Jerry Lee Lewis Albums Ranked

Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American singer, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as “rock & roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the twentieth century.”
A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis. “Crazy Arms” sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with “Great Balls of Fire”, “Breathless” and “High School Confidential”. However, Lewis’s rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin.
Lewis’s successes continued throughout the decades and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace” and Mack Vickery’s “Rockin’ My Life Away”. In the 21st century, Lewis continues to tour around the world and still releases new albums. His 2006 album Last Man Standing is his best selling to date, with over a million copies sold worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man in 2010, which has received some of the best sales of Lewis’s career. Music critic Robert Christgau has said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.” Here are all of Jerry Lee Lewis‘ albums ranked.

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10. She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye (1970)

“In comparison to the former albums, he turns a little looser here and the performances aren’t as straight anymore as before, we can hear that especially on “Working Man Blues”, “Since I Met You Baby” or “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” and it just might be for the better. The title track, written by Mickey Newbury, is an undying classic in his catalog and often claimed as his best Country song, no one could have done that song as good as Jerry, probably his best vocal performance as well. The same can be said about the Kris Kristofferson/Shel Silverstein-penned “Once More With Feeling”. Kris himself would later say about Jerry’s version that he’s never before heard one of his songs turn into gold. The reprise of Jimmie Rodgers’s “Waiting for A Train” (the Sun version was in the charts the time Jerry re-recorded it here), the aforementioned rocking “Working Man Blues” and the morbid “When The Grass Grows Over Me” (not even Jerry can out-sing George Jones but he sure tries) are other stand-outs, even the 1-2 weaker efforts get the best treatment they can ask for.”

9. Jerry Lee’s Greatest! (1961)

“For those interested in Jerry Lee, but not sure where to begin, this cd is essential. It covers some early Sun hits and leaves you wanting more. I bought this cd to get started, and never looked back. It is now a cornerstone of my Jerry Lee collection. I have since went on to purchase most of the Sun recordings as well as those recorded on Mercury/Smash. You cannot miss with this disc.”

8. Killer Country (1980)

‘I would love to see The Killer live, maybe in a smokey Southern honkey tonk on a Friday night where the guys drink Blue Ribbon Beer in tall neck bottles. I never will (since my wife would kill me), but I do have “Killer Country”. There is a partial touch of the mellow Nashville Sound here but don’t confuse the Killer with guys like Jim Reeves or Sonny James. This is earthy, Friday Night at 3 AM stuff, after the girls have all gone home but before last call. Don’t the girls always leave too early? High points are “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye”, “There Must Be More to Love Than This” and (speaking of closing time), “Another Place, Another Time”. There is a raw “Pee Wee’s Place”, a cynical “Middle Age Crazy” and an out rightly bitter (!) “You’re All Too Ugly Tonight”-you won’t believe what’s on the streets! “

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7. Who’s Gonna Play This Old Piano… (Think About It Darlin’) (1972)

‘Another great album from Jerry Lee Lewis during his country years-and again it shows what a talent to just take a song and make it is own- It also has his #1 hit Think about It Darling/ and the cover has the piano that Jerry Lee learned to play on that his parnets bought his when he was 8 years old. A must for JLL fans.”

6. And His Pumping Piano (1958)

“This twenty-one-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee, is absolutely spontaneous in his showmanship. When he sings, it’s with abandon and enthusiasm. The way he gives himself to a song makes the outcome so personal it’s almost embarrassing. Whether he is performing for the microphone alone, or thousands of people, Jerry Lee puts on a fantastic performance!  “

5. Young Blood (1995)

“I think it was when I read the Jerry Lee Lewis chapter in Henry Rollins’ Black Coffee Blues pt.2 when I found out the Killer had released an entirely new album of material entitled “Young Blood”. Age notwithstanding, it holds up to any of his classics, and combines the energy of the 50s with the enhanced production of the 90s to create some of the most vibrant, timeless rock ‘n’ roll of all time. “Down The Road A Piece”, “High Blood Pressure”, “Goosebumps”, and “House Of Blue Light” are all classics, but the entire album is solid. An undiscovered gem if there ever was one.”

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4. Last Man Standing (2006)

“This album was a guilty pleasure for me. Yes I was a big Jerry Lee Lewis fan a hundred years ago. The man was a flat out magician on the piano. That’s magician with an `a’, not musician with a `u’. To this day, I’ve never heard anyone make magic on a piano as this country bumkin from Louisiana can and still does. There never was anything subtle about his magic. It wasn’t shy. It came right out there and slaps you across the faces and says wake up and Lewis hasn’t lost a beat. Amazingly, he may even be better.”

3. Mean Old Man (2010)

“Some superb Country and Blues orientated standards put together by one of the Kings of Country with a bunch of great rockers & country kings and queens. His days as one of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Kings may be drawing to a close, but the odd more laid back rocker can still be achieved. Lets hope this is not the last edition – the opinion of a fan of over 50 years.”

2. “Live” At The Star-Club, Hamburg (1964)

“This is a Classic, “landmark” live album in Rock & Roll history. This is a young Jerry Lee, performing at his very best, live, and in a “Rockin”, “Boogie Woogie”, piano playing & singing mood. Jerry Lee made a big “come-back”, after the 1958 scandal, about him being married to his 13 year old cousin, Myra Brown. This live album, recorded at the Star Club, in Hamburg, Germany during 1964, was part of Jerry Lee’s big “come-back”. The audience is really into this album and so is Jerry Lee. At times, the crowd chants, Jerry, Jerry Jerry!!! Also, Jerry has great interaction with the crowd. He really nails down his unique style of “Boogie Woogie”, piano playing on this one.”

1. Jerry Lee Lewis (1958)

“Jerry could really rock with his trademark piano style and he was also a great country singer! Songs like Good Nigght Irene proved that he could sing all kinds of music not only rock. When people think of Jerry Lee Lewis, the first thing they always seem to focus on are his early Sun hits such as Great Balls Of Fire, etc. People don’t seem to take much notice of his later country material and this is such a shame. To me, Jerry Lee sounded beautiful singing country songs and I particularly love his version of You Win AGain and Green, Green, Grass Of Home. To get all of Jerry Lee’s complete Sun work I highly recommend the comprehensive 8 CD box set put o ut by Bear Family. Great set! Great music! Rock on, Killer!”