Chris Spedding: Joyland

Session man gets a little help from his friends on 13th album.

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Chris Spedding is a session legend but where that phrase normally indicates some wizard of the fretless bass or keyboard ace, Spedding’s talents lie in giving rock records… well, more rock.

From Sharks to Bryan Ferry and from John Cale to David Essex (his solo on Stardust is worth a book in itself), Spedding is rock’n’roll and punk incarnate, so much so then when rumour claimed he’d played on Sex Pistols recordings, the world believed it.

And now he’s back, with a record that calls in favours, but brilliantly. From Arthur Brown to Ian McShane (who purrs the title track like a feline volcano), from Andy Fraser to Ferry (who inhabits a cool wild west on Gun Shaft City), the stars have come out in force.

But nobody overshadows Spedding himself, who makes a record that, like its title, sounds like a creepy, rattly, thrilling fairground, particularly on the spookabilly Boom Shacka Boom. Great riffs, great rides, great album./o:p