Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Chills - Secret Box (2001)

This is a big one, folks. As a preface, no, this is not a personal rip; Martin Phillipps--god bless 'im--only pressed 500 copies of this incredible, mindblowingly expansive collection. Naturally, they sold out in advance. I've only just begun to dig in, but this is essential listening for Chills fans (which of course you all are.) Tracklistings are included. Enjoy!

NOTE: For those of you who requested the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience's 'Love Songs' and the Able Tasmans' 'Store in a Cool Place,' fear not! The ever-amazing Gozz will be posting them in a timely fashion; expect both albums--and a lot of other goodies--in the coming weeks.

- Ariel

Spread out over these three discs' 83 selections are B-sides, outtakes, rarities, demos, radio sessions, tribute LP covers, a '60s-revival Coke jingle, soundtracks, and most important of all, 31 live versions of songs never released in any form. These unheard, vintage tracks span disc one and half of disc two, tripling the insight on the 1980-1987 Chills. They're loads more aggressive (aided by the sweaty club environments) than the band's supernatural early singles and EP collected by Kaleidoscope World. It all comes as a bit of a barrage, since Martin Phillipps' prolific pen was never more frenzied, spitting out one keyboard-laced, great post-punk pop track after another. His long-standing contention that the band should have released two, possible three classic LPs before 1987's "debut" Brave Words (nine lineup changes, including the death of a key early member, hurt) is finally, fully supported by this evidence. Even some of the later shimmering tracks, such as the ghostly "House With a Hundred Rooms" and onrushing "Oncoming Day," had their start in this harder, edgier epoch, as the original incarnation of the former as 1982's "After They Told Me She Was Gone" and the 1985 Bucketful of Brains flexi version of the latter exhibit. The demos and radio sessions are as much fun, while only the consummate Chills head will have all the later B-sides and compilation tracks. True, this is specifically for fans, as the merely curious are better off starting with a comprehensive best-of like 1994's Flying Nun double-CD Heavenly Pop Hits. There one encounters the more silvery-burnished, better-recorded, more stable Chills of 1987-1992. But even those who buy Secret Box will discover a greater energy than normally associated with the Chills name, who betray more of their '60s garage and psychedelia and '70s original punk roots here than at any time in the future.

[Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover]

18 comments:

Willem said...

If I'm one of the two, so on behave of the other one I like to thank you for the great post. I almost like them all especially "The Chills" ones, and yes your right i did'n miss Mad on you on Daddy's Highway, infact it was your posts that attendended me to the Bats. Beautifull and have a nice week.
Willem Holland

Hank said...

This is a fantastic post, many thanks. I'm completely addicted to this blog now, just one great post after another. Oh, and I'm getting into Swell Maps now, I had managed to miss them before, but I figured they had to be something special to be included in your blog. And, yep, they're pretty special.
So thanks again, for as long as you find the time and energy to keep this up I'll be one happy camper.

slovenlyeric said...

I just wanted to thank you for this post. I really love this music. Hopefully people who don't know how great the New Zealand scene was will get a chance to check out some of the best discs ever through your blog. Keep up the good work.

Ariel said...

Thanks, everyone; this is one I had absolutely no feasible reason not to post. Hope you all enjoy it.

Peter said...

Oh joy!

Anonymous said...

Just because I'm posting anonymously doesn't mean I'm not equally appreciative. This is just about too much of a good thing. So many Heavenly Pop Hits at one time! You rock.... and so does your blog. Thanks!

Tydalwave said...

Great Blog! I noticed you will upload "Store in a cool space" by the Able Tasmans soon. That's great, do you also have "Somebody Ate My Planet" from 1991? I had this on CD when it came out, but no longer have it and would love to hear it again as it's nearly impossible to find.

suejayne said...

Truly remarkable and amazing stuff. More people need to know about this marvelous music. Thanks as well for the mention of "Submarine Bells" (my favorite album of all time); and for the great blog!

hookfinger said...

Holy Cow! thanks you so much. i bow to your generosity!

bryzo said...

Amazing stuff! Keep up the great work. You're educating me and others with these fab posts...

Steven said...

Thanks heaps for the music. I can't download discs 2 & 3, Mediafire has some problem.
May I ask that you upload some of the more experimental bands from NZ such as Fetus Productions (Flying Nun) - anything, (or everything) by them would be great. Also Skeptics or The Front Lawn would be cool.
Best regards, Steven.

kiwi lover said...

holy crap what a great thing this blog is. i have been a kiwi pop fan for years. the other day i was gonna start a fan site on myspace. when i discovered doledrums i was like forget it. i can never top this. too bad. chris knox believed in me. my fledgling zero friends kiwi ms had one friend before i decided to ditch it and that was chris knox. in any case as i scanned your blog i was impressed. some of which i have. soem of which i have not. for example.....drum....roll...secret box! omg this makes me so happy. except that discs 2 and 3 don't play but you already knew that..

this_is_kiwi_pop said...

I cannot get over Secret Box. i am so fucking floored by this. The fact that nobody heard this stuff breaks my heart and the fact that it has been out of print for years now is so criminal that i put it up there with Dick Cheney's term in office. Isn't there anything anyone can do? I mean doesn't Martin know he needs to repress this? What the hell? To say this material is a revelation is such an understatement. We see The Chills in a new light. Not too unlike The Fall really. The Fall fronted by an amped up but starry-eyed romantic.

Anonymous said...

hi there

great site

the 1st CD on the chills Secret box
doe'snt seem to download

is this correct

cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi Ariel,

Thank you so much for sharing these treasures with us. I have a pretty good collection of NZ stuff, but you've been making some others available that I've heard about for years, but never thought I'd ever hear.

The link for the first disc of the Chills box is not working...any chance of a fix?

Thanks again! Cyrus

Lucy said...

Nice stuff! Thought you might be interested in this article about Martin Phillips:

http://misterchristrout.com/i/#posts_2009_10_eulogy-martin-phillipps

Marcio said...

Please can you repost it in another place (rapidshare or another)?Thanks so much!

Robinbrevard said...

DITTO - a repost of Discs 2 & 3 would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the lovely blog.