"Blue Gene baby." The first breath-filled, intimate seconds from Bluejean Bop!, the first album by the first really raw US rock star: these two words remain utterly arresting, and served as a warning that here was not another wannabe Elvis with nothing original to say. Who'd heard an introduction like that to an album in 1956? Who was more authentically rock 'n' roll, more demanding of your attention than Gene Vincent? Who had a better rock 'n' roll band than his Blue Caps? Bluejean Bop! has a reasonable claim to be the best debut album of the '50s – or any decade.
All of Vincent's honored musical reputation can be traced to Bluejean Bop! The wildness: "Who Slapped John?" is a street ruck over a girl on record. The surprises: he makes it seem like any song could be made his own, such as "Ain't She Sweet" and Hoagy Carmichael's "Up A Lazy River." The longing to be with the coolest kids in town: "Bop Street." The stories about girls who are impossibly cool, such as the title track, "I Flipped" and "Jumps, Giggles And Shouts." Above all else, his ability to stir up a storm with the minimum ingredients: his brilliant, heartfelt voice and a band who just want to rock.
Call it rockabilly, call it hillbilly rock, call it country mixed with rhythm 'n' blues. Whatever you call it, Bluejean Bop! is the starting point for so much that followed!