Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

11. Gene VincentBluejean Bop!

There’s a famous story about Lennon & McCartney meeting Gene Vincent in Hamburg and being terrified because he was waving around a gun. He was armed and extremely dangerous – and drunk. And they got the hell out of there sharpish. This is a classic, definitive rock & roll album. Again, it’s complete. It just works from start to finish. And again, the sound, the simplicity as well, the use of the brushes – I don’t think they used the kick drum, I don’t hear a kick drum in it, it just sounds like a snare and cymbals, double bass, and the magnificent guitar sound of Cliff Gallup, and then Gene Vincent’s voice on top. I always think of Ian Dury’s ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’. In fact, I think Ian Dury’s ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’ might be the record that made me go and check this out. I took this out of the Manchester Polytechnic music library, and played it to death, and then went out and bought it. It’s perfection. It’s just rock & roll perfection.

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