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The Best Of Chicory Tip

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Album Review

They don't make 'em like this anymore — just one glance at the wacky face paint and headgear the bandmembers are proudly wearing gives testament to that. Chicory Tip are a product of the mid-'70s glitter era, when spectacle and fun were the two driving forces behind the music. Their music is nothing if not fun — well, dumb springs to mind also, but dumb in a good way, like the Beach Boys or Little Richard. The first song on this 23-track collection, "Son of My Father," is their biggest hit and sports a Moog synthesizer hook so naggingly catchy it will be stuck in your head for hours — in a good way (you'll be walking down the street with a big smile plastered on your face, humming it). The first seven songs are quite similar to "Son of My Father." Co-written by Giorgio Moroder, the songs are influenced by doo wop, girl groups, Phil Spector, Brill building pop, the Sweet, and cotton candy British pop as produced by songwriting teams like John Carter/Ken Lewis, Ken Howard/Alan Blaikley, and Roger Greenaway/Roger Cook. They have the same dorky synthesizers, goofy lyrics, lads-on-a-lark vocals, and hooks — hooks, hooks, and more hooks. Quite simply, these are some of the coolest pop songs you are likely to ever hear. Sadly, the remaining songs are a letdown. The group split with Moroder, largely cast aside the synthesizers, and began to get more serious. Most of the tracks — like "Move On, " "Memory," and "Friend of Mine" — sound like the Hollies did during the mid-'70s: acoustic guitars, lush harmonies, and a vaguely country-rock bent. It isn't a terrible sound for a band to have, and songs like "Join Our Gang," their cover of CCR's "Lodi," and "Me and Stan Foley" are enjoyable; their later work just pales in comparison to their early genius. This is the best Chicory Tip compilation on the market; until someone reissues the Son of My Father LP, you should get a hold of it, and when you do, be prepared to be blown away — in a very, very good way. [In some kind of strange pop culture coincidence (or is it?), "Big Wheels Rolling"'s plodding guitar riff sounds exactly like that of the main riff on Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Perhaps Marshall is a closet Chicory Tip fan?]


Formed: 1968

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s

Hailing from Maidstone, Kent, in England, this pop quartet was formed in 1968 by singer Peter Hewson (b. 1 September 1950, Gillingham, Kent, England). The rest of the group comprised Barry Mayger (b. 1 June 1950, Maidstone, Kent, England; bass), Brian Shearer (b. 4 May 1951, Lewisham, London, England; drums) and Dick Foster (guitar). Foster was replaced in October 1972 by Rod Cloutt (b. 26 January 1949, Gillingham, Kent, England; lead guitar, synthesizer, organ). Chicory Tip’s main claim to fame...
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The Best Of Chicory Tip, Chicory Tip
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