The French EPs

BLUEJEAN BOP volumes 1-3 were the first Gene Vincent EP's to be issued in France. Although Gene's discography was covering 1956 -1959 years with Capitol, he first got popular in France between 1960 -1963. Therefore the issues of French EP's are simular to the US ones - but after a while the French EP's were totally "home made".

The first EP is, as said, Bluejean Bop. Unlike the US/UK versions their sleeves have Rock-n-Roll printed on the top. Each EP has a number printed on the front and the text on the back is nearly as on the US/UK issues. These EP's have also been issued in Italy and Spain - the logo "Capitol" must be printed at the bottom of the Central Blank, on further issues this logo was on the right side.

The title Wedding Bells is used on one of the songs from the EP - it was titled That Old Gang Of Mine on the original LP. Vol. 2 and 3 are today very rare. Mint copies would cost from 500-600 French Francs. Real collector items! (NB. This was the price in 1988).

One must notice that Be Bop A Lula was not issued in France until the early 60's ... After the issue of 14 French EP's! The Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps LP was also issued as 3 EP's. The French EP had the same number as the US issue (811). The only difference between them is that the Blue Caps backing Gene had disappeared ... from the EP sleeve that is! Too bad since they were so important for the Gene Vincent sound. It's raw electric Rockabilly much like the style of the Johnny Burnette trio of the same era. In France, only the first volume of the 3 original ones was issued! Numbers 2 & 3 never saw the light of day, probably because number 1 sold poorly when issued. Gene Vincent Rocks and the Blue Caps Roll was published. The 1, 2, 3 have red, blue and yellow stripes on the top of the sleeve. A Gene Vincent Record Date was also released as EP's, with the number 1,2 & 3 references being the only difference between the three EP's. No EP's were published out of the Sounds Like Gene Vincent album. The Crazy Times album was issued in France simultaneously with the US and UK versions. It was Gene's first album to be released here. Regarding the EP's, only two were released from this LP! Eight songs were issued on two EP's given the numbers 3 & 5. 1342, not volumes 1 and 2 as before. The EP version of Darlene on the EP 4; 1342 is different from the version on the LP. It's a mono version where Jerry Merritt (guitar) and Jimmy Johnson (piano) give the song a new treatment. The speed of this version is also a little faster. The French band "Les Chausettes Noires" made three-cover versions of these EP's, She She Little Sheila, Everybody's Got A Date But Me and Big Fat Saturday Night. There was also a version of Hot Dollar, in French, by "Long Chris et Les Daltons".

The next Gene Vincent EP was the first real original French pressing - with an original sleeve photo and featuring the following 4 songs; Right Now (57), The Night Is So Lonely (58), Right Here On Earth and Wildcat from the '59, Crazy Times album session. The "Chaussettes Noires" were again inspired by a Gene Vincent EP and did three cover versions (in French) of his songs; The Night Is So Lonely, Wildcat and Right Now. Finally, 4 years after it's original release, Be-Bop-A-Lula saw a French release as part of a new original EP. This was given an original cover photo showing Gene with Bubba Facenda in the background. The song is coupled with it's original A-side, Woman Love, plus "Yes I Love You Baby (ė57) and Rocky Road Blues ('58) and was issued in 1959. Many French bands, such as "Les Chaussettes Noires" recorded Be-Bop-A-Lula: Their version was fast - like the one Gene would make in 1962. A 1963 version by the lead-singer of that same band, Eddie Mitchell was recorded in a very slow blues tempo. Johnny Hallyday had his version on his "Sings America's Rockin' Hits" LP. Rocky Road Blues was also translated and sung in French by a band called "Les Vautoors" (Vultures). >From this time in approximately 1960. At this time Gene was at the top of his fame amongst the French youngsters.

The next Vincent EP was published after his sessions in London with Sounds Incorporated. It contains; I'm Going Home (coupled originally, in England, with Love Of A Man which could be found 3 EP's later in France with Say Mama) plus Hot Dollar from Gene's latest LP and 1 song from the same session in ė61, called Mister Loneliness. The last song, Anna Annabelle, was recorded in '58, and was given a translation by the French group "Les Chats Sauvages" (The Wildcats). Mr. Loneliness was also recorded by Long Chris and I'm Going Home received at least 3 different versions in French (one by "Les Chausettes Noires the others by "Les Chats Sauvages" and, a few years later, by their lead singer).

With the next EP we are going back to the 1956/7 recordings with the Blue Caps and a fantastic colour cover picture from "The Girl Can't Help It" movie. The songs are Crazy Legs, Lotta Lovin', Dance To The Bop (EP title in block letters on the sleeve) and Be-Bop Boogie Boy. This last song was again given a French treatment by "Les Vautours" while "Les Chats Sauvages" recorded Dance To The Bop.

We are still in '56 with the opening song of Gene's next EP - In Paris - it's the wild Race With The Devil. The other songs are Say Mama, I Got It and Love Of A Man. Say Mama didn't do to well in the States but published some years later in France, it got to be his biggest hit here! Again "Les Chausettes Noires, this time with another big French star, Sylvie Vartan, recorded a French version under the title Il Revant. Love Of A Man was recorded in France and in French by "Les Chats Sauvages". The Be-Bop-A-Lula -62 EP was next in line and included There I Go Again, Spaceship To Mars and King of Fools as well as the title song. The cover photo is a pure French product with Gene in a typical position, backed up by "Les Champions" who were touring France with Gene in Oct/Nov '62.

With the Baby Blue EP (another superb sleeve), Capitol was again digging out the 1957/8 sessions. The title song was also recorded by "Les Chausettes Noires" on their second EP, but under the name "Betty" and with no credit given the original composer Bobby Jones of the Blue Caps! This version was recorded around 1960 when nobody knew the Vincent original. On this EP the song is coupled with Over The Rainbow, Little Lover and I Got A Baby. With the title song of the next EP, we have moved into the 60's, but Pistol Packin' Mama (title) and If You Want My Lovin' are followed by the 'oldies' Wear My Ring and Gonna Back Up Baby. If You Want My Lovin' was the title of A British EP which featured different songs altogether.

The sales of the French Vincent EP's started to drop by now, because of fading interest for Rock 'n' Roll, (Beatlemania) and because French Capitol had imported so many British EP's for sale in France. Anyhow, the next Vincent EP came a bit later in 1964, featuring B-I-Bickey-Bi-Bo-Bo-Go (a furious song), Walkin' Home From School, Who's Pushing Your Swing and Five Days, Five Days. The picture sleeve showed Gene in France in 1964. All of these songs were recorded between '56 and '58.

There was nothing else new for 1964. By now Gene had switched from Capitol to Columbia and his first EP on this label was simply called Gene Vincent, the cover showing him relaxing in the grass (a photo taken by one of the few French rock photographers, Bob Lampard). The songs were recorded with the Ivor Raymonde Orchestra, Temptation Baby (from the movie "Live it Up"), Humpity Dumpity, Where Have You Been All My Life (written by famous N.Y. songwriters Barry Mann/Cynthia Well) and Lov' em And Leav' em Kinda Guy. The producer was Bob Barratt. Columbia then published an excerpt of Gene's first Columbia LP "Shakin' Up A Storm". The EP was titled Long Tall Sally and did (also) include You Are My Sunshine and Private Detective from the LP PLUS La-Den-Da-Den-Da-Da, just to bait the French fans. Again Bob Lampard were responsible for the sleeve photo, and what a great shot that is!

In 1966 came the Bird Doggin' EP, with 4 songs from the LP (same title). The selections were Ain't That Too Much, Lonely Street and I've Got My Eyes On You, plus the title song. This was also recorded 4 years later by a French singer, Noel Deschaups. As the French music companies stopped producing EP's in 1967, this was the last of the French Gene Vincent EP's. There were, however, two bootleg EP's, taken from the Canadian inuding Be-Bop-A-Lula, Born To Be A Rolling Stone, What'd I Say and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On. While Vol. 2 had Baby Blue, Long Tall Sally, I'm Going Home and Be-Bop-A-Lula.

Gene Vincent singles to be published in France were also numerous and they were all published with interesting sleeves. The first one came in 1968 and included Am I That Easy To Forget and Words And Music. These songs were never published on a single in England but were issued on London Records in France. 1968 also saw the release of another Vincent single, the 1961 recordings of Lucky Star/Baby Don't Believe Him. These songs were recorded with the guy that wrote Words And Music, Dave Burgess. The photo on this sleeve (B/W) is again signed Bob Lampard - and from 1964 - featuring the Shouts.

The French Vincent records are a must for fans of our Wildcat Gene!


    Capitol EAP 1 - 764 - 2 - 764 & 3 - 764 - Bluejean Bop
    Capitol EAP 1 - 811 - Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps
    Capitol EAP 1 - 970 - 2 - 970 & 3 - 970 - Gene Vincent Rocks and The Blue Caps Roll
    Capitol EAP 1 - 1059 - 2 - 1059 & 3 - 1059 - Gene Vincent Record Date
    Capitol EAP 3 - 1342 - 5 - 1342 - Crazy Times
    Capitol EAP 1- 20032 - Gene Vincent
    Capitol EAP 1- 20198 - Be-Bop-A-Lula
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20237 - Twist
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20387 - Dance To The Bop
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20411 - In Paris
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20448 - Be-Bop-A-Lula '62
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20497 - Baby Blue
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20216 - Pistol Packin' Mama
    Capitol EAP 1 - 20746 - Inedits
    Columbia ESRF 1503 - Gene Vincent
    Columbia ESRF 1649 - Long Tall SallyLondon RE 10182 - Bird Doggin'
    Bootleg - 20240 - The Screaming Kid Live
    Bootleg - 20266 - The Screaming Kid

    Dimitri Verdet.
    Rock magazine