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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Chopper - 1979 Chopper
Chopper - 1979 Chopper

ARTIST: Chopper
ALBUM: Chopper
LABEL: Ariola
SERIAL: SW 50049
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: George Legion - vocals, rhythm guitar * Peter Bunch - guitars * Gary Link - bass * Kim Bullard - keyboards, vocals * Brad Seip - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keep The Ball Rollin' * 02 Blue Winter * 03 Beggars Day * 04 Be Ready For Me Tonight * 05 Abalina * 06 I'll Hold On To You * 07 Eddie * 08 It Had To Happen * 09 Don't Cry

Not a band name you'd think is synonymous with all things melodic. Chopper conjures up images of bikies, Jack Daniels, and blues soaked hard rock. However, not with these guys, as it's nice, if at times mellow melodic rock all the way. At the time of coming together, none of these guys had any major claims or history, and the Ariola label (at the time a strong European based rock label with a small foothold in the US) signed them up. Not sure where they were based, but I'll assume they're from Los Angeles (as the liner notes imply such), Chopper's music is very good late seventies hard rock, with superb vocals, dynamic guitarwork and a smattering of subtle keyboards. Sounding very similar to Airborne at times, and the Michael Stanley Band, and when they cut the electrics, bands like Firefall or America spring to mind. Vocalist George Legion has a good style and is helped immensely by the backing vocals of the others. Though by today's standards some of these songs sound rather dated, they're still a good listen from this era. In the course of reviewing this album, I've had this vinyl flip-flopping across my turntable for the last two weeks.

The Songs
The album opener 'Keep The Ball Rollin' is a great taster for things to come. Kim Bullard's delightful synth solo in the middle spice it up. They also do a rendition of Nils Lofgren's 'Beggars Day'. 'Be Ready For Me Tonight' is another seventies inspired moment, with pounding drums and synth dabblings at the end. The track 'Abalina' is a delicious slightly country-oriented ballad, while 'It Had To Happen' is a slow mover though highly melodic. The remainder of the songs are catchy, but are as not immediate as those before.

In Summary
Chopper by all accounts didn't hang around for too long after this effort, and the album had a life destined for the bargain bins for many years after. However, some of the band members moved onto bigger and better things. Kim Bullard joined the country rock band Poco in 1980, and stayed with them for five years. He also had a leading hand in the excellent Y Kant Tori Read album from 1988 as well as producing many other artists since then. Peter Bunch is also still involved as a musician and producer, while Brad Seip is still drumming on and off and has appeared with New York recording artist and longtime friend Stuffy Shmitt of late.

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#1 | rostoned on June 28 2008 13:28:09
In the mid 90s, at the height of the european AOR collectors craze, this 'cut out standard' was sold by uk dealers for as much as £35 pounds! Never understood why, it's a very good effort but quite dated and not an all time klassik at all. Good synth work by Kim Bullard tho' but not the most difficult to find even today, 15 years later that craze...
#2 | gdazegod on March 30 2011 21:40:56
Is it true that Chopper released a live album in 1976 by the infamous tax/scam label Tiger Lily (a la Brother Bait)? According to RYM (Rate Your Music), there is an album listed called 'Live In New York', a six-track LP. Another one to add to the exhaustive treasure hunt list! argh
#3 | Eric on March 31 2011 00:44:40
That's VERY interesting. Nice find G.
#4 | Schonschenker on March 19 2013 17:16:26
This album was mentioned in Kerrang's 'The Bands That Time Forgot' article, as well as getting a name check
in this awesome edition of Creem Magazine:

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