Rediscovering Del Shannon

A 1977 cut reveals the hard-living soul of a honky-tonk shouter.

Del Shannon

The Dublin Sessions

RockBeat

Blue Fondue

Del Shannon never phoned it in. Best known for tortured early ’60s hits like “Runaway” and “Hats Off to Larry,” the Michigan-bred singer-songwriter combined the hard-living soul of a honky-tonk shouter with fiery, unpretentious rock’n’roll until his death in 1990. Collecting tracks from an abandoned album recorded in 1977, The Dublin Sessions captures Shannon at a commercial low point, but still delivering passionate performances. Among the highlights: the stomping “Best Days of My Life,” the dreamy ballad “Raylene” and a spirited take on kindred spirit Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Some tracks feel slightly unfinished, as if awaiting one more overdub, but that lack of polish only adds to the sense of immediacy. This is a welcome discovery from an essential artist.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.