Long Gone Lonesome Blues / Weary Blues / I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry / Cold, Cold Heart
Next 1,661 Seconds With Del Shannon (1965) - USA AMY 8006 / UK Stateside SL 10140
  • Reissue Germany-Line 5064 (1981)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Impact 4.00429 (1987)
  • Reissue USA Taragon TARCD 1022 (1997; full stereo CD)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 404 (1998; full stereo CD)
  • Reissue Canada UniDisc UBK-4123 (2000; full stereo CD)
  Tracks: Stranger In Town / She Cried / Needles And Pins / Broken Promises / Why Don't You Tell Him / Do You Wanna Dance / I Go To Pieces / I'm Gonna Be Strong / Rag Doll / Over You / Running Scared / Keep Searchin'
Next This Is My Bag (1966) - USA Liberty LRP 3453 (mono) / LST 7453 (stereo) / UK Liberty LBY 1320 (mono) / SLBY 1320 (stereo)
  • Reissue UK-Beat Goes On BGOCD 307 (1996; CD)
  Tracks: The Big Hurt / Kicks / For A Little While / Lightnin' Strikes / When You Walk In The Room / The Cheater / Oh, Pretty Woman / Everybody Loves A Clown / Never Thought I Could / It's Too Late / Hey! Little Star / Action
Next Total Commitment (1967) - USA Liberty LRP 3479 (mono) / LSP 7479 (stereo) / UK Liberty LBY 1335 (mono) / SLBY 1335 (stereo)
  • Reissue UK-Beat Goes On BGOCD 307 (1996; CD)
  Tracks: Under My Thumb / Red Rubber Ball / She Was Mine / Where Were You When I Needed You / The Joker Went Wild / The Pied Piper / Sunny / Show Me / Time Won't Let Me / What Makes You Run / I Can't Be True / Summer In The City
Next The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover (1968) - USA Liberty LST 7539 (stereo only) / UK Liberty LBL 83114 (stereo only)
  • Reissue UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 402 (1998; full stereo CD - this CD contains 8 bonus tracks from Island, United Artists, Liberty)
  Tracks: Thinkin' It Over / Be My Friend / Silver Birch / I Think I Love You / River Cool / Colour Flashing Hair / Gemini / Runnin' On Back / Conquer / Been So Long / Magical Musical Box / New Orleans (Mardi Gras)
Next Del Shannon Live In England (1973) - USA United Artists LA 151-F / UK United artists UAS 29474
  • Reissue UK-Liberty / Fame 3020 (1982)
  • Reissue UK-Beat Goes On BGOCD 280 (1995; CD)
  Tracks: Hats Off To Larry / Handy Man / The Swiss Maid / Hey! Little Girl / Little Town Flirt / The Answer To Everything / What's A Matter Baby / Kelly / Crying / Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Coopersville Yodel / Keep Searching / So Long Baby / Runaway
Next And The Music Plays On (1978) - USA not released / UK Sunset SLS 50412
  • Reissue: without the title song and along with some other songs from the Liberty label this album was released as: Del Shannon, The Liberty Years (EMI / Liberty CDP 7-95842-2) (1991; CD / MC only)
  • Reissue UK-Beat Goes On BGOCD 280 (1995; CD)
  Tracks: It's My Feeling / Mind Over Matter / Silently / Cut And Come Again / My Love Has Gone / Led Along / Life Is But Nothing / And The Music Plays On / Easy To Say / Friendly With You / Raindrops / He Cheated / Leaving You behind / Runaway '67
Next Drop Down And Get Me (1981 / 1983) - USA Elektra 5E-568 (1981) / UK Demon FIEND 8 (1983)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Instant 4.00108 (1986; the German version has some more songs than the USA or UK versions; these are underlined in the tracklist below)
  • Reissue Germany-Line Instant 9.00108 (1990; CD)
  • Reissue USA Varèse Sarabande VSD-5927 (1998; CD, 12 tracks)
  • Reissue UK See For Miles SEECD 678 (1998; CD, 13 tracks)
  • Reissue Canada UniDisc UBK-4121 (2000; CD, 13 tracks)
  Tracks: Sea Of Love / Life Without You / Out Of Time / Sucker For Your Love / To Love Someone / Cheap Love, only on UK album / Drop Down And Get Me / Maybe Tomorrow / Liar / Never Stop Tryin' / Midnight Train / Cheap Love / Distant Ghost / Help Me
Next Rock On! (1991) - USA MCA / Gone Gator MCAD 10296 / Europe Silvertone ZD 74929, both CD
  • Europe Silvertone ORE CD 514 CD (picture disc)
  • Europe LP format Silvertone ZL 74929
  Tracks: Walk Away / Who Left Who / Are You Lovin' Me Too / Callin' Out My Name / I Go To Pieces / Lost In A Memory / I Got You (on US album subtitled "The Bird's Song") / What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am? / When I Had You / Let's Dance
Next Del Shannon - The Liberty Years (1991) - EMI Liberty CDP 7 95842-2, Worldwide release CD / MC only - MC has six songs less than the CD
  Tracks: The Big Hurt (remixed) / Show Me / I Got It Bad (aka Never Thought I Could) / For A Little While / Hey! Little Star / Under My Thumb / She Was Mine / I Can't Be True; She / Stand Up / The House Where Nobody Lives / It's My Feeling / Mind Over Matter / Silently / Cut And Come Again / My Love Has Gone / Led Along / Life Is But Nothing / Easy To Say / Friendly With You / He Cheated / Runaway '67 (without applause) / Thinkin' It Over / Raindrops (remixed) / You Don't Love Me / Leaving You Behind
  (Note: For a lot of song titles on this CD alternate takes are used from the unreleased Home And Away album. Therefore there are differences between these songs and the ones appearing on the BGO CD's under number BGOCD 280 — Live In England / And The Music Plays On — and BGOCD 307 — This Is My Bag / Total Commitment)
Next Del Shannon - Live In Australia (1991) - Australia Dino D 131, CD
  • Australia Evasound EMD 013, CD
  • Australia Classic Artists AVM #009, titled "Greatest Hits Live", CD
  • Australia AVM #009, titled "Live", CD
  Tracks: Runaway (studio recording, theme from "Crime Story") / Hats Off To Larry / Handy Man / The Swiss Maid / Medley (mix of the songs Oh, Pretty Woman and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction) / Crying / Black Is Black / Little Town Flirt / Keep Searchin' / I Go To Pieces / Runaround Sue / Runaway / Do You Wanna Dance
Next Del Shannon - Live In England / And The Music Plays On (1995) - UK Beat Goes On BGOCD 280, CD
  Tracks: Hats Off To Larry / Handy Man / The Swiss Maid / Hey! Little Girl / Little Town Flirt / The Answer To Everything / What's A Matter Baby / Kelly / Crying / Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Coopersville Yodel / Keep Searching / So Long Baby / Runaway / It's My Feeling / Mind Over Matter / Silently / Cut And Come Again / My Love Has Gone / Led Along / Life Is But Nothing / And The Music Plays On / Easy To Say / Friendly With You / Raindrops / He Cheated / Leaving You Behind / Runaway '67
Next Del Shannon - The Definitive Collection (1997) UK / Germany Charly Records CPCD 8315-2, 2CD
  Disc 1 - Tracks: The Search / I'll Always Love You / Runaway / The Snake (performed by Max Crook) / Jody / Hats Off To Larry / Don't Gild The Lilly, Lily / So Long Baby / The Answer To Everything / Hey, Little Girl / I Don't Care Anymore / Ginny In The Mirror / I Won't Be There / Cry Myself To Sleep / I'm Gonna Move On / The Swiss Maid / You Never Talked About Me / Little Town Flirt / The Wamboo / Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Kelly / From Me To You / Two Silhouettes / Sue's Gotta Be Mine / Since She's Gone / My Wild One / She Cried / I Wake Up Crying / That's The Way Love Is / Time Of The Day
  Disc 2 - Tracks: Mary Jane / Stains On My Letter / Handy Man / Give Her Lots Of Lovin' / Do You Wanna Dance / This Is All I Have To Give / Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun) / Broken Promises / Stranger In Town / Rag Doll / Over You / Break Up / Why Don't You Tell Him / Move It On Over / She Still Remembers Tony / I Can't Believe My Ears / I Wish I Wasn't Me Tonight / His Latest Flame / Running Scared / Runaround Sue / Dream Baby / Go Away Little Girl / Hey Baby / Kaw Liga / Hey, Good Looking / I Go To Pieces / She Thinks I Still Care / I'll Be Lonely Tomorrow / I Can't Fool Around Anymore / Pepsie Ads (2)
  (Note: This set is essential for the Shannon collector because of the presence of Del Shannon's Big Top, Berlee and Amy single sides in chronological order)
Next Del Shannon, 1961-1990 - A Complete Career Anthology (1997) Australia Raven RVCD-51, 2 CD
  Disc 1 (1961-1967) - Tracks: Runaway* / Hats Off To Larry* / So Long Baby / Hey Little Girl* / Cry Myself To Sleep / You Never Talked About Me / Jody* / The Swiss Maid / Ginny In The Mirror / Little Town Flirt* / Two Kinds Of Teardrops* / From Me To You / Two Silhouettes / Sue's Gotta Be Mine / That's The Way Love Is / Handy Man / Mary Jane / Keep Searchin' (Follow The Sun)* / Stranger In Town* / Break Up / Why Don't You Tell Him?* / Move It On Over / I Go To Pieces* / Under My Thumb / Show Me / The Letter / Runaway '67 / Cut And Come Again / Friendly With You / Led Along / Mind Over Matter / Thinkin' It Over
  (Note: Songs marked with an asterisk are full stereo versions)
  Disc 2 (1968-1990) - Tracks: Gemini / Sister Isabelle / Kelly (live) / Distant Ghost / Deadly Game / Help Me / Oh How Happy / And The Music Plays On / Tell Her No / Cry Baby Cry / Restless / Sea Of Love / Drop Down And Get Me / To Love Someone / Cheap Love / Broken Down Angel / Something To Believe In / Hot Love / Walk Away / Calling Out My Name / Who Left Who? / Runaway (Crime Story version) / Crying (live) / Do You Wanna Dance? (live) / Pepsi Spot
  (Note: This second disc is absolutely essential to any Del Shannon collection because ut presents all of the Australian and some Island single sides. On top of this it also offers the very first release of "Deadly Game")
Next Del Shannon - The EP Collection (1998) UK See For Miles SEECD 677
  Tracks: Runaway / Hats Off To Larry / His Latest Flame / Lies / So Long Baby / Don't Gild The Lily, Lily / Jody / Hey Little Girl / Cry Myself To Sleep / Dream Baby / The Swiss Made / I'm Gonna Move On / Ginny In The Mirror / Little Town Flirt / Kelly / From Me To You / Two Kinds Of Teardrops / Hey Baby / Runaround Sue / Do You Wanna Dance / Mary Jane / Handy Man / Break Up / Why Don't You Tell Him? / Keep Searchin' / She Still Remembers Tony / Move It On Over / Stranger In Town
  (Note: This album is not really essential for a Shannon collection, though it is always nice to have all seven EP's chronologically ordered on one album)
  Books and magazines
  • And The Music Plays On - The official Del Shannon magazine. Tacoma: Del Shannon Appreciation Society.
  • Bruin, Josiane de, René de Bruin and Paul Aernouts (1997), Del Shannon songbook. Bergen op Zoom: Private release, 1997.
  • DeWitt, Howard, and Dennis DeWitt (2001), Stranger in town. The musical life of Del Shannon. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 2001.
  • Oldie-Markt. Europas grösster Plattenmarkt. Nürnberg: New Media Verlag.
  Additional credits and sources
  • Del Shannon Appreciation Society UK - Mike Wilson.
  • Del Shannon Appreciation Society US - Brian Young.
  • Discographies - Rainer Genatowski.
  • Personal files - Bernd Vogel.
  The short sound fragments on this page are copyrighted: "Runaway" 1961 © London Records; "I Go To Pieces" 1965 © MCA; "Deadly Game" 1973 © Raven; "Walk Away" 1991 © MCA. They are used here according to the rules of fair use and academic quoting. The photo's accompanying this essay, are all from delshannon.com, the web site of the Del Shannon Appreciation Society — courtesy of Brian Young. On this web site more information on Del Shannon can be found. Max Crook, the inventor and player of the Musitron on Shannon's earliest records, offers many music samples of his instrument on his own website at www.maxcrook.com. Special thanks to Josiane de Bruin for providing all kinds of suggestions and for editing this piece of work. Any reader who has some detailed record information about Shannon releases from European countries, especially The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy, please contact the author at:
  e-mail René de Bruin.
  2003 © René de Bruin / Soundscapes