Friday, 17 December 2010

Sweet: Chop Chop (album track), Tony Blackburn: Chop Chop (a-side)

Ah yes, songs about woodcutting, you don't get many of those nowadays.

It's the Sweet in a head to head with ex Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn singing a song composed by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn.

It seems that DJ's have always had a hankering to test the old vocal chords out on some song or other. It's hard to believe now but old Tony was seen as something of a sex symbol back in the early seventies. So it was inevitable that he would release a single at some point. 

I can see the headline now; "Superstar DJ shows audience his big chopper".

Chop chop is not one of 'Chinnichaps' greatest moments, but it has a certain charm I think.

The Sweet had already recorded this song for their 1971 debut album 'Funny How Sweet Co Co Can Be'. When Tony Blackburn recorded his version. 

The Sweet even played on the backing for the track, which is strange because at the time they didn't even play on their own singles.

Steve Priest said of the sessons, "Blackburn had no timing, we had to do the chorus over and over again until we virtually got it in time with him"

Blackburn would become a great supporter of the Sweet on his radio shows, and they returned to the studio with him again in 1972 to do more chinnichap songs.

This is from a review of the single in August 1971.

Tony Blackburn: Chop Chop (RCA) From the Chinn-Chapman current hitwriting team, a wee fantasy sort of song which suits Tony's style very well. It's into a bubblegum and rather undemanding sort of range, and the chorus is positively instantly catchy. The arrangement helps the story-line song along. I've a pretty confident feeling it's an upcoming chart-er.  (26 August 1971)

In 2007 Blackburn held a question and answer session for the BBC website, one of the questions was;

"If you could never hear one song again, what would it be"? 
His honest and simple answer was;
"My record of Chop Chop. It's atrocious".

All together now...."Timber, Timber"