Chris Spedding

Chris Spedding

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Though this eponymous masterpiece was not Chris Spedding's first solo album, it was the first to impact on the record buying public at large. Spiralling out of his so-memorable hit "Motorbiking," it established the leather-clad, quiff-topped Spedding as the first guitar-hero pin-up of the punk era, a full year before even punk's progenitors had heard of the term. Certainly great swathes of what eventually emerged amid the British new wave was bodily borrowed from Spedding, both visually and, with a few fashionable refinements, visually. Chris Spedding sounds like its maker looked: tight, mean, and taking no trash from no-one. The future anthem "Guitar Jamboree" could easily have been replayed with switchblades, while his take on Chuck Berry's "School Days" has a lot more in mind than class work and gym. Electrifying, too, are "Jump in My Car" and "Bedsit Girl." Economically riff-driven guitar pop was nothing new, of course, but rarely had it been executed with such a glowering swagger. Short, sharp and never less than brittle, Chris Spedding has few of the frills that Spedding so adeptly draped over other people's records, few of the twists and turns that distinguished his work with Sharks or later, alone. But, if ever anyone figures out how to fit a CD player into a motorcycle helmet, this should be the first album anybody buys to play on it.

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