Judie Tzuke – The Chrysalis Recordings: Album Review

A Judie Tzuke collection that brings together all of her recorded output whilst signed to Chrysalis Records, spanning 1982 to 1983

Release Date: 24th April 2020

Label: Cherry Red

Formats: 3CD

This  3CD package of Judie Tzuke recordings takes us back to a time when artists could sing without a computer, didn’t sing repetitive lyrics and could perform a variety of styles, in other words  a true, quality vocalist where her voice is her instrument. 

These CDs represent her output whilst signed to Chrysalis records from 1982 to 1983. Whilst the studio albums may focus on her individual talents the live album shows her performing as part of an excellent unit with a band.

The first studio album Shoot The Moon remains fresh sounding with diverse musical genres and even though tracks taken from it didn’t find chart success, as an album all the songs are strong whether it’s one of her more splendid rocky numbers like Heaven Can Wait or an exquisite ballad such as Don’t Let Me Sleep. Whether she catches the success in love, the pain of love and mournful loss of love, she sensitively expresses each mood with her distinctive unique powerful singing enhanced by Paul Miggleton’s accomplished record production in rural Wales.

The live album Road Noise from different nights of her 1982 UK tour, one of which was the Summer of 1982 Glastonbury Fayre, contains three songs from Shoot The Moon as well as her most recognised song Stay With Me Till Dawn and ending with a tremendous cover of The Hunter, which rivals Free’s version. There is a rawness to the live performances which brings to life songs which are often superior to the well-produced and clinical mixed studio version. 

Ritmo, the second studio album, shows some musical progressions and indeed the track Walk Don’t Walk is not far removed from being progressive rock with its poetic lyrics. We are given three versions of Jeannie No, two of them as bonus tracks (extended and 7” version), and they are all worthy of the repetition.

Most of the early tracks place us firmly in the versatile world of Judy Tzuke we are familiar with, then once appropriately named Another  Country kicks in with its heavy rock tempo and the aforementioned Walk Don’t Walk we do indeed enter new territory. Push Push, Pull Pull driven along by an African beat and a catchy chanted chorus line in How Do I Feel completes this excellent album, which should have had more exposure and success in its heyday.

Since  the Chrysalis recordings she has continued to write and release quality  music and also has a tour planned for the Autumn.

The sleeve notes include a comprehensive discography and a musical biography with some interesting facts exploring the support of Elton John in her early career, along with some reviews lifted off Amazon. Cherry Red should be congratulated for releasing these quality albums in their entirety rather than burying and jettisoning tracks in favour of the release of a Best Of The Chrysalis Years album, which would have been a travesty.

Listen to jeannie No here:

Judy Tzuke online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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