Monday, 18 November 2013

REWIND: Chubby Checker - 'Gypsy'

Sometimes you'll hear a song, not knowing who the band or artist is. Then afterwards you find out... But when I was told who this song was by, I certainly couldn't quite believe it. I heard this a few weeks ago on Huey Morgan's BBC Radio 6Music show and wondered what this utterly mad bit of psychedelic Hendrix-esque funk was. When Huey revealed that it was in fact Chubby Checker, I was stunned. A million miles away from 'Let's Twist Again', that's for sure. This was originally released on his 1971 album 'Chequered', a record which the man apparently disowned and doesn't like to talk about. To my ears, this sounds better than the two or three hit singles I've heard from him previously. 

According to THIS review, "at the dawn of the 1970s, Checker was forced to face the grim truth that no one really cared about the Twist anymore, and his history as America's greatest champion of dance crazes was doing more to weigh him down than to help him reclaim his stardom. Checker needed an image makeover, and he teamed up with manager and producer Ed Chalpin to make a record that would introduce a "new" Chubby Checker to the world. The resulting album, 1971's 'Chequered!' is a curiosity that never got a proper release in the United States; many have cited it as Chubby's "psychedelic" album."

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