The Chills: The BBC Sessions (Fire/Southbound)

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The Chills: Moonlight on Flesh
The Chills: The BBC Sessions (Fire/Southbound)

During their peak in the Eighties -- in '85, '87 and '88 -- various line-ups of the Chills recorded sessions for John Peel's famous radio shows on the BBC.

Here collected are all 12 of the songs, and it is a thrill to hear this group/these groups at the top of their game as Martin Phillipps helms them through some classics (Rolling Moon, Brave Words, Night of Chill Blue) and other songs which stand as their equal.

There is an ease and effortlessness at play in this crisp and classy pop -- sharply recorded too -- which neatly veers towards the psychedelic (Night of Chill Blue) but remains thoroughly focused and economic. Brave Words doesn't break the two minute mark and even Rolling Moon comes in under four.

Andrew Todd's keyboards bring an added urgency to Dan Destiny and the Silver Dawn, and the slippery and slightly eerie instrumental Moonlight on Flesh (which gradually emerges out of a martial beat) is surely a lost classic from this period.

Elsewhere in '88 they unveil songs (Part Past Part Fiction, Dead Web, Effloresce and Deliquesce) which would appear on their next album Submarine Bells, which many consider the band's best. There's also the unreleased Christmas Chimes which is a lovely encapsulation of Phillipps' gifts for a brooding melody and a simple but effective hook. 

Available on CD or vinyl, The BBC Sessions is an important addition to the Chills remarkable catalogue. 

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