Gene Vincent

The Capitol Collector's Series

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Gene Vincent may have been one of rock & roll's first great Dixie-fried wild men, but consistency was not his strong suit, and for every work of lunatic genius in his catalog (such as "B-I-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Go" and "Woman Love"), there are a few failed ballads and novelty tunes foisted upon him by clueless A&R men back in the day. This compilation from Capitol Records' fine Collectors Series line represents a noble and largely successful attempt to skim off the cream from his Capitol masters; while the material has been remixed for compact disc release, the new versions honor the sound and spirit of the original (though the mono versions have a shade more punch), and the track listing offers plenty of meat with little filler. While Razor & Tie's later collection The Screaming End: The Best of Gene Vincent rocks harder, Capitol Collectors Series in many ways offers a more accurate look at Vincent's career, with the wildness starting to seriously fade near the end of the disc without skidding into his really dire material. Even on the lesser tunes, Vincent's gloriously prurient vocals are upfront throughout, and the superb fretwork of Cliff Gallup, Paul Peek, and John Meeks prove the guy had great taste in guitar players. Added bonus: an instrumental take of "Rocky Road Blues" that will help make you the coolest person at karaoke night.

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