Chance, James And The Contortions - The Flesh Is Weak LP

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From the skronked out sound of the Farfisa organ that introduces you to JAMES CHANCE & THE CONTORTIONS' first single off their new album, The Flesh Is Weak, “Melt Yourself Down”, is clearly no nostalgia trip. Rather, it is cutting edge modern funk that grabs you and holds you till The Contortions can take the middle and James Chance can grab the top. If you have been waiting a long time for James Chance’s return here it is: The Dean of Downtown New York, who saved us from New Wave in the early '80s and recast it in his own No Wave image, is back. It is James, with his sax still swinging and his voice still howling, the entire album is a vibrant party blow out.  In the late 1970s, James made the move from Brookfield, Wisconsin to the New York club scene where he performed at CBGBs and The Mudd Club. First with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and later his own original Contortions, Chance changed the face of the entire musical community. The effect was so overwhelming that producer Brian Eno’s legendary No New York compilation featured James on the first four songs. Chance was also a blazing runaway train of a performer who could cause chaos with a blow of the horn and a slap of his hand. LA Times Robert Hilburn anointed him “the most important musician since David Bowie”. Over the years the business changed and James endured in Europe and Japan, but he remained friends with Contortions lead guitarist Tomás Doncker. Doncker had made a name for himself as a “go to” musician working with the likes of Yoko Ono, Bill Laswell, Ivan Neville, and Bootsy Collins. He released two solo albums before founding True Groove Records, a groundbreaking independent label out of Brooklyn.  When Tomás suggested a deluxe 35th anniversary release for BUY, remastered with additional live tracks,their renewed friendship was cemented and inevitably lead to The Flesh Is Weak: a mix of new Contortions songs, “Melt Yourself Down,” “Disciplinary Action,” “Snap It Back, Strip It Down” and more, and Contortion-ized covers of Gil Scott Heron’s “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”