Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Chills - Brave Words (1987)



I thought I would try to do my bit to spread the love on the first day of 2011 by sharing this beautiful album with the world. Brave Words has grown with me over the past twenty three years and has gradually become one of my favourite ever records. My vinyl copy went missing years ago but the songs stayed with me, and I was ecstatic when I found this scratchy old copy in a charity shop a few weeks ago.

The Chills came from Dunedin in New Zealand and were active throughout the 1980s and into '90s. This was the group's first proper album and, for me it contains some of the finest pop songs of that, or any other, period. I hope that these songs will give you as much pleasure as they have given me over the years.

The House with A Hundred Rooms was a secret bonus track on some pressings (and the cd) of this album, unfortunately not the one here, however it serves a fantastic taster for a real aural treat:


Tracklist:

01 Push
02 Rain
03 Speak For Yourself
04 Look For The Good In Others And They'll See The Good In You
05 Wet Blanket
06 Ghosts
07 Dan Destiny And The Silver Dawn
08 Night Of Chill Blue
09 16 Heart-throbs
10 Brave Words
11 Dark Carnival
12 Creep

Get it HERE.

9 comments:

RPM said...

Thanks for posting this classic; hard to believe it is not in print.

Like most outside NZ, I first heard of the Chills via Submarine Bells. It took me years to track down Brave Words; I've read Martin Phillips is a bit unhappy with the production, but I think the songs and playing are outstanding.

Looking forward to hearing how it sounds on antique vinyl.

There are some nice live performances of various songs from the album on youtube.

Happy New Year and thanks again.

Mr Tear said...

Hi RPM, and happy new year to you. This was my first taste of the Chills. My friend bought the album back in 1987 and it grew on me steadily over a period of time until I bugged him to swap it with me (can't remember what he got in return). I was disappointed when I heard Submarine Bells, the songs didn't touch me in the same way as the ones on this album, and I thought it was over-polished - too bright and shiny for my tastes.
I love Mayo Thompson's rough production job on this one, it suits the dark material perfectly, but each to their own is what I say!
I sincerely hope that this one grows on you the way it has on me, and I hope that the Chills would understand my reasons for sharing this classic album.

RPM said...

Mr. Tear, come on: I have to know what your friend (and you) considered roughly equivalent to Brave Words!

I've been moderately in thrall to Brave Words for a couple of years now, although I've never heard it on vinyl. I did not know about Mayo Thompson; fascinating to read about him on wikipedia.

I'm not sure what I would have made of the record in 1987, but I think my love of the Housemartins, R.E.M. and Elvis C. might have made me a fan. Certainly "Look for the Good in Others.." would have been sounded great on lunch hour radio and "Night of Blue Chill" just as good after midnight.

I think your comments re Submarine Bells are reasonable: it was clearly designed - for better or worse - to crack the American (and UK?) market, which I guess it did, a bit. I didn't realize, until I looked at the wiki entry, that Bells was produced by Gary Smith, an early Pixies producer - the rationale is fairly obvious. I have not listened to Submarine Bells in a while, although I can recall bits of it very clearly.

In any event, as much as I love everything from Kaleidoscope World to Sunburnt, Brave Words is clearly the last record the Chills made while they were on the outside looking in. It is also, in my view, just about as great as a record can be.

Thanks again. I look forward to poking about your blog in search of interesting albums.

Mr Tear said...

Hope you find some gems RPM. Let me know how you do.

suejayne said...

A truly marvelous album from start to finish, no matter what one thinks of the production. I have several copies of it already, but I'm pleased to see you sharing it with others. It deserves to be heard!

Mr Tear said...

Hi SueJayne, glad to be sharing this classic - I hope some people who may never have heard the band, or thought to listen to them, may have given it a go and been turned on to something wonderful.

I wish I had kept more of the New Zealand lp's I used to have, but unfortunately I sold most of my record collection back in the mid-nineties. I used to love Snapper, The Clean, The 3Ds, Peter Gutteridge and This Kind of Punishment. There seemed to be so much great stuff going on.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! Have it on vinyl and have always loved it. Other than the early Kaleidoscope World compilation and the Lost EP stuff this is my favourite Chills material and a solid gold classic. By the way, The Chills are on tour in Europe this August (2014), can't wait.

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