The all-too-short-lived Chefs showed what could be achieved when a few catchy, uncomplicated pop songs were given an outstanding singing voice and the matchless recording and production facilities at the BBC's Maida Vale studios. This quartet of Sussex art undergraduates epitomised the attitude and infectious enthusiasm of new-wave/indie back in the late seventies. The Chefs' sessions for John Peel burst out of my FM radio 33 years ago and they still sound every bit as original, fresh and vibrant today. The picks here include '24 Hours', 'Northbound Train' and the brilliant 'One Fine Day' with its curious lyrics, soaring harmonies and superb arrangement. 'Honcho' is the stand-out track from the final Peel session (1982) when the end loomed large following the band's unfortunate decision to change its name to Skat. Also of note is 'Femme Fatale', one of the best Velvet Underground covers you will ever find. After Skat finally called it a day the golden-larynxed Helen McCookerybook lurched towards C&W retro/parody with Helen & The Horns but in my view this compilation showcases her best recorded work.
The Chefs were totally unfashionable - and hence unmarketable - in the increasingly image-obsessed MTV music scene of the eighties but their brief recording career has stood the test of time when compared to many of their more lauded contemporaries.
An enjoyable CD and a bargain at the price.