The most popular exponent of the classic New Orleans R&B sound, Fats Domino sold more records than any other black rock & roll star of the 1950s. His relaxed, lolling boogie-woogie piano style and easygoing, warm vocals anchored a long series of national hits from the mid-'50s to the early '60s. Through it all, his basic approach rarely changed. He may not have been one of early rock's most charismatic, innovative, or threatening figures, but he was certainly one of its most consistent.
Domino's first single, "The Fat Man" (1949), is one of the dozens of tracks that have been consistently singled out as a candidate for the first rock & roll record.
Of all the early rock & rollers, Fats Domino was the easiest to take for granted, since he made it all seem so easy. Even when it rocked hard, his music was so relaxed, so friendly that it sounded effortless and natural, which was part of the reason that his classic recordings for Imperial in the '50s were so consistently enjoyable. All the hits, many of their flips sides, and most of his album cuts were flat-out fun – maybe not as revolutionary as work by Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers, but his body of work for Imperial not only stands proudly next to theirs, but is just as influential. This much is clear after years of hindsight, but in the late '60s he was as passé as any of his peers, even if there were legions of new rockers, from the Beatles to Randy Newman, who were raised on his music.
Out of print and hard to get 2009 UK Domino label 14CD box set comprising singlular and prominent English exp- and artrock musician and radical political singer/singwriters 9 studio albums and including the 5-disc EP's box illuminating various periods in Wyatt's long solo career - singles, odd B-sides, live cuts, alternate versions, and remixes. It begins with "Rock Bottom" (1974) which was made after Wyatt had been permanently confined to a wheelchair following a fall from a high window the previous year. Following "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard" (1975), Wyatt took an extended break, returning reinvigorated in 1980 with a series of excellent singles on the Rough Trade label, with some B-sides generously given over to other artists. All are collected together on "Nothing Can Stop Us" (1982).