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Irresistable Impulse

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Album Review

Along with Lydia Lunch, James Chance was one of the key figures in the no wave movement of the late '70s in New York. Armed with an alto sax and a disjointed funk band that knew exactly what they were getting into, Chance combined a disco beat, Ornette Coleman's Prime Time, James Brown's funk, and Stooges-era Iggy Pop theatrics that few have ever come close to matching. It wasn't odd that members of his paying audience would occasionally get assaulted by Chance if they weren't up and dancing. Unlike G.G. Allin, Chance never flung feces to get his point across, he went straight for the throat. Irresistible Impulse is an amazing triple-disc, 49-song box set covering Chance's entire career. It includes all four of his full-length albums, three on the Ze label (Buy the Contortions, Off White, and Flaming Demonics) and his 1982 release on Chris Stein's Animal Records, Sax Maniac. Also included are extremely rare tracks from Theme From Grutzi Elvis, Melt Yourself Down, Soul Exorcism, the unreleased Judy Taylor Sessions, one messed-up Christmas carol, "Christmas With Satan," and a 32-page booklet to boot. James Chance is definitely an acquired taste, but make no mistake, this set of danceable sleaze will leave its mark on the novice and have the ardent fan frothing.

Customer Reviews

The Beat of a City

James Chance is a good place to start if you are trying to listen to No Wave. This album is a near perfect soundtrack to New York City. If you happen to be in NYC, just plug in this album and you will see why.
James himself is a catchy saxophone wiz. The best word to describe his wild playing would be "bipolar." And I mean that in a very good way.

Notable songs: Designed to Kill, I Don't Want to Be Happy, Contort Yourself


Born: April 20, 1953 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

One of the central figures of the No Wave movement of the late '70s, James Chance & the Contortions formed in New York City in 1977. They were led by vocalist/saxophonist Chance, a Milwaukee native (born James Sigfried) who also answered to the alias James White. After relocating to the Big Apple to play free jazz, he fell in with the city's avant-garde community; upon adopting the surname Chance and acquiring a wardrobe of outrageously loud suits, Chance formed the Contortions, an abrasively chaotic...
Full Bio
Irresistable Impulse, James Chance
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  • $44.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Feb 18, 2003

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