On an evident high after the previous year’s Savage Amusement had brought him to Memphis, The Man Who Hated Mornings brings it back home with sessions in Cornwall and Hull. Chapman’s sour, bleak and funny observations, shot through with moments of pure musical transcendence, are heavy on the ground.
The title track’s clangour reminds us of the bandleader’s skill on guitar, and from there, his playing cuts an elegant, purposeful swathe through mordant blues, cabaret jazz and a screaming early cut of Dogs Got More Sense. A supremely sullen recast of Bob Dylan’s Ballad In Plain D is another highlight.
The excellently recorded band features guitar from Mick Ronson, BJ Cole and Andy Latimer, but Chapman’s ruggedly defined, inimitably detailed voice and individuality (which continues to endure and multiply) shines throughout.