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Buy [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster]
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Performer Notes
  • Includes liner notes by Robert Palmer.
  • This reissue of BUY THE CONTORTIONS includes three previously unreleased tracks recorded live at CBGB, New York in Spring 1978.
  • James Chance & The Contortions: Adele Bertai (accordion); Dave Hofstra, George Scott (bass instrument); James Chance, Jody Harris, Pat Place, Don Christensen .
  • Personnel: James Chance (vocals, alto saxophone, keyboards); Jody Harris (guitar); Pat Place (slide guitar); Adele Bertei (organ); Don Christensen (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: James Chance.
  • Audio Remasterer: Florian.
  • Liner Note Author: Michel Esteban.
  • Recording information: CBGB (1978).
  • Arranger: James Chance.
  • James Chance's first full-length album, 1979's BUY, is a milestone not only of his career, but of the whole NYC No Wave scene. Emblematic of a place and time where musicians were burning the rock & roll rulebook and doing freeform dances atop the ashes, BUY is a gloriously skewed amalgam of post-punk, funk, and free jazz. Wiry shards of electric guitar alternate between eruptions of spiky melody and bombs-away bursts of atonal textures. The rhythm section strikes an unprecedented balance between groove-heavy funk, jazzy improvisation, and the anything-goes aesthetic endemic to the No Wave movement. Atop it all, James Chance (sometimes known as James White) shouts, shrieks, yelps, and exults like Tony Perkins in PSYCHO reborn in the body of James Brown, or vice versa. Later releases upped the funk quotient and featured somewhat more sophisticated instrumental interplay, but BUY remains a definitive statement.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (2/5/95, pp.53-54) - "...a chaotic jazz-funk staple...which forged common ground between the aesthetes and the safety pin-and-leather crowd..." - Rating: B+

Melody Maker (3/23/96, p.36) - Recommended - "...an abrasive combination of dismembered buzzsaw punk, funk and psychotic jazz which is as confrontational now as it was when it first appeared in 1979..."
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