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Blondie Chaplin: Blondie Chaplin

[cover art]

[LP cover] [Back cover]

Terence William "Blondie" Chaplin, originally with the South African soul-cover band The Flames, best known as guitarist and singer in the Beach Boys from 1972 to 1974 and for his session-work with the Rolling Stones, joined the Band when they went back on the road after Richard Manuel's death in 1986. Singing Richard's vocal parts, and doubling on guitar and drums, Blondie Chaplin stayed with the Band until the tour was over at the end of the year. Chaplin also played on Rick Danko's first solo album and on the Band's 1996 release High on the Hog. In the early '80s, Blondie Chaplin worked with Rick Danko and members of the Byrds, doing a "Byrds reunion" tour.

Garth Hudson's accordion can be heard on the track "Riverboat Queen" from Chaplin's self-titled 1977 Asylum effort. Blondie Chaplin was re-released on CD by Wounded Bird Records in 2008, two years after his second solo album Between Us came out on the Big Karma label.

Blondie Chaplin is bursting with energy, and the list of guest musicians is impressive, featuring amongst others Richard Tee and Garth. The drums are played by none other than old Flames and Beach Boys ally, Ricky Fataar. The album is dedicated to Henry Chaplin, shown in an old sepia coloured photo, playing a banjo. Presumably this is Blondie's father, providing the musical heritage. On the whole the album has a overproduced feel, with Blondie trying to find his own musical direction. There are a few stand-out tracks, like "Can You Hear Me," with its backward guitar solo and "Lonely Traveler" with its atmospheric piano introduction. But on the whole, the album would have benefited from a looser, more open mix or perhaps even a live recording. The album's main flaw is that Blondie Chaplin is trying to write songs in an existing mold. He is deliberately writing for his audience, instead of for himself, and catering for what he believes they want. Still it makes a good listen, even after more than a quarter of a century.


  1. Bye Bye Babe
  2. Can You Hear Me
  3. Crazy Love
  4. Woman Don't Cry
  5. Loose Lady
  6. Be My Love
  7. Lonely Traveller
  8. Riverboat Queen
  9. Say You Need Me
  10. For Your Love
  11. Gimme More Rock 'n' Roll


(only members of the Band listed)
  • Garth Hudson, accordion

Blondie Chaplin - Blondie Chaplin - 1977 - Asylum 7E-1095
CD: Wounded Bird Records, 2008.

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