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The Complete Chords- A fantastic Collection,
This review is from: This Is What They Want (Audio CD)
Wow! Get this 2 CD set and become an overnight Chords completist! Every thing they ever recorded (almost) is on here.
The Chords were the shining stars of the short lived and much maligned Mod Revival of ’79, they were really more punk than mod and this certainly hindered their commercial ability at the time.
Despite being superior in every department to their peers of the time (Secret Affair and Lambrettas) a breakthrough single was not to happen. Their biggest hit was the totally fantastic ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, which scraped in at 40 and then disappeared.
This compilation contains all the singles released by the original band, together with the final two with Kip on lead vocals. Every one of these releases is an absolute gem, my personal favourite being ‘British way of life’ which at the time received a partial radio ban because some stupid DJ thought the song was racist!
The final two singles were a fitting end to the group who really should have been given the chance to make another album, because on the strength of these offerings it would have been a classic. What really went wrong was by 1981 Mod was about as fashionable as being a Teddy Boy, the audience had moved on to the next fad (unfortunately in this case the fast emerging New Romantic scene) and as such record sales were minuscule.
Great sleeve notes accompany this top package with the band looking so young! Posing around the streets of their hometown.
The brief spell with Jimmy Pursey as mentor and (poor quality) producer is also covered via some interesting versions of some of their early material.
The unreleased final single is also a high point, as is the truly superb demo version of ‘I’m not Sure’ which displays the band at their absolute peak, fast furious and really in tune. Drumming as always is totally manic at this period, with chief stickman Brett Ascott clearly following in the Keith Moon school of performance!
The Jam comparisons dogged the progress of this band, but the singles and stand out album track ‘So far away’ detail a group with to these ears a stronger run of releases than that of the Jam at the time. Both versions of So far away are on here; the edited version at some stage intended for a single release-I’m sure this just might have got the band the much required hit.
It all ended up a bit bitter in the end with the group clearly disillusioned with the whole record company business, as cynically revealed in the final single ‘Turn away again’
The collective output here is certainly a real credit to both songwriting and performance and as such is a fitting tribute to these fondly remembered mod leaders.