Released – February 2023 on Jasmine Records Reviewed - 12th March 2023 by Rockin Rebel.
Vince Taylor & his playboys. Released through Jasmine Records which brings a thirty-two-track cd of Vince’s studio recordings from 1958-62. Icon of British Rock’n’roll comes this compilation put together by Roger Dopson who also wrote the annotations. Transfers and digital processing by Reynolds Mastering.
Members. Vince Taylor – lead vocals Bobbie Clarke (drums)Coventry, UK Johnny Vance (bass) Portsmouth, UK, Alain Le Claire (piano) Dulwich, London, UK Tony Harvey (guitar) London, who alternated with Bob Steel.
Review What more can be written about this artist? His life story is certainly a rock n roll story. But today we concentrate on the music that he gave us. Let’s start at the beginning, Vince spent his youth in Isleworth, Middlesex before going to live in Canada. Moving around the states he started being influenced by artist like Elvis, Gene, and Eddie. From then on, he formed his own band and hit the rock n roll world like a storm. Which gave us the hits on this album. Jasmine records have released a beauty of an album that will still bring joy to everybody’s ears. So let's turn up that volume, flick that quiff up and shake along with one of the most dynamic icons of rock n roll.
Track by track RIGHT BEHIND YOU BABY 1958 release in the uk and written by Charlie Rich. It was released on the Parlophone label. The debut single is a fast-paced rockin track and vocals were influenced and styled on Gene Vincent’s vocals. recorded first by Ray Smith with his also 1958 Sun Records version from his single So Young. Taylor released his version in December.
I LIKE LOVE The other side to “Right behind you baby” is the track written by Jack Clement. Sometimes on these singles the B-side is better than the released side. And for me agree that this is a better track. although his vocals remain in the same influenced style. Vince just seems more relaxed and letting the music flow through his shaken hips. The intro starts with a steady beat and then rips into a great piece of guitar work.
BRAND NEW CADILLAC Written by Taylor but only got credited along with the Renegades members who took it number one, sharing the royalties equally. A version by the Hep-Stars went to number one in 1965 and features the piano player Göran Bror Benny Andersson(abba) the opening of this track is just a shiver sending riff that goes right to your feet. Vince has a rebel's vocal tone which just brings this track to another level.a classic that will forever stand the test of time.
PLEDGING MY LOVE Acoustic guitar opening before a bluesy vocal of Vince melts the microphone. Even at this point he had such a distinctive voice, and he knew how to use it. This was the original A-Side to Brand new Cadillac before Cadillac become the legendary track it is today.
I'LL BE YOUR HERO Here we go again with that velvet heart melting vocal to a finger clicking intro, with backing vocals providing the “BA DA BADA” to an increasing tempo. Slap bass joins sits nicely in the back with the rhythm of the finger clicking. Great track.
JET BLACK MACHINE Released in 1960 in both UK and Belgium. This is raring to go fast paced track with talking vocals to start off, building its rhythm. Telling the story of car that gets him everywhere without being late for his dates. You hear the change in the music on this track from that rock n roll style to sixties beat. Vince’s monologue at the outro, wildly getting the band to play them instruments.
WHAT-CHA-GONNA DO Leading track on this 1962 EP, sold in France, Spain, and the Netherlands only. Starts off with a eerie piano opening. A slapping bass can be heard along with the piano in the background and Vince’s sounds low and moody vocally, female backing brings a nice touch to highlight Vince’s vocals. Remaining tracks on the ep are-I'll Be Your Hero, Move Over Tiger and Jet Black Machine.
MOVE OVER TIGER Flip side to “What You Gonna Do” single released on the Palette label which was founded in New York in 1958 by Jacques Kluger. Although vocally he is still good you can hear a slight difference in Vince, Drums and piano introduce the track which is a great track. Taylor was finding a real fan base in France at this time and already planned major releases and tours.
SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN Another EP release for Europe, released through Barkley records which was a multinational label. Vince does a pretty good job of the classic Chuck Berry composition. Keeping the rhythm and beat from the original.
LOVE ME Cover version of the Elvis classic. Vince puts his own vocal style to this track. its not to distant from the Elvis version. Bass slips alongside the guitar and drums with this slow dance, this was the flip side to sweet little sixteen. Recorded at Barkley records and released in France, Belgium, Greece and Netherlands.
C'MON EVERYBODY This one won’t take any introducing! Vince gives a good rendition of the Eddie Cochran release two years earlier, a good rockin version using the piano to front the lead on the backing. the guitar gives a good riff to end the track. This is the flip side to the next track. Another Eddie classic.
TWENTY FLIGHT ROCK This is a great version from Vince and the boys. Plenty of slapping bass. Going in hard on the break with a slight drum solo. This is one of the best cover versions he did of any Cochran songs, he is defiantly feeling the track and vocally spot on.
SO GLAD YOU'RE MINE Rockin up an Arthur Crudup classic. Tenor drum giving this track the intro, piano and bass keep a good tempo for Vince to give a good version. It resembles Elvis’s Ain’t that Lovin you Baby in places. 1961 saw a great selection of cover tracks for the European fans.
BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE Really like this version of Vince’s. Great rockabilly sound with both guitar and Bass thumbing out the beat for Vince to shake his limps too. Short track at just 1.47 long, but it packs a lot into it and makes it his own with slightly different lyrics.
LONG TALL SALLY Just like Gene he changes a few lyrics to give his own statement to the song. . The band rock out on this and Vince regularly keeps them on their toes. Jerry lee style on the piano with some classic boogie woogie. Good track!
LOVIN' UP A STORM Talking about the killer and look what pops up. Nearly a carbon copy but exchanges the piano for the guitar to take the lead. Vocals give a close tribute to Jerry’s version. Really good track. written by Allyson R. Khent and Luther Dixon and first released by the Killer on Sun Records in 1959.
SHAKING ALL OVER The eighth release on the Barkley label in 1961 for the boys, continuing with the cover version of ready-made hits, Johnny Kidd would be happy with this version. Vince is in fine voice and the band as ever spot on with their playing. The original recording reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1960.
DON'T EVER LET ME GO A Capitol Records Release in 1959 first for Eddie Cochran. Vince brings back that velvet voice for this rendition in 1961. Some social media sites say that this single was released in April of 1960, Dole Sitzsimmons who wrote the track confirms it’s a 1961 song on Barkley records.
ENDLESS SLEEP Tragedy themed song that I believe suits the vocal tone of Vince, and that slow deeper tone and singing in hurtful manner brings out the best of his voice, steady melody backs him from the band. First rejected by most labels for its depressing lyrics and was only took on by Demon Records if he changed the lyrics to save the girl. written and originally recorded by rockabilly singer Jody Reynolds in 1957. Was a big hit for Marty Wild giving him his first chart success.
DON'T LEAVE ME NOW Vince's normal velvet tone kind a go astray on this track. Not that he sings it bad I believe he tries to give a lower tone than normal. Still a good cover of the Elvis hit from his movie Jailhouse Rock in 1957. Vince's version was one the first releases of 1962.
THERE'S A LOT OF TWISTIN' GOING ON A remake of the famous “Whole Lotta Shakin Going On” by the one and only Jerry Lee Lewis. Vince gives his best impersonation of the Kiiler's lower and raunchy vocals. Great little number.
BLUE JEAN BOP One of the pioneering tracks of rock n roll in 1956. Vince rocks out the track after a slow moody tone intro, the band really get behind this track and it brings the beat right out. The fans over Europe were buying anything and everything that Vince recorded. So, the cover versions continued.
READY TEDDY A great version by the man in black leathers, Vince brings a style to this track and changes the backing on the breaks into a kind of rumba beat. The track only last one minute n half, but gets a lot into that short time. Some great guitars.
DANCE TO THE BOP Dance the bop is a awesome track first recorded by Gene Vincent. But this track is “Rocky Road Blues”. A printing error or they have the wrong song on. Nevertheless, Vince rocks this version in his leg shakin style. Great rockin version.
PEPPERMINT TWIST (pt 1)+ (pt 2) A dancefloor classic from the boys on this track including part two. Its just a hand slapping hip twisting, with lots of do-wop backing that makes this song great. Both tracks give five minutes workout for the dancers. Some mighty fine backing from the band on this one.
RIP IT UP Rolling drums and a one, two, beat from the guitar brings the start to a great song sung by Vince and the band. Bound to get you hopping and bopping. 2 minutes of good rockin fun.
MEAN WOMAN BLUES Pretty good version that is slightly slower tempo. Really like the boys backing with some twanging of the strings, deep bass and hitting them skins on the drums. Slowing it down slightly worked for Vince and his vocals. First released by Elvis in 57 which was described by a critic as the most powerful rock n roll song since his sun days. Roy Orbison released his version in 63.
MIMI Sang in French for this track from 1962, hearing the vocals I feel that Vince really enjoyed doing this track for the French fans, who had really opened the gate and welcomed him with open arms. Nice little number.
MY BABE A nice intro with a guitar picking away. Slight vault on the timing on the vocals from Vince, the organ playing in the back defiantly brings a change to the musical score, did it really need to be there? Othere than that a rock n roll track and cover.
B.B. BABY (Big Blon' Baby) Giving a great vocal to this track written by Allyson R. Khent and Luther Dixon, its been covered by lots of artist but will always be remembered by the killer on the flip side to Lovin up a Storm, Vince once again slightly slows it down from Ronnie self and jerry lees version. But this cat had a style all by himself and stuck with it.
HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU Last track and what a track to finish with, this is with out doubt the best track Vince ever recorded, his vocal on this is so nice and the back with its backing vocals really bring out the voice of Vince. Then a deep throaty ending. Great version
Summary: Before I started reviewing this album, I did my research on Vince Taylor. And I wished I hadn’t. It didn’t spoil for me, but some comments stuck in my head. Lesson learned on that from now on. OK he may not had been the second Elvis or even fifth. But he truly gave many historic performances and recorded some great tracks that still get played today and probably into the future. This album celebrates the music of a true rock n roll icon and his history.
Recommendations Its rock n roll, its history, it’s what we love!