Legend by Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets on Parlophone Records, 1970, value £55

THIS is possibly the rawest and most authentic rock 'n' roll album ever produced in a British studio, writes MICHAEL BROOKS.

It features 16 tracks of what has been termed as the original rock songs by artists such as Fats Domino, Johnny Burnette, Chuck Berry and many more that define the beginning of rock music. Although the album is credited to Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets, several of these tracks feature first lead singer and drummer with the band, Robert Llewellyn, known as Rockin' Louie.

Michael Barratt, born in 1948, in Wales, was a member of a band called The Backbeats who was invited to join The Sunsets and eventually became their frontman and known as Shakin' Stevens. They were approached by guitar player Dave Edmunds who had recently had a giant hit with Sabre Dance who managed to get them a recording contract with his label Parlophone. Edmunds wanted them to record the Fats Domino classic I Hear You Knockin'. Parlophone rejected the version, the song was recorded by Edmunds on the MAM label and became a million seller; Parlophone's resentment lead to The Sunsets being dropped by their label.

Surprisingly, at the beginning of the seventies, interest of early fifties and sixties rock 'n' roll music emerged. Bands like Showaddywaddy and Darts had several hit records of cover versions popularised through films like American Graffiti and Grease. The Sunsets became one of the top touring rock acts throughout that decade.

Following Elvis Presley's death in 1977, impresario Jack Good put together Elvis - The Musical; three actors, Tim Whitnall covering the early years, Shaky playing Elvis in his prime, charting his Army and film star years, with PJ Proby as the older Elvis. The Sunsets released Shaky from his contract, thinking that when he returned they would have a recognised West End star fronting the band. As it happened, he was never to return to the group.

Shaky was able to capitalise on Presley nostalgia following the King's death with the beginning of a run of hit records. As Cliff Richard was in the late fifties and early sixties, Shakin' Stevens became the highest selling UK artist of the eighties, including 50 appearances on Top Of The Pops. Often referred to as one of the first Elvis tribute artists, he was so much more than that. He did resemble Elvis, but at heart he is and remains a true rock 'n' roller. If you like raw, rock 'n' roll, this album is a must. It has never been released on CD so the only way to hear it is on vinyl.

The 1981 album Shaky is also collectable, featuring five songs written by Shaky himself.