Gene Vincent is one of those names that always comes up when you mention 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll. Alongside his Blue Caps, he formed part of the generation that shaped the genre and set it off on its journey. Known for standards such as Be-Bop-A-Lula and Say Mama, his recorded legacy is larger than one may assume.
Originally pressed as an LP in the United States, the album Sounds Like Gene Vincent, was first issued in 1959. Bear Family Records add to their Gene Vincent catalogue with a 10-inch vinyl reissue of a Japanese version of the album. Featuring a reproduced sleeve and bonus tracks; is it worth picking up?
The tracklisting on this release differs from the LP because of the shorter playtime, and because it possibly aimed at another market. The revised content results in a slightly more mellow album that just grooves along at a slow pace, with a couple of more uptempo numbers. Johnny Burnette’s compositions My Heart and I’ve Got To Get To You Yet are highlights, along with the catchy In Love Again and his rocking interpretation of Maybelline.
As with many a Bear Family release, they added several tracks to the end of sides to make use of the extra room available. Whether they picked the correct tracks is always up for debate, but they add extra value to the release. The additions of Be Bop Boogie Boy, The Night Is So Lonely and Over The Rainbow fit well with the mood of the album in this form, in this reviewer’s opinion.
The front cover resembles the original US release and looks impressive. The images look a little grainy, but this was probably the case on the original release. The back cover features English language lyrics to all originally included songs, with Japanese text included for authenticity. The album is pressed on silver metallic looking vinyl, a nice touch that looks good on the turntable. This package also includes a nicely presented photo card of Gene Vincent.
Bear Family Records has created a release that continues their consistently fine run of form. A Japanese reissue will most predominantly appeal to collectors, but it is a well-detailed treat for them. Others, who want to get more Vincent for their money, may wish to hold out for a copy of the original LP version of the album. This reissue is an impressive package with a pleasant sound and good overall presentation that covers an interesting moment in the career of a Rock ‘n’ Roll legend.
- I Got To Get To You Yet
- You Are The One For Me
- In Love Again
- BONUS: Be Bop Boogie Boy
- BONUS: The Night Is So Lonely
- My Heart
- Now Is The Hour
- Ready Teddy
- BONUS: Over The Rainbow