Chubby Checker - Selftitled (Holland only Psychedelic Album 1971)

Rabu, 10 Oktober 2012

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Chubby Checker goes psychedelic! In 1971, while living in Holland, the Twister King released a super rare album with some unknown hippie band backing him. 11 long tracks (nine of them written by Chubby himself) with titles like "Stoned in the bathroom", "My mind", "No need to get so heavy", "He died" won't believe it when you hear Mr. Checker sounding like a lost Morgan Bluetown late sixties UK band ("Goodbye Victoria"), like Hendrix jamming with Blue Cheer ("My mind") or like a lost USA garage psych band ("Stoned in the Bathroom"). Produced by Ed Chalpin (famous for his bizarre involvement with Hendrix and Curtis Knight) and only released in several budget labels across Europe, this is the first time this amazing album is reissued on CD.

Chubby Checker became popular when his 60' s dance hit called "The Twist" caused a teenage dance craze that took the nation by storm. He went on to record several other dance-themed hits and had as many as 5 albums in the top 12 at once. Unfortunately, Chubby's hit-making career came to a grinding halt in 1965 when the public's taste veered into the more exciting music of the times such as psychedelic rock and folk.

However, Chubby decided to experiment with psychedelic rock and bluesy-soul with this rare gem released in 1971 entitled Chequered/New Revelation. These sessions were helmed by record company scam-artist Ed Chalpin(the same guy behind the bootleg Jimi Hendrix w/ Curtis Knight releases ) who first released them in Europe in 1971 and in a cutout-version in America. He was notorious for recording no-name studio bands playing the current hits and then he would quickly sell them to record companies in Europe and South America to stay ahead of the copyrighting laws.

Goodbye Victoria opens up with a slow lurking piano groove that is begging to be lifted by The Weathermen for their next hip-hop masterpiece. Then, Chubby's soulful vocals lift the song to greater heights and the piano and hammond organ chime in with the glorious gospel-inflected chorus of "Time Won't Forget You Victoria/Time Just Won't Let You Victoria/Goodbye Victoria/Everybody's Going to the Moon." After the chorus, the hammond organs sound off for a brief interlude and then segueway into the second verse of the song. 

There is an incredibly funky hammond organ breakdown after the second chorus that sounds like it's highly influenced by Jimmy Smith. What makes this track so unforgettable is that it has soul dripping from it's pores. You can feel the pain that Chubby was feeling in each and every heart-wrenching verse. 

My Mind Comes From a High Place features blistering guitar solos, funky drum breakdowns and soulful psychedelic vocals that remind you of the Band of Gypsys. On If the Sun Stops Shinin', Chubby comes out shining with a beautiful vocal that could be compared to Bill Withers on "Lean on Me". Stoned in the Bathroom starts out with a playful carnival organ and martial drums intro that leads into Chubby's hazy verse about being "Stoned in the bathroom/on a Sunday afternoon/Stoned in the bathroom/just sitting on the moon." Then, the bridge/chorus ignites the track with a fiery guitar/organ combo that goes for broke. Towards the end of the track, Chubby screams at the top of his lungs which seems to push the band into overdrive for the last thirty seconds of the song. Overall, this is an amazing record that is definitely worth looking for.

01. Goodbye Victoria
02. My Mind
03. Slow Lovin´
04. If the Sun Stopped Shining
05. Stoned in Bathroom
06. Love Tunnel
07. How Does it Feel
08. He Died
09. No Need to Get so Heavy
10. Let´s Go Down
11. Ballade of Jimi

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