Over three years in the mid-eighties, Kiwi pop stars the Chills hopped overseas and recorded some music at the BBC in the process. Thankfully enough, that music was recorded for the Peel Sessions, and the twelve tunes that came out of the good times are now documented on this compilation.
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There are a lot of Chills things around at the moment and rightly so. They are gearing up for a brand new album next year so why not have a little rifle through some of their John Peel Sessions from yesteryear while we wait? There are three sessions in total from 1985, 1987 and 1988. The first of which concentrates on songs from their ‘Brave Words’ album including ‘Wet Blanket’m surely one of their finest compositions.
As always with BBC sessions they are nicely recorded, a little 80’s on the snare but otherwise fine, a little less intense and dark than the album versions. The 1987 session is quite keyboard heavy and like its '85 counterpart concentrates on ‘Brave Words’ era material. Two tracks are unfamiliar to me - a Cardiacs style fairground ride called ‘Living in a Jungle’ and the droning instrumental march of ‘Moonlight on Flesh’. The final session from 1988 is made up mainly of ‘Submarine Bells’ era compositions and as a result is very good indeed as you may expect if you've heard that album. The one anomaly is ‘Christmas Chimes’ - seemingly a christmas song but not that different to the rest of the material other than mentioning trees, tinsel and stuff.
Well worth picking up if you are fan of their understated, tuneful 80’s guitar pop.
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- The BBC Sessions by The Chills
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