Chas & Dave

The Rockney Box, 1981-1991

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Despite the eight discs of Chas & Dave, The Rockney Box: 1981-1991 doesn’t quite have everything the knees-up duo did in the '80s, the decade where they had their greatest success. Notably, the 1986 Top 10 single "Snooker Loopy" -- recorded with a bunch of pro snooker players performing under the name the Matchroom Mob -- isn't on the CDs, but it is on the accompanying DVD, which rounds up eight promo videos, two Top of the Pops performances, and some assorted outtakes. There is a similar odds-and-sods CD, collecting B-sides, non-LP singles, and other oddities and, generally, this is looser and livelier than the albums on the box, possibly because there are some interesting one-offs, like sessions recorded at Sun, duets with Clarence "Frogman" Henry and Lonnie Donegan, the latter bashing away on the Beatles' "You Won’t See Me." Apart from that, this comic, cockney nostalgia music sounds relatively robust on the earlier albums (1981's Mustn't Grumble, 1982's Joblot), then cheaper and cheekier as the time goes on. That tinny, clanking production, relentless cheerfulness, and outdated rhyming slang is bound to irritate anybody who wasn’t already a Chas & Dave fan but, then again, is there anybody who isn’t a fan who would indulge in this box? No matter how nicely produced it is -- and this is -- eight CDs is a lot of Chas & Dave and, even if you're a big fan, listening to this incessant knees-up might wind up as an endurance test.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:48
2 3:48
3 4:32
4 6:04
5 3:46
6 3:19
7 5:12
8 3:45
9 3:09
10 2:46
11 3:39

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:25
2
4:21
3
4:20
4
3:49
5
3:06
6
4:37
7
3:36
8
5:25
9
4:27
10
5:05
11
4:38
12
3:49
13
3:48
14
3:46
15
4:32
16
6:37
17
3:09

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:58
2
4:58
3
4:46
4
4:52
5
5:10
6
4:54
7
4:51
8
4:42
9
5:06
10
4:20
11
4:39
12
4:47
13
3:31
14
4:33
15
5:25
16
3:59
blue highlight denotes track pick