CD REVIEW – Roger Chapman – Moth to a Flame

With his marmite voice, I suspect many, me included, have not paid as much attention as we should have, to this chap’s musical output. Moth To A Flame – The Recordings 1979-1981 is the sum of Chapman’s first three solo albums, plus 25 bonus tracks drawn from studio out-takes and live recordings.

What you hear is what you get, whether it’s raw or glossy, soulful or rocking, going through the motions or full-on. When it’s good it’s very good. You know the rest.

His debut “Chappo” is a case in point, with ‘Shape Of Things’, ‘Pills’, and ‘Face Of Stone’ impressing among what appear to be a feet-finding, tentative and exploratory release. The following year he released “Mail Order” which is by far a more engaging listen, deeper, wider, broader in outlook and exuding confidence with the likes of the driven ‘Unknown Soldier (Can’t Get To Heaven)’, ‘He Was, She Was’ and the adventurous ‘Ground Floor’. Both of the original albums are expanded and enhanced with bonus tracks, and we know sometimes these can be filler, but there is the odd gem, such as the bar brawling chugalong no-nonsense ‘Fist To Yer Jaw’.

I think it has to be said that Chappers comes into his own in a live setting, and the various live scenarios represented here are very worthy additions to the archives. Marmite or not, I now know not just to think of him in relation to Mike Oldfield’s “Shadow on the Wall”. Much respect.

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

CHAPPO (RE-MASTERED EDITION)
1 Midnite Child
2 Moth To A Flame
3 Keep Forgettin’
4 Shape Of Things
5 Face Of Stone
6 Who Pulled The Nite Down
7 Always Gotta Pay In The End
8 Hang On To A Dream
9 Pills
10 Don’t Give Up
Bonus tracks

11 Let’s Spend The Night Together (A-side of single)
12 Third Rate Romance (album session track) 13 Higher Ground (album session track)
14 Talk To Me Now (demo)
15 Shape Of Things (live in Hamburg 1979)

DISC TWO

CHAPPO OUT-TAKES
1 Always Gotta Pay In The End (alternate version)
2 Who Pulled The Nite Down (alternate version)
3 Pills (alternate version)
4 Moth To A Flame (alternate version)
5 Keep Forgettin’ (alternate version)
6 Don’t Give Up (alternate version)
ROGER CHAPMAN & THE SHORTLIST BBC RADIO ONE IN CONCERT – 27TH OCTOBER 1979:
7 Who Pulled The Night Down
8 Talking About You
9 Down, Down, Down (live BBC In Concert October 1979)
10 Hang On To A Dream (live BBC In Concert October 1979)
11 Short List (live BBC In Concert October 1979)
12 Can’t Come In (live BBC In Concert October 1979)

DISC THREE

LIVE IN HAMBURG (RE-MASTERED EDITION)
1 Moth To A Flame
2 Keep Forgettin’
3 Midnight Child
4 Who Pulled The Nite Down
5 Talking About You (Going Down)
6 Short List
7 Can’t Get In (including Keep A Knockin’)
8 I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
9 Let’s Spend The Night Together
Bonus tracks
10 Hey Mr Policeman
11 Hang On To A Dream
12 Always Gotta Pay In The End
13 Can’t Turn You Loose
14 Burlesque

DISC FOUR

MAIL ORDER MAGIC (RE-MASTERED EDITION)
1 Unknown Soldier (Can’t Get To Heaven)
2 He Was, She Was
3 Barman
4 Right To Go
5 Ducking Down
6 Making The Same Mistake
7 Another Little Hurt
8 Mail Order Magic
9 Higher Ground
10 Ground Floor
Bonus tracks

11 Fortune Teller
12 Fist To Yer Jaw
13 Higher Ground (original demo)

DISC FIVE

LIVE IN HAMBURG JANUARY 1981
1 Ducking Down
2 He Was She Was
3 Unknown Soldier
4 Keep Forgetting
5 Can’t Get In
6 I Just Wanna Make Love To You
7 Hoochie Coochie Man
8 Jesus And The Devil

Band

….too many to mention…..

Internet Stuff

Cherry Red Website

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