Ain't That Too Much Fun

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    Ain't That Too Much Fun Sundazed
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Review

Review Text Faced with a career that was going nowhere fast on a treadmill of gigs, booze and oldies, Gene Vincent re-grouped in 1966 and with the help of an all-star team of Southern California studio whizzes, recorded a batch of songs that stand out as some of his best work. Challenge Records assembled some top-notch session cats like Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Jim Seals, Dash Crofts and David Gates, rounded up some good songs, and let Gene loose. The songs aren't rockabilly, though, not even a little. Instead they are solid mid-'60s fare with a folk-rock-meets-garage sound. He is in fine voice throughout, sounding tough and ready on hard rockers like "Bird Doggin'," "Ain't That Too Much" and "Words and Music," sensitive on sweet ballads like "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo," and heartbroken and blue on desperate songs like "Hurtin' for You Baby" and "Am I That Easy to Forget." He shows off his country side on a rock-solid cover of Merle Haggard's "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," gets loose and swinging on a boppy "Poor Man's Prison," and on what may be the album's best song, the chiming folk-rocker "Love Is a Bird," which sounds very much like Gene Clark. In fact at times the record sounds like (with some 12-string guitar added) the Byrds, but mostly the results are not too far from what the Everly Brothers were doing around the same time. Sadly, Vincent had even less commercial success than the Brothers, as his Challenge singles sank without a trace and were never collected as an album in the States. Many labels have quasi-legally released the Challenge sessions on CD over the years, too but it took until 1994 for a package to be assembled that showed the songs off in their best light. Sundazed's Ain't That Too Much: The Complete Challenge Sessions has all 11 songs that were recorded plus six alternate takes and an early version of the bluesy "Lonely Street" (the finished version of which was left off the collection for some reason). The liner notes are by Billy Miller of Kicks magazine, the sound is great and the little snippets of studio chatter before and after the songs are fun to hear. Sundazed does a fine job of rescuing some great music by one of the true heroes of rock & roll. ~ Tim Sendra

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Bird Doggin' - 4:35
  2. 2. Born to Be a Rolling Stone - 2:24
  3. 3. Poor Man's Prison - 2:28
  4. 4. I'm a Lonesome Fugitive - 4:52
  5. 5. Love Is a Bird - 2:28
  6. 6. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo - 2:20
  7. 7. I've Got My Eyes on You - 2:55
  8. 8. Ain't That Too Much - 3:57
  9. 9. Hurtin' for You Baby - 3:32
  10. 10. Words and Music - 3:47
  11. 11. Am I That Easy to Forget? - 3:30
  12. 12. Born to Be a Rolling Stone - 3:40
  13. 13. Poor Man's Prison - 4:49
  14. 14. Love Is a Bird - 3:41
  15. 15. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo - 3:47
  16. 16. Hurtin' for You Baby - 3:44
  17. 17. Ain't That Too Much - 3:02
  18. 18. Lonely Street - 2:16

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