Gene Vincent - At Town Hall Party (DVD - SONE 1)

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These 1958-1959 clips of Gene Vincent on the Town Hall Party TV show in Los Angeles are off-broadcast kinescopes, and as such are not up to the usual image quality expected of vintage rock performances. Still, they're certainly of a good enough quality that they're easy to watch, even if the audio isn't so hot. And as genuinely live (not lip-synced) footage of one of the most exciting 1950s rock performers -- and one who didn't leave too much film behind -- these 14 songs are certainly of high historical interest, and pretty enjoyable despite the technological limitations. Certainly the best and most exciting portion is the earliest segment, dating from October 25, 1958, on which Vincent and his then-current lineup of the Blue Caps run through "Be Bop a Lula," "High Blood Pressure," "Rip It Up," "Dance to the Bop," and two covers that didn't make it onto Vincent's studio records of the time (Jerry Lee Lewis' "You Win Again" and Jerry Butler's "For Your Precious Love"). This isn't the best lineup of the Blue Caps -- that would have been the first one, with Cliff Gallup on guitar. But the backup players are pretty good and animated, particularly Johnny Meeks on lead guitar, Grady Owen on guitar, and Cliff Simmons on piano. Vincent, perhaps disappointingly, doesn't play a guitar, but sings well and with great commitment, moving around a little more than you might expect given the many tales of his bum leg, though his limp is noticeable at points. When Vincent returned for the 1959 performances on this collection, he wasn't traveling with his own band anymore, and used session musicians from Town Hall Party. Consequently, this isn't as impressive as the preceding portion, and unfortunately the audio isn't as good either, in fact sounding pretty rough. But, again, the historical value and Vincent's own exciting stage presence make up for this, and again you get a couple covers ("Roll Over Beethoven" and "High School Confidential") that he didn't record for Capitol. The bandmembers on the 1959 clips sound untogether at spots, and not wholly suited to Vincent despite their undeniable skills (Merle Travis, interestingly, plays lead guitar on the July 25, 1959, performance, which is hampered by an ill-advised trumpet player). However, Jimmy Pruett, the dumpy-looking pianist on the 1959 clips, actually plays really pounding keys, supplying the most impressive aspect of the performances save Vincent's vocals. ~ Richie Unterberger


  1. Be-Bop-A-Lula
  2. High Blood Pressure
  3. Rip It Up
  4. Dance to the Bop
  5. You Win Again
  6. For Your Precious Love
  7. Rocky Road Blues
  8. Pretty Pearly
  9. High School Confidential
  10. Over The Rainbow
  11. Roll Over Beethoven
  12. She She Little Sheila


Produksjonsår 2003 Format DVD
Sone Sone 2 Sjanger Musikk
Antall disker 1 Aldersgrense Ingen
Lydformater Mono 1.0 (Engelsk) Bildeformater Fullscreen 4:3
Skuespillere Gene Vincent Artist Gene Vincent
Bestillingsnummer BVD20003 Leverandør Border Music Norway AS