Robert Gordon with Chris Spedding

Robert Gordon with Chris Spedding
Chris Spedding spanking a Flying V in 1979.

A legend out of time with the times, Robert Gordon should have been a star during the true rockabilly era of the late ’50s. Instead, he made his mark in the punky late ’70s and ’80s, heralding a rockabilly revival.

When he passed away October 18, 2022, tributes came from around the globe – along with news of this long-forgotten 1998 studio gem.

Gordon had that voice. He could sing rockabilly like few others ever did, moving from silky smooth desire to hiccups, yodeling, and a downright growl. And he always had the best guitarists at his side, including jaunts with Link Wray, Danny Gatton, and as here, Chris Spedding.

Lesser known than the others, Spedding played with Paul McCartney and on Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, produced the first Sex Pistols demos, and had a fine solo career.

The original opener here, “One Day Left,” is ’50s-style pop crooning with a punkified solo from Spedding; “Middle Of The Night” is solid rockabilly boogie with tough guitar work. The finale, “Believe What You Say,” sounds like a regional-radio hit from 1955. Just the way Gordon, Spedding, and we all want it.

This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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