RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Chris Spedding – Joyland
Cleopatra Records

Rating: B

Chris Spedding may not be a household name, but he has recorded and toured with plenty of them.  This recently turned 70-year-old can be found on classic albums by Elton John, Harry Nilsson, Jack Bruce and in a film with Paul McCartney…... and these are just the highlights of his career!

When not gallivanting about and jamming with members of the Hall of Fame, Spedding writes, records and releases solo albums.  His latest effort, Joyland, can be found on the Cleopatra label.  While he may be more known these days as a jazzy, kinda-classy rock guy, Joyland is an album with many styles of music contained within, and featuring many guest artists.

The voice from TV’s Deadwood, Ian McShane brings in the title track, while the Lord God of Hellfire Arthur Brown rocks up the best song on the album “”Now You Can See”.”  Free alum, and Spedding’’s band mate in The Sharks, Andy Fraser provides bass guitar on “”Shock Treatment”” while Sex Pistol Glen Matlock jams on the surf-styled instrumental “”Café Racer”.”  Spedding’s band mate in Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, sings lead vocals on the spaghetti western influenced “”Gun Shaft City”.”  The remake of “”Pied Piper”” takes this from its happy origin and adds a boat-load of creepy -making it one you have to hear! 

The creativity on Joyland was a collaboration between Spedding and his long time musical partner Steve Parson.  The feel of the album makes this feel like a great Tarantino soundtrack, should he ever need one.  Quentin…... did you read that?  Joyland would even be a good name for a whacked-out movie.  Call Chris.  He’’ll pick up...  I promise!

This is not your standard 4/4 crank it up rock and roll album.  It is, however, an exercise in creativity, songwriting and originality... the end result being a cool-ass album to listen to again, and again and again. 

Track Listing:

1. Joyland – with Ian McShane, voiceover
2. Now You See It – with Arthur Brown, vocal
3. Cafe Racer – with Glen Matlock, bass
4. Gun Shaft City – with Bryan Ferry, vocal
5. Heisenberg – with Johnny Marr, guitars
6. I Still Love You – with Robert Gordon, vocal
7. Pied Piper – with Andy Mackay, oboe and sax
8. Go Down South – Steve Parsons, guitars and backing vocals
9. Shock Treatment – with Andy Fraser, bass
10. I’’m Your Sin – with Lane, vocals
11. Message For Stella – with Steve Parsons, vocals
12. Boom Shakka Boom

By Jeb Wright