Roger Chapman

He Was... She Was... You Was... We Was...

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One of the lost jewels within the Roger Chapman crown, He Was She Was You Was We Was was the double live album that confirmed the former Family/Streetwalkers frontman as a superstar in Germany in 1982. Recorded late the previous year in Hamburg (and not, as is frequently claimed, during the German TV Rockpalast concert show) and built around his Hyenas album, it blazed through his solo career with furnace-fire aplomb, with a pair of medleys -- one commencing with the old blues shaker "I'm a King Bee," the other with Larry Williams' "Slow Down" -- highlights that few live acts of the era could muster. It is not an oldies show -- anybody coming to a Chapman live album today would be certain to search for Family favorites. They are absent -- this is the sound of Chapman at the top of his game, whether pounding through his own most recent material or dipping back to mash Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free" with Miles Davis' "Bitch's Brew," while the band -- led by the indefatigable Tim Hinckley -- simply storms. Barely noticed in the U.S. or U.K., He Was She Was You Was We Was became one of the biggest European hits of the year, and it would be another 23 years before it finally received a headlining British release, when reissued by Angel Air in 2005, with one more moment of magnificence appended as a bonus track: a five-minute romp through "I Just Want to Make Love to You."

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