Monday, 18 March 2019

Chicken Shack - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions


  

Chicken Shack were one of the more unsung names of the mid/late-sixties British blues rock boom. They were formed by guitarist/vocalist Stan Webb and also featured future Fleetwood Mac member Christine Perfect (McVie).

This lengthy compilation (over three hours of playing time) covers their entire output on the Blue Horizon label from 1967-1969. It has been remastered to a spectacularly high standard and although Chicken Shack will probably always be thought of as a second division blues rock band behind the many obvious better-known and more successful ones, there is some impressive material on here. Christine Perfect's smoky, sultry voice is excellent on many of the songs, such as "It's Ok With Me Baby". Webb's guitar playing is certainly impressive, and although some find his voice less than perfect, to coin a relevant phrase, for me it is fine. The band never made it big commercially, Christine Perfect released some good stuff between 1969 and 1971 (also collected on another solid Blue Horizon compilation) and then the rest for her became one heck of a history. Incidentally "I'd Rather Go Blind" from her debut solo album is included here as opposed to on her solo compilation.

There are fifty-six songs on here. For individual albums, I usually cover the songs track by track but there are just too many here, and many in the same style too. You can put any of these tracks on for half an hour and enjoy them, or put it on random play. Wha you will get is solid, guitar-driven slow blues rock like "The Letter" and guitar and horn-powered faster material such as the pounding "Lonesome Whistle Blues". Chicken Shack's use of horns is something slightly unique to them (Zoot Money's band used saxophones) and Christine Perfect played a good blues piano. Check out "When The Train Comes Back" as a good example of Chicken Shack's slow blues sound, or "See See Baby" for a more upbeat, brassy one. "First Time I Met The Blues" is excellent as well, with a wonderful deep bass sound and some killer guitar, although Webb's voice at times leaves a little to be desired. Just listen to that throbbing bass on "What You Did Last Night" and the sumptuous horns on "Night Life" too.

I need to reiterate again that the sound on this collection is absolutely superb. I would recommend this is you are into classic British sixties blues rock and also if you want to trace Christine McVie's early career.

TRACK LISTING

1. It's Ok With Me Baby
2. When My Left Eye Jumps
3. The Letter
4. Lonesome Whistle Blues
5. When The Train Comes Back
6. San-Ho-Zay
7. King Of The World
8. See See Baby
9. First Time I Met The Blues
10. Webbed Feet
11. You Ain't No Good
12. What You Did Last Night
13. Hey Baby
14. Baby's Got Me Crying
15. The Right Way Is My Way
16. Get Like You Used To Be
17. Pony And Trap
18. Tell Me
19. A Woman Is The Blues
20. When The Train Comes Back (single version)
21. Worried About My Woman
22. Six Nights In Seven
23. I Wanna See My Baby
24. Remington Ride
25. Fishing In Your River
26. Mean Old World
27. Sweet Sixteen
28. I'd Rather Go Blind
29. Night Life
30. The Road Of Love
31. Look Ma, I'm Cryin'
32. Evelyn
33. Reconsider Baby
34. Weekend Love
35. Midnight Hour
36. Tears In The Wind
37. Horse And Cart
38. The Way It Is
39. Still Worried About My Woman
40. Anji
41. Smartest Girl In Town
42. Hideaway
43. The Things You Put Me Through
44. Diary Of Your Life
45. Pocket
46. Never Ever
47. Sad Clown
48. Maudie
49. Telling Your Fortune
50. Tired Eyes
51. Some Other Time
52. Going Round
53. Andalucian Blues
54. You Knew You Did You Did
55. She Didn't Use Her Loaf
56. Maudie (single version)

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