Go, Champs, Go!

by: The Champs

The Champs had a huge hit with "Tequila" in 1958 and its raw, loose barroom saxophone riff has kept it a radio, soundtrack, and drinking contest staple ever since. The tune itself was originally a B-side backing the single "Train to Nowhere," and both tracks were recorded by studio musicians for Gene Autry's then-brand new Challenge Records. "Tequila" was the breakout hit, though, and the Champs, at least as a touring group, were born. Go Champs Go is a facsimile CD of their first LP for Challenge from 1958, and it includes both sides of that initial single, as well as a couple of vocal tracks and several attempts to re-create the success of "Tequila" by incorporating loose Latin rhythms in an instrumental R&B setting. Ace has packaged this album together with 1959's Everybody's Rockin' With the Champs (also originally released on Challenge) as a single-disc two-fer, and from a bang for the buck perspective, it makes more sense to go that route, although collectors may prefer to pick up this facsimile version for the sake of completeness. ~ Steve Leggett

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