Ian Dury and the Blockheads: Sweet Gene Vincent / You’re More than Fair


Format: 7″

Label: Stiff (COU-B/BUY 23)

Country: Belgium

Year: 1977

Price paid: $4

Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY


‘Sweet Gene Vincent, there’s one in every town

And the devil drives ’till the hearse arrives and you lay that pistol down’

‘Sweet Gene Vincent’ was the first (and only) single released from Dury’s first LP, 1977’s ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ It never charted, but songs like this can’t be measured in record sales…

iandurry_sweetgene2The single’s theme is- non too surprisingly- about 1950’s rockabilly artist Gene Vincent, who’s contributions to early rock are considerable. Vincent’s death in 1971 was a major impetus for Dury to form Kilburn & The Highroads; his admiration of Gene was life-long and he often played the song up until his last gig in 2000 (he died in March of that year.) The B-side ‘You’re More Than Fair’ is a rather raunchy song sung in a mock-Jamaican accent; it dates back to the Kilburn days and is still performed live on the Blockheads set (as of 2008.)

The domestic UK single was released without a picture sleeve. This Belgium pressing for better or worse has unique art. Clever concept or not, it’s an ugly gray uninspired clumsy thing. The one saving grace is the sweet yellow vinyl within. I was also amused by the glaring typo. I have absolutely no idea what the clothespins are in reference to!

iandurry_sweetgene3This is a scan of what looks to be some sort of clip-able coupon located on the back of the sleeve. It’s tiny (only about three-quarters by half an inch) and knowing Stiff’s sense of humor the offer/promotion implied probably never existed.


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