Gene Vincent was the real deal and, together with his backing group The Blue Caps, fronted The First Gang In Town. With Cliff Gallup and later Johnny Meeks on lead guitar, they, as much as The Crickets and Chuck Berry, defined the sound of rock’s classic three guitars and drums line-up.
Though originally pushed as Capitol’s answer to Elvis, Gene wasn’t nearly as orchestrated as the Memphis Flash. He walked it as he talked it and, on “Pink Thunderbird”, it’s clear he frequently felt the hot breath of the Beast on his face and reacted accordingly.
Physically and mentally damaged goods up until his death, aged 36, Vincent always worked on the edge. Truly, a man possessed, be it on the more familiar “Be Bop A-Lula” or his lesser-known take on “Over The Rainbow”, Vincent was never one to sell himself short, and neither does this must-have compilation.