Brand New Cadillac

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"Brand New Cadillac"
Single by Vince Taylor and his Playboys
A-side "Pledgin' My Love"
Released April 1959 (1959-04)
Format 7" single
Genre Rock and roll
Label Parlophone R4505
Writer(s) Vince Taylor
Vince Taylor and his Playboys singles chronology
"Right Behind You Baby"
"Brand New Cadillac"
"I'll be your Hero"

"Brand New Cadillac" is a 1959 12-bar blues song by Vince Taylor, and was originally released as a B-side. Featured musicians on the released recording were: Joe Moretti (guitars), Lou Brian (piano), Brian Locking (bass) and Brian Bennett (drums).


The song was covered in the 1960s by the British beat group Downliners Sect. In Nordic countries, the song was very successful. British band The Renegades credited the song to their band members. They dropped parts of the verses and also shortened the title to "Cadillac". It became number one on Finnish radio's people's choice list and number two on the singles' list in Finland in 1964.[1]

Based on The Renegades' version, Swedish band Hep Stars did their arrangement which in April 1965 took the number one slot in Sweden's singles' list and radiolist.[2] Another Swedish band, Shamrocks, recorded the song at the same time. Their version was a hit in France, reaching number one on the radio list as well as being successful in Germany and Japan.[3] In The Netherlands it was released as a single by De Maskers under the original title "Brand New Cadillac" (Artone OS 25.317), as they had already recorded an instrumental called "Cadillac" (Artone DR 25.238).

Vince Taylor's record company eventually learned of these recordings and copyright claims ensued. The case was settled on agreement to add Taylor's name to songwriting credits alongside The Renegades members—sharing the royalties equally.[4] Neither Hep Stars nor Shamrocks were aware of Taylor's original version at the time of recordings. Therefore, it is possible to find their 1960's recordings credited either to (Kim) Brown-(Denys) Gibson- (Ian) Mallet-(Stuart Graham) Johnson or Brown-Gibson-Mallet-Johnson-Taylor. (Denys Gibson should not be confused with Terry Gibson of Downliners Sect.)

In 1971, Mott The Hoople, during a concert recording in Stockholm, inserted a verse of it in their version of Little Richard's "Keep a-Knockin' " (released on the live album A Tale of Two Cities in 2000). The Slickee Boys released a version on their 1976 debut EP, Hot and Cool (later compiled on their Here to Stay album). Kim Fowley included a version with altered lyrics (called "Big Bad Cadillac") on his 1977 album Living in the Streets. The Clash covered it on their 1979 album London Calling. In 1980 Canadian punk band Teenage Head recorded a version on their second album Frantic City. It was also covered by the Brian Setzer Orchestra on their self-titled debut album in 1994; by The Milkshakes in 1984; by Leeds-based indie band Athletes Foot in 1986, by Wayne Hancock on his 1997 album, That's What Daddy Wants; and by The Fall in 1978.

The song has been included at many Van Morrison concerts, appearing as a medley with "Goin' Down Geneva", which is about Taylor.

It was covered by the Swedish entertainer Eddie Meduza in 1976 as "E. Hitler inleder" and by the Australian alternative rock band Tlot Tlot in 1993 as "Television".

Covered with altered lyrics as "Brand New Impala" by Manic Hispanic on their 2003 album "Mijo Goes To Jr. College."

The song was also used in a 2014 Cadillac TV commercial.



  • Pekka Gronow, Jake Nyman ym (2005), Suomi soi osa 4 s.112 (in Finnish), (sarja 1-4), Tammi, ISBN 951-31-2503-3 
  • Dan-Eric Landen, Carl Magnus Palm (2004), Cadillac Madness, den otroliga berättelsen om Hep Stars (in Swedish), Premium Publishing, ISBN 91-89136-04-7