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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wait is over - legendary Chappo/Whitney album, 17 Jun. 2010
By 
A. R. Durham "Top Dog Max" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Cut (Audio CD)
So.....the wait is over for any self respecting Family/Streetwalkers/Roger Chapman fan. This is the famous Reprise album that bridged the gap between the final days of Family - and the newly launched Streetwalkers band in 1975. Indeed, this album may be unknown to many Family fans . My own vinyl copy is almost unplayable now - so this CD is much awaited.

To Family fans - this album continues the logical musical sequence of the Fearless, Bandstand and Its Only A Movie records. It is musically rich and quite complex, and features the usual array of Chappo's favourite characters - Parisian streetwalkers, American GIs, sleazy saddo's, faded beauty queens and vaudevillians. It features some great session musicians including friends from Family & King Crimson (Wetton, Grech, Giles, Collins etc). This is not the raw R&B based material played by the Streetwalkers band - these songs are much more structured and densely arranged. Any the songs are superb - the Chappo/Whitney team were right at the top of their game at the time.

And - here's the sweeping statement of the year - I think this is Chappo's finest hour as a vocalist. We all know and adore Chappo's famous goat roar when he is in full flow - but many songs on this album reveal his ability with a ballad. Of course - Chappo's range is superb, and his handling of softer material is excellent (i.e. Family's My Friend The Sun or Streetwalker's Gypsy Moon or Miller) - but check out Systematic Stealth on this album. Absolutely gorgeous.

Chappo still remains quite enigmatic in the UK, even though he has been around for 40 years. And I think he is the BEST R&B singer this country has EVER produced - yes we have some greats in Steve Winwood, Jess Roden, Long John Baldry and Frankie Miller - but Chappo's range and delivery tops the list. He is that good.

It makes me angry that this album (and Chappo) isn't better known. When you look at the disposable, horribly overrated and inept current music scene - real musicians can only look & despair that we currently wouldn't recognise the genius in someone like Chappo. Can you imagine a band like Family appearing on one of those atrocious TV talent shows? Neither can I.

So my friends - buy this album today and appreciate proper talent & integrity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars keeping it in the family, 12 April 2012
By 
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Cut (Audio CD)
the re-issued/repackaged first Streetwalkers album looks to be a shortlived phenomenon judging by the current prices - let's hope there'll be further pressings of this classic album.
i remember the sad news about 73 that Family were disbanding. us fans had been enjoying Only A Movie but the changes to the band lineup and sound put that release a star short of the masterpieces that were Fearless and Bandstand. What next we thought?
well, only a year later and, with a little help from their friends, Chappo and Charlie rediscovered their mojo with this.
All the elements of a classic family album
- chappo's powerful but expressive vocals
- charlie's myriad guitar style mastery
- strong compositions
- intelligent lyrics
- creative instrumental contributions from exceptional musicians eg wetton, hinckley, grech, collins, middleton and others
there's not a dull track among them -
1.Hangman
2.Roxianna
3.Sue & Betty Jean
4.Call Ya
5.Just 4 Men
6.Tokyo Rose
7.Creature Feature
8.Parisienne High Heels
9.Systematic Stealth
10.Showbiz Joe
it's mainly soulful r'n'b ballads in essence but with wonderful influences from rock and blues but each song tells its own story. Chappo has always written great dramatic story songs - Weaver's Answer, Glove, Broke My Nose, etc and here he introduces a whoole new cast of sympathetic characters in life's rich pageant - eg an odd job man who's "so ugly he'd knock the caps off your teeth".
lyrically it's top notch - the tight internal rhyming of Hangman, the humour of Tokyo Rose, the noir Creature feature
it's streetwise music and a damn shame that it didn't reach more ears. as with other family albums too eclectic for its own good
other standouts - whitney's guitar as inventive as ever, great funky bass lines, nice bluesy keys and absolutely stunning free blown sax from mel collins that really lifts several of the tracks to an even higher level. Oh, and Chappo has never sung any better.
Don't miss out on this album a second time around folks !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous - but hard work, 18 Aug. 2010
By 
amazon junkie (Bedfordshire, Britain.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Cut (Audio CD)
I agree with the other reviewer here, Family and Chappo himself never got the recognition they deserved and I was delighted to see this CD released - although I could easily have missed the fact as it has a different cover and different name. Roger, you annoyed me doing that; it was very self indulgent, especially changing the order of the tracks - you see, in my head they go from one to another in a well ordered manner that was imprinted in my brain a very very long time ago.
So anyway, I imported it into my IPhone - I changed the title back to Streetwalkers, the artists back to Chapman Whitney, sourced the original cover art and finally changed the order of play back to the original. Now I can hide the CD away where it won't disturb me and relive the album as I remember it.
By the way... it's a fantastic album as was pretty much anything with RC in it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite album, 4 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: First Cut (MP3 Download)
Fave tracks Tokyo Rose and Hangman, oh and Call ya
Real music by real musicians, what's not to love? Family and Streetwalkers were part of the soundtrack to my life. Thanks lads.
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