Conventional wisdom is that Duane Eddy's best work was for Lee Hazlewood's Jamie label, between 1958 and 1962, whereas the material he cut for RCA from 1962 to 1965 was sanitized, commercialized and lightweight. One only has to compare the 1964 version of Rebel-Rouser on this CD with the 1958 original to see some truth in this. From the same year, Rumble, the Link Wray classic, on paper promises to be explosive but wouldn't even register on the Richter scale, notwithstanding a slightly menacing undercurrent, and sounds polite enough to be played at a vicar's tea party. Some tracks, such as the saxophone-led Tequila, hardly seem to feature Duane at all.
In the three years he was with the label, RCA managed to squeeze nine albums out of him, all hurriedly recorded and often built around a theme, so we have for example Twistin' 'N' Twangin', Twangy Guitar - Silky Strings and Twang A Country Song. Additionally, many of the singles were in addition to the albums. No wonder quality control was stretched.
However, he also made some of his most memorable recordings at RCA. The Ballad Of Paladin (from the film Have Gun Will Travel) is a minor classic and continued successfully in the style of his 1960 smash Because They're Young. It was Top Ten in the UK. Deep In The Heart Of Texas was also a Top Twenty hit in the UK, and (Dance With The) Guitar Man and Boss Guitar, both featuring the Rebelettes (actually the Blossoms, featuring Darlene Love, from the period that they were also doubling as the Crystals for Phil Spector) were sizeable pop hits both in America and the UK. Guitar Man in particular remains one of Duane Eddy's most anthologized tracks.