Chilli Willi and The Red Hot Peppers – Real Sharp (Proper Records)

Genre – Pub rock

Along with the influence of Austin de Lone and The Eggs, Chilli Willi and The Red Hot Peppers were one of the leading lights on British ‘pub rock’ in the early 70s, helping pioneer what would later lead to the punk explosion in 76.

Chilli Willi and The Red Hot Peppers’ career may have been short lived, but their influence, along with fellow pub rock pioneers Dr Feelgood cannot be ignored, with the raw, scratching sounds on offer bringing a new twist on electric American music to the UK.

Real Sharp is a double disc release, packed tight with rare recordings and previously unheard originals, totalling 44 tracks that includes the complete Kings Of The Robot Rhythm recordings, the complete Bongos Over Balham recordings and I’ll Be Home.

Throughout this incredible collection of material, fans are treated to an array of raw and rugged sounds that make the compilation’s title Real Sharp seem somewhat ironic.

Across this 44 track compilation, fans are treated to an assortment of musical sounds, with the bluesy harmonica playing a prominent role in tracks like Living Out Of My Suitcase, The Ballad Of Chilli Willi and Nashville Rag.

Although much of this album is comprised of raw recordings, Chilli Willi and The Red Hot Peppers represent a tight act, consisted of of top musicians with sharply honed skills, and the raw nature of the tracks only add to the live appeal of the band.

With over 400 live shows in their three years existence, it’s clear that the live stage was were Chilli Willi and The Red Hot Peppers did their best work, and this double album perfectly displays that. For fans, this is a must have collection, and for younger music fans that are interested in the history of the landscape of music, this is a fascinating release that is definitely worth exploring.

RUSHONOROCK RATED – 7/10 A must have for fans, a history lesson for music geeks.