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Album: New Boots and PantiesReleased: 1977
"Sweet Gene Vincent" is a straight tribute song; Ian Dury was a massive fan of the American rock n' roller with whom he shared a disability. Dury was crippled by childhood polio; Vincent smashed his left leg in a 1955 motor accident. (Check out a photo of Gene Vincent
According to Dury's biographer Richard Balls, the single was release November 25, 1977 backed by "You're More Than Fair", but though the music press liked it, the public didn't, and it failed to chart.
Dury's original draft was much longer. Chaz Jankel, the band's keyboardist and guitarist, explained in Daniel Rachel's book The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters: "He was prolific. It was really tough. You know how a single should be three minutes something? - we'd just about have got up to the middle eight if I kept all his verses. With song structure, you can't get away with more than three choruses and more than six or seven verses, unless you're Bob Dylan."