SP-4862 Chas Jankel
Produced by Chas Jankel
Released on 1980
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SP-4862 cover
[high resolution scan]

R ecalling that Jankel was the Blockhead with all the musical smarts, I picked this one up in a used record store and nearly fell out of my chair when I heard the opening “Ai No Corrida.” Named for the controversial Japanese film, the song is like hearing a grown man gone mad in a musical candystore: disco, Latin, funk, music hall, whirled in a world where Kid Creole & The Coconuts are safe as milk. However, it’s the inspired anomaly on an album just as likely to contain insipid instrumentals (“Reverie,” “Lenta Latina”). A&M execs signed him on the strength of demos for Corrida and “Am I Honest With Myself Really?” Presumably, not all 15 minutes of the latter or, honestly, they would have had second thoughts. Those two tracks are the sum and substance of the first Chas Jankel elpee, the remaining instrumentals seemingly written quickly to fill in the space around them. In its defense, “Ai No Corrida” is a really, really great track that atones for an awful lot, and the instrumental “Peace, At Last” manages to achieve what so many Anthony Phillips albums failed to do: make a cheap piano recording sound pretty. Whether this begs for an encore, no, not unless Jankel has another corrida up his sleeve. For fans of Ian Dury & The Blockheads, this scattershot look at a restless talent is likely to raise more questions than it answers. Is Jankel a closet discophile? Does he have an album of ambient instrumental music in him? Maybe a smooth jazz record itching to get out? Chas Jankel the Album is an enigmatic entry from a peculiar talent in a very peculiar band. Since that band was the recipient of Jankel’s better bits, you may want to exhaust that avenue before going down this alley. Just remember to strap yourself in for that first track if you do; it’s a doozy.


  1. AI NO CORRIDA    (Chas Jankel/Kenny Young)    8:42
  2. PEACE, AT LAST    (Chas Jankel)    2:50
  3. JUST A THOUGHT    (Chas Jankel/Mark Newton-Carter)    5:16
  4. LENTA LATINA    (Chas Jankel)    3:53
  5. FUSE    (Pete Van-Hooke/Mark Isham)    0:35
  6. AM I HONEST WITH MYSELF REALLY?    (Chas Jankel/Mark Newton-Carter)    14:44
  7. REVERIE    (Chas Jankel)    3:40

    CD reissue bonus track


CHAS JANKEL -- vocals, keyboards, guitars, synthesizers & percussion
MARK ISHAM -- trumpets, soprano sax & synthesizers, co-producer
PETE VAN-HOOKE -- drums & percussion, co-producer
CHRIS WARWICK -- synthesizer programming & percussion, co-producer
Kuma Harada -- bass (3,4)
Chris Hunter -- alto & tenor saxophones
Philip Bagenal -- engineer
Paul Westwood -- bass solo (1)
Mick Glossop -- engineer (1)
Steve Prestage -- engineer (1)
Chris Jenkins -- engineer (1)
Marlis Duncklau, Nick Launay, George Chambers, Phil Vinall -- tape operators (1)
Michael Ross -- art direction
Simon Ryan -- design
Mike Putland -- back cover photography

UK 1980 A&M LP AMLH-68518 picture sleeve
US 1981 A&M LP SP-4862  
US September 5, 2005 Angel Air CDX 202 w. bonus track


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