Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps

by: Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps

Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps had a little more time to prepare their second, self-titled album than they had had for their first, Bluejean Bop! As a result, there were none of the ballad standards that had filled up the track list of that disc, alternating with the rockabilly tunes. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps rocked more consistently than its predecessor, the only real exception being a cover of the much-recorded 1955 torch song "Unchained Melody." The rest of the time, Vincent and the band rocked out. Guitarist Willie Williams had been replaced by Paul Peek, and guitarist Cliff Gallup, although he had also left, had returned just for this recording, making the LP the final sessions by a near-original version of the Blue Caps. Gallup brought along a couple of songs, "You Told a Fib" and "You Better Believe," while others were contributed by Vincent and his partner, Tex Davis. But the material was less important than the approach, which was raucous rockabilly bop. "Hold Me, Hug Me, Rock Me," for instance, was an example of unfettered rocking, with the band raging and Vincent howling. The 2002 reissue adds five tracks to the album, but still brings the running time to only just over 40 minutes. The added tracks include both sides of Vincent's fifth single, "Bi-I-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Go" and "Five Days, Five Days," plus the first takes of "Important Words," "Teenage Partner," and "Five Feet of Lovin'," making an already excellent rockabilly workout even better. ~ William Ruhlmann

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